2021 is finally over, and now you can take a much-needed moment to reflect on what you accomplished in this past year. However, you also want to look ahead. The new year is a perfect opportunity to evaluate how you want to elevate yourself in 2022 and set realistic goals you can achieve.
We recommend focusing on you first. Harnessing control over your mind and body will give you more fulfillment in 2022 than any other resolution you might come up with.
Here are several ways to strengthen your mind and body in the upcoming year and feel even more accomplished by the end of 2022.
It is so easy to be stagnant and feel content right where you are. And it is even easier to get distracted from goals of making your mind clearer and healthier. However, there are practices and tools to help strengthen the mind and guide it in the right direction.
You are in control, and you can train your mind to work with you instead of against you. For many, looking into your mind and listening to it can be a scary concept. But with practice, you can learn ways to control stress, anxiety, compulsions, and depression to improve your overall mental health.
Develop phrases to tell yourself when things don't go your way or your mind does something you wish it wouldn't. For example, if anxiety is telling you a false story or showing you something bad that will happen, tell it to stop. Pause and tell yourself, “do not react to this thought.”
The thoughts your mind generates or plays back to you can be triggering and destructive. Don't feed into it if your mind is showing you or telling you something that isn't beneficial to you. Stop and tell yourself, “I am in control,” and redirect your mind to something that has a track record for boosting your mood.
Not sure which phrases will work during stressful moments? Ask a friend or professional to help.
Meditation is a strong wellness tool to remove stress from the mind and body. It's the act of taking a moment to yourself to bring awareness to the present and blanket your thoughts in quietness. Meditation fuels your mind, similar to a night of deep sleep.
Research released by John Hopkins University concluded that meditation eases psychological stresses and improves mood, productivity, and sleep. People participating in the study felt reduced anxiety, depression, and even reduced physical pain.
Those new to meditation may find it difficult to begin and stay focused. The key is to find the technique that works best for you. Check out meditation videos or apps for a guided meditation to help you get started.
Whether it is your work or your personal life, everyone experiences burnout at some point. In 2021, people were more stressed, burnt-out, and drained than ever before. Allow yourself to say “no" to obligations and set aside time to focus on your mental health goals.
Boundaries can take many different forms but focus on things and people who fuel you versus those who deplete you. Start small, then be consistent. Over time, people will adapt and respect your new boundaries.
If you say the things you think about yourself to your best friend, would they still be your best friend?
Be patient with yourself. Forgive yourself for mistakes and rephrase what you want to improve about yourself.
Not sure how to get those negative thoughts out of your head? Try this. Write or say a list of things you wish were different about you, things you wish you were:
I wish I was better. I wish I was stronger. I wish I was smarter.
Then change “I wish” to “I am becoming.”
I am becoming better. I am becoming stronger. I am becoming smarter.
This small change can make a world of difference to your outlook on life and self-views.
Don't underestimate the power your inner voice has over your self-esteem. Small changes in how you talk to yourself will lead to how you think about yourself. Give yourself credit; you are becoming a better you.
You know you should reduce screen time, but yet, here we are. Spending hours a day on our devices even though we know we shouldn't. Reducing screen time will improve overall wellness, from mental health to eyesight. Here are some helpful tips to help you put it down in the new year:
Reading can deeply benefit your mental health. Reading strengthens your mental sharpness while feeding your empathy and creativity.
A group of researchers measured how reading affects the stress levels of students and found that just 30 minutes of personal reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress.
Good health and overall wellness is achieved through living a well-rounded lifestyle, and that includes adequate time for both exercise and rest. Focus on the following tips this year to see a difference in your physical health.
A major factor in physical wellness that often gets overlooked is sleep. Not only how much sleep, but the quality of the sleep. Getting enough quality sleep is necessary to fuel body functions, repair muscle tissue, and process information in the brain.
If you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep, try sticking to a strict bedtime routine and reducing caffeine intake and screen time. If problems persist, consider going to a sleep medicine specialist to evaluate you for a potential sleep disorder.
This new year, getting fresh air outside is more important than ever. No matter where you live, try to find an outdoor activity to get outside and get your blood flowing.
Start by taking a walk. Walking outdoors will improve cardiovascular health, eyesight, boost immunity, and it is proven to help reduce chronic pain.
Look into outdoor activities in your area. Getting involved in an outdoor, physical hobby is the best way to build a consistent fitness habit. Check out kayaking, paddle boarding, skiing, rock climbing, or even hiking in your area.
Stretching is often skipped as part of an exercise regime. But stretching is essential to maintain mobility and prevent injury.
Stretching should be a consistent practice that is worked into your daily lifestyle to strengthen posture, reduce muscle tension, and even improve sleep.
While stretching, take a moment to invert your legs up against a wall as you lay down. In yoga, this pose is called viparita karani. It comes with bonus benefits, too: this stretch is proven to improve vascular health and reduce the appearance of veins in your legs, as well as reduce stress.
You are a better you every day that you focus on your fitness and mental health goals! It's okay to make mistakes along your journey. You must forgive yourself and keep going. Give yourself credit for the steps you take toward self-care.
Even if you take just one suggestion and incorporate it into your lifestyle, the act of choosing to improve your health and wellness is commendable.
Curious to learn more health and fitness tips to take into 2022? Join our mailing list today.