Seven Tips for a Happier, Healthier 2019

Seven Tips for a Happier, Healthier 2019

Fortune cookie with message: 'Be Kind to yourself for happy, healthy life.'When making New Year’s resolutions, we tend to focus on big goals that we think will help us be happier and healthier. However, we often we have trouble succeeding with these goals, because they feel like punishment.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but we’d like to recommend some activities that feel good while you’re doing them and offer some surprising benefits!

1. Prioritize a good night’s sleep.

Sleep deprivation fogs our brain, causes our bodies to crave carbs and interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize them! Creating a routine around bedtime that you look forward to and adopting some good sleep hygiene habits can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight and sustain sharper focus throughout the day. Not sleeping well? Check out these sleep tips from Jean Holthaus, LISW, MSW.

2. Give to live longer.

Doing positive things for others increases positive emotions, which boosts our immune system. Studies of older adults show a 50% increase in survival for those who have meaningful, giving relationships in their lives. Learn more about the benefits of giving and volunteering by Diana Ro, PsyD.

3. Use your vacation time to function at your best.

Daily stressors can be hard on us and can lead to problems that take away from our abilities to enjoy life. Vacation days provide us with the extended rest our minds and bodies need to stay healthy and for us to function at our very best. Learn more about why taking time off is so important to your mental health from Alan Harper, MA.

4. Find three good things each day to feel empowered.

Taking the time to recognize positives in our daily life encourages us, lifts our spirits and empowers us. Recent research has shown that grateful people tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. Read more about a daily gratitude practice from Rev. Karl VanHarn. 

5. Do something you enjoy to be a better parent, partner, you.

Putting everyone first and yourself last, usually leads to burn out…like a car that only receives gasoline and no maintenance. Taking time for self-care helps you be your best you when you’re there for others. Read more about the importance of “me” time from Melissa Vander Laan, CTRS.

6. Talk nice to yourself to improve your self confidence.

Positive self-talk has been shown to boost confidence, motivation and productivity, not to mention cardiovascular health, immune function and vitality. Read tips on developing your self-compassion by Kym Hansen-Duell, LMSW, ACSW.

7. Schedule self-care breaks to improve productivity.

Finding the right balance of stress and relaxation is key to optimum performance. When you have a stressful week ahead, make sure to schedule at least 20 minutes a day to do whatever you want. Some ideas… get outdoors for a walk, smell the flowers, listen to your favorite soothing music, laugh with a friend … or even enjoy doing nothing at all! Read more about stress and self-care tips from Ronald J. DeVries, PhD.

By Kris Brown, staff writer. 

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