A Healthy New Year Starts Here!

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius


Need a spark to jump-start a healthier you in 2019? A healthy new year can be yours with just a few simple changes. Here are eight easy ways to begin your journey toward better eating and improved wellness.

  1. Plan your meals – Without a menu, it can be easy to reach for convenience foods when you get hungry. Go old-school with a simple notebook or download an app for your electronic device and make a food plan. This takes the guesswork out of eating and puts the focus on making healthy choices. Need some inspiration and advice? Check out Eating Well’s weight-loss meal plans.
  2. Eat mindfully – If you rush through each meal just to get it out of the way or multitask while you quickly down your food, give mindfulness a try. Slow down enough to focus on your food. Notice how it tastes, smells, and feels. Watch for signs that you are getting full and stop eating. This will keep you from overeating. Here are six ways you can be a more mindful eater.
  3. Get some sleep – Lack of sleep has been attributed to an increase in symptoms for depression and anxiety, as well as an increase in weight gain. Plan to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Having trouble sleeping? Here are some natural remedies for insomnia that might help.
  4. Move your body – It goes without saying that exercise can help you stay fit, but it also can improve your mood. Find physical activities that you love and it will be that much easier to pencil in the recommended 20 minutes per day. Think you’re too busy to workout? Here are over 30 ways to add fitness to your daily routine.
  5. Stretch it out – Besides adding movement to your daily routine, set aside some time to stretch. Yoga or simple stretching exercises will not only flex your muscles, but will also improve blood circulation and ease pain. Here’s a simple 5-minute stretching routine to help improve your flexibility.
  6. Stay connected – While we have a ton of tech gadgets to help us stay “connected” these days, there is no substitute for in-person togetherness. Schedule a coffee date with a friend, or better yet, a walk. Has your friend circle shrunk as you’ve gotten older, had kids, moved to a new place, or just generally become a standard busy adult? Here are some tips on making friends.
  7. Unplug – Speaking of connection and gadgets, give yourself some down time. At least once a week, put your phone down and walk away from the computer. Give yourself at least a few hours, if not a whole day, to simply exist in the world and not interact with it through a screen. Not sure you can unplug? Check out these step-by-step instructions for a digital detox that will help you put away the tech in varying levels.
  8. Forgive yourself – If you start on a path toward wellness, you are bound to mess up once in awhile. Maybe you have a big piece of chocolate cake to celebrate your birthday or skip a workout because you’re mother came to visit unexpectedly. Instead of looking at lapses in sticking to your plan as a complete failure, give yourself a pass and begin again. Need help motivating yourself after you stumble? Here are several ways to help you overcome failure.