It’s still January. Perhaps by the time you’re reading this the “new” of the New Year has already faded, the resolutions seem monumental and maybe unattainable.
It’s still January. It’s a perfect time, post-holiday slam, to explore what inspires you and has been put on hold since November. There is never a bad time to restart making healthy decisions.
We have just a few suggestions, beyond the traditional diet and exercise, to reinvigorate the “new” this year.
Introduce New Habits
Change your mindset to create new habits rather than thinking of certain things as off limits. Experts say activity replacement with something you specifically identify as rewarding and satisfying can be the differentiation in making the new patters pay off and become consistent.
For example, think of replacing your tech-coma “addict-ivity” with something you’ve always wanted to do or try. Sort through when you mindlessly text, tweet, post a selfie or Instagram pic. How many hours per day or week can that be channeled into learning that new sport, taking that class (NOT online), volunteering for that organization? What would you do if you created more time in your day for something more satisfying?
Take a “Forest Bath”
How about getting off the 24-hour-News-cycle diet?
We can all benefit from that as the messaging continues to focus on disasters – natural and man-made – creating stress, anxiety and irritability. Let’s take a break!
The idea of a Forest Bath has been making the rounds online for the past several months. The objective is to immerse yourself in the natural environment and slow down. Taking in the trees, a beach (for our warm-weather Winter friends), even just your local park down the street, can boost both our mood and our immunity. It also gets us moving and changes our focus. You can read more about Forest Bathing here.
Less FaceTime and more face time
Authentic human engagement. The health benefits have been documented from reduced loneliness and depression, to increased serotonin and a healthy heart. It just feels good!
Our technologies have made it fantastic to stay in touch and actually enable video chat. But this does not replace the importance of being able to console a friend or loved one in-person with the gentle pat of the hand. Nor is it a substitute for the laugh-until-we-cry moment over a shared meal or favorite beverage.
Why not set up “date night” with friends, too? Share with your friends, as we have this year, that you have an objective of have lunch or dinner with friends twice each month. It can be a one-on-one, a small group, or your crew of 10. Your friends will likely be supportive and think “what a great idea”! You may even go so far as to set an expectation of “no smart phones” for the first hour. This respects the family needs of some of your friends while respecting the objective of being completely present in those moments.
And they don’t get interrupted by a bad cell connection!
We’ll share more ideas in part 2 – stay tuned!