Anytime is a great time for a health reset, but the start of a new year is better than ever! We don’t just want to give you tips on ways to get healthy in 2024 … we want to help you create a lifestyle change with new habits. So, let’s get into it with your new wellness routine for the new year and beyond!
To know where you’re going and how to get there, you must first understand where you are. Self-assessment is a key ingredient to success when it comes to starting a new wellness routine. In each of the following aspects of well-being, rate each of them from 1 to 10: “1” meaning “I really struggle with this” and “10” meaning “I feel great” or “I have no problem with this.” Here are the different categories:
- Stress Management
- Sleep Quality
- Physical Activity
- Overall Appearance
Remember, this is a self-assessment, so there are no wrong answers here. Be sure to write down your answers so you can revisit it month-to-month with a new self-assessment update!
Your Wellness Routine: The Four Pillars of Health
Now, to your new wellness routine. We promise not to make this overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to four pillars of health to focus on: nutrition, physical activity, positive mindset, and hydration. We’re diving deeper into each one, so get your pen and notebook out because you’re about to get started on a healthy new you!
For the next 30 days, try easy swaps in your daily diet. Instead of reaching for fast food or a processed snack, grab whole fruits and vegetables across the colors of the rainbow. And when you can’t get enough nutrients from protein, fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish, fill nutrient gaps with your favorite supplements or protein powders. Check out this post for more ideas.
Next up is physical activity. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which help to improve your mood.
Regular exercise also helps improve posture, manage weight, relieve stress, and even improve mental performance.
Start with simple exercises such as walking or biking. Walking is effective, easy, and low risk. It requires no special equipment except comfortable sneakers. Try to set aside at least 30 minutes a day for walking.
Use every opportunity to be more active. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk 1 to 2 bus stops, or park your car in a place that provides a nice walk to your destination.
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Including ways to encourage a positive mindset in your wellness routine is a big part of your health journey!
Get sufficient sleep.
Sleep, sleep, sleep! It plays a big role in our mental health. Here are a few simple tips to help you get better sleep:
- Create a specific waking and sleeping schedule to regulate your body clock.
- Wind down before bed (e.g., take a bath, read)
- Avoid social media or screens before bedtime.
- Plan your following day so that your mind is at rest.
You can also try progressive muscle relaxation to help you fall asleep at night. Follow these steps:
- Bring awareness to a specific muscle in your body.
- Start to squeeze that muscle for a few seconds and then release.
- Notice the sensations; imagine tension decreasing with each breath.
- Release and repeat with different areas of your body.
Settle down with diaphragmatic breathing.
If you feel your mental health taking a toll, try settling down with diaphragmatic breathing with these steps:
- Wear comfortable clothes and get yourself in a comfortable position.
- Inhale to fill your bell with air, hold it for a few seconds (3-5), and exhale from your lungs and then belly.
- To help, try putting one hand on your belly and the other on your chest, so you can feel the belly and lungs filling with air.
Don’t be hard on yourself. Forgot to follow your new routine today? Don’t worry. Tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to get back on track. Congratulate yourself on your daily achievements and thank yourself for the benefits you’re starting to enjoy. Reward yourself for achieving even the smallest of goals!
Our last pillar of health is hydration! Water is needed for normal physical functions. It makes up more than half your body weight and plays an important role in the body’s natural cleansing function. Here are some hydration tips:
- The World Health Organization™ recommends getting at least 2 L of water (from all sources) per day.
- Carry a reusable water bottle to encourage frequent water consumption.
- Experiment with flavor infusions (e.g., lemon, cucumber, mint, ginger) to add variety to your water intake.
- Eat foods that have a high water content (basically lots of fruits and vegetables).
- Opt for water over sugary juices and sodas.
Let’s get hydrated!
Wellness Routine Habit Tracker
Don’t leave it up to fate when it comes to creating a new wellness routine. Create a habit tracker for yourself to ensure that you’re taking care of your health on a daily basis. Include items like:
- Water intake
- Mindfulness practices
- Vitamins and protein
- Physical activity
Check off the items that you complete daily!
2024 is Your Year to Feel Your Best!
This wellness routine is meant to be tackled 30 days at a time, but the best part about it is that you can do it over and over again until it all becomes a habit! Continue to self-assess your health and track your habits and progress along the way. Remember to always have grace for yourself as you set out to feel your best!