At long last, a New Year is here! We have been waiting for this moment seemingly for months. Many of us are taking the opportunity to set some New Year’s resolutions. Whether you make it official and join a program or put pen to paper, or unofficially resolve to make it your year, it’s entirely within your power to change your life this year. Since we at WeTravel love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness, we wanted to put together this list so you can achieve your dreams in this year.
6 things you can do to have a healthy this year
1. Listen to your body
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of health is actively listening to your body. When we take the time to get quiet, our body is always trying to tell us something. Whether that’s ‘eat less sugar’ or ‘get more sleep,’ our body was designed to give us constant feedback on what is and isn’t working. You don’t need to spend tons of money on an online course or sign up for some fancy diet and exercise program to know what to do. If you allow yourself to listen, everything you need to know is already inside of you.
If the concept of listening to your body is foreign to you, here are some tips to get started:
- Take time at the start and end of every day to simply sit with no distractions and breathe.
- Ask yourself, gently, if there’s anything your body is trying to tell you.
- Listen for the response.
- It’s perfectly normal if you just sit there the first few times, confused if you’re supposed to be “feeling” something or not. Eventually, you will start to tune into your body’s signals.
- If you enjoy writing, take some time to jot down some observations of how your body felt throughout the day. Were you full of energy? Did you just want to collapse into bed at the end of the day? Did you have any physical symptoms like indigestion or a headache? Simply noting how your body felt throughout the day can be a great start to getting more in tune with its’ signals.
2. Take time for self-care
When you start listening to your body, there’s every likelihood that one of the biggest things that will come up is taking more time to care for yourself. In life, we tend to run around taking care of everyone else but ourselves. Have a healthy year by making sure that you’re taking the time you need for yourself. After all, our friends, family, and communities can only get the benefit of our magnificent presence if we are fully showing up for them. And the only way to fully show up for others is to consistently show up fully for yourself.
Here are some things to add to your self-care arsenal:
- Take one day (or one afternoon, or one hour) out of your week to spend on yourself. Schedule it into your calendar as a non-negotiable meeting. After all, you wouldn’t flake on an important business call, would you? Don’t flake on yourself!
- Make a list of all the things you enjoyed doing as a child. Chances are, you will love getting a chance to do some of those things again. Indulge your inner child and have a playdate.
- Do more of the things you enjoy in general! It can be hard to prioritize fun as an adult, but it’s essential to our overall happiness. Take a little time each day to do something fun for yourself.
3. Establish a morning routine
The internet is inundated with ideas for your morning routine: the perfect morning routine, how famous people start their mornings, you name it. What is this fascination with morning-time? It’s the start to a new day, an opportunity to do things over. Many people think that by establishing the ideal morning routine, their days will be more productive. And there’s definitely something to this theory.
By starting your morning off on the right foot, you can stack the deck in your favor. It may not be a failsafe way to have a productive day, but it can’t hurt!
Here are some useful morning routine habits to consider:
- “Brain dump” journaling. Nothing fancy here. Just grab a pen and paper and let the words flow. Getting the thoughts that jumble up in your brain first thing in the morning down on paper helps to free some mental space for the day ahead. Some experts claim that three pages are best, but do what you can.
- Write down a list of things you are grateful for that morning. Taking a moment to focus on gratitude during your day has been proven to help you start seeing more good things everywhere.
- Get moving! Nothing helps get you ready for the day like some movement. Whether that’s a full at-home yoga practice or simply bopping your head to your favorite tune as you brush your teeth, get your body moving in the AM.
- Meditate. If you’re not in the practice of meditating every day, it can be a great habit to add to your morning routine. Before checking Facebook or Instagram, get quiet and centered. If meditation sounds scary to you, start with some guided meditations. WeTravel recommends using Calm.
4. Do everything with more mindfulness
If there’s one thing that will open the floodgates to a more positive year, it’s a mindfulness practice. This doesn’t have to mean going on an elaborate meditation or silent retreat (though if that’s your thing more power to you!) Simply taking the time to notice where you are and how your body feels throughout the day is a powerful way to have a healthy year.
Some small ways to be more mindful include:
- Before opening your eyes, while still lying in bed, take the time to notice your breath. Get reacquainted with the world around you through your other senses. What do you hear? Take some deep breaths and expel any of the stuff you don’t want to carry with you into your day.
- When mealtime rolls around, take a moment before digging in. Observe the meal you’re about to eat with all of your senses. What are the colors? Give it a good sniff to activate your salivary glands. It’s even been suggested that taking a photo of your meal improves mindfulness around what you’re putting in your body. #Foodstagram
- Likewise, after you eat, tune into how your body is feeling. It might be handy to write down a few words in a food journal if you’re trying to be more mindful of your food choices. Do you feel energized? Sluggish? Stuffed? Light? Taking a moment after your meal to rest and digest is always a good idea, too!
- If you work or go to school, take the time to decompress from the day. This is especially helpful if you have a stressful day or work an entrepreneurial job where your life can blend into your work. A 10-minute meditation, yoga class, or anything to reset your mind and body will help get you out of work mode.
- Before bed, take a moment or two to go back through your day. Perhaps writing down some things you want to remember from the day, or doing another brain dump if you have trouble getting to sleep. This is also another time to practice gratitude for the things in your life.
5. Enlist help
No matter how self-sufficient you are, you can’t do it all yourself. In order to have a healthy year, it’s time to start prioritizing the things you are good at and enlisting help for the other tasks. Trying to do it all is a surefire way to burn out until there’s nothing left of you to give to others and the world around you.
If you’re having a hard time asking for help in your life, start small. If someone asks if they can help you with something, let them. They may not do it exactly how you would have, but that’s okay. Learn to let go of perfectionism.
Other ways you can get help when you need it:
- Are there tasks that you have to do on a regular basis that you absolutely dread doing? Consider hiring someone to do them for you. Even if you protest that you don’t have enough money to hire someone, think of your time as money. When you save yourself time by outsourcing certain tasks, you free yourself to do more of the things that actually earn you money.
- Make achieving your goals as easy as possible to have a healthy year. Is one of your goals for the year to be more active? Don’t leave it to chance. Set your workout clothes out before you go to bed. Pack your gym bag and leave it in the car. Make a private appointment if you need help with accountability. You could even get a personal trainer/yoga teacher to come to your house!
- Talk to someone objective. Whether that’s a traditional therapist, a coach, or someone else who you trust to remain unbiased. Our friends and family love us and want the best for us, so it’s hard for them not to chime in with ways to help (this may be disguised as them trying to tell us what to do). By talking with a professional who has been trained to hold space for you, you can unload the burden of your thoughts on someone else.
- Collaborate with other people in your community. Think of how in certain communities people will come together around birth, death, and other monumental experiences. Meals are cooked and delivered, cards are bought and well wishes are expressed. In other communities, daily life operates with the “it takes a village” mentality. Think of ways in which you can use your community to give and receive help. If you don’t feel like you have a community, reach out to some other people who you feel are in a similar position. The internet makes it especially easy to create community nowadays.
6. Go on a yoga or wellness retreat
We obviously couldn’t wrap up a post about how to have a healthy year without including yoga and wellness retreats! Going on a yoga or wellness retreat is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you want to go on a retreat this year, but aren’t sure where to start looking, check out this post on the best yoga destination for every month.
Committing to a retreat signals to yourself and everyone around you that you are putting your health and wellness first. A yoga retreat doesn’t have to break the bank, either. In fact, there are tons of affordable yoga retreats out there!
Alternatively, if you want to lead a yoga retreat this year instead of going on one, we have a lot of great resources to get you started, check them out here!