When we start a new year what is the first thing that comes to mind? New year, new you? Does your mind immediately go into ways you can improve your quality of life in some fashion or another? Generally, setting some kind of goal or resolution is a popular way to address the new year. How many times have you started a new year’s resolution to only feel defeated 1 to 2 weeks in? You are not alone, it is very common. What if we look at things a little differently? What if we focused on our well-being?
One of the top Google searches from 2021 was about well-being. It appears that most of us want to find ways to improve ourselves. But how does one improve their well-being and what does well-being really encompass? Merriam-Webster defines well-being as the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous.
With the weight of all things COVID, we all have been affected one way or another. We may find it a little more difficult to maintain a happy state of mind due to everything that has been going on. With that thinking, let’s talk about some ways we can improve our overall well-being for 2022.
Did You Say Happy? Yes, Please!
Who doesn’t want to be happy? We all want to be happy, right? At times we all have found ourselves feeling down or sluggish. How to combat those feelings can be easier than you think. Plus there seems to be some connection to being happy and healthy, so let’s see how they come together… But before diving into all the tips, keep in mind to pick one that piques your interest. Add it into your routine and monitor your changes. Once you have discovered that this new practice makes a positive impact on your life then add another one in.
Tips To Being Happy
1. Eat nourishing food.
Create a balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. Consuming a variety of foods from all the food groups sets you up for optimal energy. Sorry, [insert favorite coffeehouse] – we love you, but you shouldn’t be our only source of energy.
2. Sleep seven to eight hours a night.
We need at least seven hours of sleep each night. However, that is easier said than done for some. If you happen to be someone that has trouble sleeping, please take it seriously and prioritize a healthy sleep schedule. Say you want to fall asleep by 10:00 pm because you need to be up by 6:00 am. At 8:00 pm you should start to slow things down. Do something that relaxes you like reading a book, try dimming the lights in your home, or play relaxing music. Your body will thank you and you will start to notice you have more energy.
3. Be selective with the company you keep.
Try to maximize the amount of time you spend with people you care about. Engaging with the people in your life that bring you joy is always time well spent. Time is precious, so we should spend it wisely. Plus, connecting with like-minded positive people will only benefit you on your journey to better well-being.
4. Take a break from the news.
We all want to stay connected to what is going on around us. Unfortunately, the news is often not always the most uplifting and does not always share “good” news. Watching too much can only add to our fears and anxiety. You should still get updated on the current events. Maybe minimize the time you spend watching it.
It is recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. If you break that down over seven days – does that sound doable? Especially when you realize that exercising regularly can reduce stress, tension, strengthen muscles, and improve endurance. Less stress + less tension = happy. Always consult with your doctor prior to starting any new exercise.
6. Do something that is meaningful to you every day.
Put forth the effort to do something you are passionate about every single day. It can be as simple as cooking a healthy meal with your family or if you have a favorite hobby, doing something related to that hobby. Once you invest in yourself, you will see that you will feel more fulfilled and happy.
7. Be kind.
Whether you call it positive thinking or maintaining a good attitude. Both are good examples of a practice we should all participate in. It may not always come easy to us. Especially, when we get overwhelmed with negative life experiences at times. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. If negative self-talk starts to happen, shut it down by saying something positive about yourself. Oftentimes we can be our worst critics. So please be kind to yourself.
With all that being said. Eating foods rich in nutrients, exercising, and getting the right amount of sleep not only makes you healthy but are also the same tips to make you happy. Back to improving your overall well-being. If you want to improve your quality of life this year, you should treat yourself like someone you love.
Avoid negative self-talk and believe in yourself. If someone was standing next to you saying some of the things you say to yourself, would you stay or walk away? You also could look at it like you were talking to a loved one and you gave them advice on how to eat right, exercise, etc. Would you want them to listen to you and take those steps or something close to it? More than likely. So why not do the same for yourself?
Once you have your vision of what you want to accomplish this year. Put it to action. Investing time in yourself is always a good investment. When you incorporate some of these tips into your routine you will find that you will feel happier, healthier, and on your way to achieving those well-being goals.
If you feel that you are not improving, talk to your healthcare provider about any issues you are experiencing. Together you can work on what is best for you and your health. At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we are a team of passionate healthcare professionals. We are here to help you at any stage of your life.