The new year brings a sense of renewal and a chance to change. As the year comes to a close, everyone begins planning what changes they want to incorporate. While making your resolutions, it’s worthwhile to include things that will benefit your mind and body.

Improve Your Sleep

Sleep affects your physical, mental, and emotional health and it needs to be a priority in your life. During sleep, your body recovers from the day and prepares you for the next. A lack of sleep can diminish your performance, mood, and overall health. This year, make resolutions to improve your sleep. For example, you can make a goal to get more sleep each night. The average adult needs 7-9 hours each night. You can also make goals to improve your sleep quality. It’s beneficial to sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet environment. Additionally, you should create a routine that helps you wind down before bed. Avoiding your phone is essential because blue light from electronic devices stimulates your brain and makes it harder to sleep. Consider your current routine and make changes based on your needs.

Practice Yoga and Meditation

Everyone can benefit from more balance and grounding in their lives. Yoga is a practice meant to benefit your mental and physical health. It helps you reduce your stress, increase mindfulness, improve flexibility, build muscle tone/strength, and much more. As you practice yoga, you work on your breathing and balance. Each movement has meaning and intention. Adding yoga to your daily routine can be further beneficial by adding in meditation. Meditation can be done in many ways, but it primarily focuses on deep breathing and focusing on the present moment. Both yoga and meditation can help you feel more centered and more in control of your life as you tackle this next year.

Spend More Time Outdoors

In the winter, it may be harder to want to go outside, but it’s good to establish the habit early on in the year. Spending time outside and in nature simply makes you feel better. You breathe in fresh air and get to experience all the wonders of nature. Going outside is also beneficial if you spend most of your time at home or work. It gives you a place to escape to for a while so you can relax and reset. Additionally, going outside means you’re out in the sun. The sun naturally exposes you to vitamin D which is important for improving your bones and is known to improve your mood. Even spending just 15 minutes outside every day can help.

Decrease Screen Time

It has become an integral part of everyday life to use screens from work to school to daily activities. While technology is very helpful, it can also have some negative impacts. Screens can strain your eyes, increase sleep deprivation, and even increase your risk of obesity. Spending time on your phone can also negatively affect your social skills and cognitive ability. While you can’t completely cut screens out of your life, you can make an effort to decrease your screen time. Start by setting limits for yourself and paying particular attention to cutting back recreational screen time. Then you can begin replacing your screen time with other productive activities like reading, playing games, learning new skills, and spending time with friends and family.

Improve Your Diet and Exercise

As expected, nearly everyone’s New Year’s resolutions will include goals for improving their diet and exercise. Often, these resolutions are the hardest to keep up with because they can be difficult to sustain. This year, make goals that fit your life and your abilities. If it’s too difficult to commit to going to the gym every day, then start by making small fitness goals you can do at home like doing some stretches or going for a walk. Completely changing your diet can be overwhelming as well. Instead, try adding more vegetables to your meals throughout the week. You can start with smaller goals and then build on them as the year goes on.

New Year’s resolutions give you a chance to evaluate your life and see how you can make changes. This year, you want to make sure you’re benefiting your mind and body and making changes for the better. Create goals that you are excited about and able to stick to.

At this time of year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or stressed, and making goals for the next year can seem like too much. Click here to get help with improving your mental health and to find tools to keep improving.