Alaska Sleep Education Center

Five Ways to Feel Great in the New Year

Posted by Paisley Hansen on Dec 28, 2020 10:09:00 AM

Group of happy young people drink wine  at party disco restaurant

What is it about an upcoming new year that encourages healthy changes? If you're someone who sees it as the perfect time to start fresh, chances are you have thought about what improvements you'd like to make. Since health and wellness are so important to living a good life, it's important to make sure they're part of your plan. Keep reading for five inspiring ways you can improve your life.

1. Get Outside

Spending time outdoors is not only a wonderful way to experience life in a different light, it's a chance to improve your physical and mental health as well. Finding a way to incorporate time outdoors every single day, even if just for 20 minutes, will have a positive impact on your overall well-being. Keep that in mind as you aim to set reasonable goals for yourself.

If one of your hopes is to lose weight from outdoor exercise, don't forget to check in on your diet. Adding probiotic-rich supplements, such as Nucific Bio X4 to your routine could be a great way to help manage cravings and maintain a better balance overall. This is important when it comes to weight loss, so keep supplementation in mind.

Don't forget about the power of accountability when it comes to sticking to a resolution. If you're concerned about the longevity of sticking to your daily lunchtime walk, ask a coworker who shares similar goals to join you. Maybe you don't have much experience with running, but you've always wanted to give it a try. Set yourself up for success by purchasing appropriate sneakers and comfortable clothing, or treat yourself to a new playlist to keep you company when you venture out.

2. Adopt a (Four-Legged) Best Friend

Did you know that the companionship of a dog could lead to better health overall? It's true. Owning a dog (or even borrowing your friend's pooch for a walk once a week!) can lead to lower blood pressure and a decrease in stress and anxiety, along with plenty of other benefits.

Since dogs depend on their owners to provide outlets for exercise, it's a wonderful way to ensure you get plenty of fresh air multiple times each day. Because dogs are inherently social beings, you might even notice your social circle expanding after just a couple of trips to the dog park. When you consider how research shows that a healthy social life leads to better health overall, there's no question of the many benefits of having a canine companion.

3. Prioritize Quality Sleep

Good sleep is one of those things that everyone knows they should be getting, but not everyone actually does. How has yours been lately?

Including better sleep on your resolutions list will mean more than just waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the day — it could also mean a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, while also boosting your immune system.

However, it's important to remember that good sleep doesn't just happen on its own. There are several things you can do to set yourself up for a restful night ahead.

If you have had your mattress for ten years or more or your pillows for more than two, consider upgrading to new ones. This will ensure proper support and weight distribution, which are both important for quality sleep.
Developing a proper wind-down routine is also essential for a good night's rest. Swapping out bedtime social media scrolling for writing an entry in a journal; a second glass of wine for a relaxing mug of chamomile tea; or a slice of leftover birthday cake for a relaxing bubble bath could all make a big difference in your body (and mind's) ability to drift off peacefully.

Be sure to research other ways you can help yourself get better sleep. It may take some trial and error, but eventually you'll find what works best for you.

4. Cut Down on Screen Time

Screens are a huge part of life for so many people. Between work, family and other social connections, hours of every day are centered around looking at a screen. While cell phones and other devices are convenient, keep in mind that excessive use can also be detrimental to your health.

Have you ever noticed signs that your screen time might be impacting you negatively? Maybe you feel more anxious or depressed after scrolling your feed than you did before, or maybe it feels like your eyes are straining to read what's on your screen. If so, making lifestyle changes to decrease your screen time could be very beneficial for you.

Unfortunately screens can be addicting, making them more of a habit. Breaking a habit isn't easy, but it can be done. There are many approaches you can take, many of which require willpower and dedication — and if you're serious about making changes, you just might surprise yourself with what you can do. Your cell phone might even have a monitor installed to help you track your usage, or as always... there's an app for that.

5. Relax and Let Go

In a perfect world, stressful situations wouldn't exist, there wouldn't be any conflict and the only surprises would be pleasant ones. Since this world isn't perfect and rarely is anyone lucky enough to live such a life, it's essential to find ways to decrease stress and find peace when and where you can.

What's important to keep in mind is that while some stress is healthy, excessive or chronic stress is not. When you consider how many areas of life can be sources of it, it's clear that managing it should be a priority.

Learning how to relax is a process, with some techniques working better for some people than others. Try researching breathing methods, aromatherapy and massage, or join a yoga class once or twice a week. Practicing forgiveness is a great way to not only reduce stress, but bring about an overall sense of peace as well.

Having an understanding of how your mind and body react to stressful situations or anxiety will be helpful here. Keeping a journal is an effective way to keep track of your thoughts, while also giving you something to look back on. This will allow you to pick up on any specific patterns or trends, which will be helpful for identifying areas that need attention.

Remember that with each new year comes opportunity, but you don't need to wait for one time of the year to improve your health and wellness. Here's to a healthier and happier you.

If your New Year’s resolution involves losing weight or otherwise improving your health and well-being, getting enough sleep could help you achieve your goal—and a whole lot more.

When we sleep better, we feel better.  As 2020 approaches, make a promise to yourself and your loved ones to live a healthier, longer life. 

If you think you may have sleep apnea, don't put off contacting your doctor or Alaska Sleep Clinic@ 907-770-9104.



Topics: new year's resolution, overall wellness

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