Were you one of the millions of people who chose to focus on improving their overall health in the new year but didn’t know where to start? Don’t worry—you’re not alone; in fact, only about 8 percent of people actually follow-through on their resolutions. You, though, do not have to be among the 92 percent that don’t achieve what they promise themselves. You have the power to own your resolutions, feel better about yourself, and thrive. Keep reading for ways to do it!
This new decade saw a lot of health-related resolutions; in fact, six of the ten most common resolutions focused on improving both mental and physical health. Although most resolutions are made with the best intentions, too often people will focus on a very specific, and thus limited, goal, such as losing weight. A subtle but powerful shift to caring for your whole self and learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle leads to actions that contribute to long-term wellbeing.
A vision for better health can directly contribute to your ability to create a quality life and thrive long-term. Improving your health involves both your mental and physical wellbeing. Tending to both the mind and body can help make 2020 your healthiest year yet. Here are a few tips to hone your direction and boost your momentum.
Care for Your Outward Appearance
Taking pride in how you look isn’t shallow or materialistic. It’s a vital part of your self-concept. How you feel about yourself affects how you project yourself to the world and how you act in the world. Liking your appearance boosts your confidence and leads to positive actions and interactions—with others and yourself. Of course, your appearance and your style should please you rather than an attempt to please others, so keep that in mind as you consider these tips for healthy outward appearance.
- Confronting body image problems can be a tough thing to do, but the majority of people will face these issues at some point in their life. Seventy-nine percent of people report that they have been unhappy with their appearance. To best combat body issues, don’t focus on or criticize yourself for things you don’t like. Instead, take the necessary steps to lead a healthier lifestyle this year. Whether that be trying a weight loss program that keeps you motivated and is thoughtfully planned out or signing up for fitness classes with friends, doing something you enjoy will help you keep going.
- For some people, especially men, hair loss is an issue that negatively affects self-concept. Male pattern baldness concerns many; indeed, about 50 percent of men over the age of fifty suffer from hair loss or thinning hair. If you notice that your hair is beginning to thin consider switching up your hairstyle to account for bald spots. Also, do some research on different hair loss treatments, there are a variety of topical treatments available. Catching hair loss early is the big first step. If you start a treatment plan in the early stages of hair loss you are more likely to see better results.
- As the temperature begins to drop, your skin may suffer. You may notice that you have a patch of dry skin or some acne. Topical skin conditions tend to be more common in the winter. Don’t let skin issues get you down; they are often temporary and easily treatable. Dry air is the main cause of most winter skin issues. In addition to skin products, healthy lifestyle choices like increasing your water intake, eating healthier, and using a humidifier do wonders for the health of your skin. If your skin conditions persist, consider setting up an appointment with a dermatologist.
Care For Your Mind
Sometimes we can get so caught up in outward appearance that we forget to focus on the most crucial element of the body, the mind. Caring for the mind over the winter months can be especially difficult. Mental health problems such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD; seasonal depression) are most common during the wintertime and can be tied to anxiety, stress, and other psychological issues that negatively affect wellbeing. Tending to the mind in ways that enhance meaning as well as reduce problems should be an essential part of winter (and spring, summer, and fall, too).
- Seasonal depression is extremely common in the winter. Millions of people suffer from the illness each year. Seasonal depression can cause fatigue, depression, and weight gain. If you already struggle with seasonal depression, consider using a light-therapy lamp, or attending counseling. SAD can feel debilitating, but there are many ways you can beat it this winter. Take the first step and talk to your doctor if you begin to feel the symptoms of seasonal depression.
- Post-holiday stress is another common problem that impacts many people each year. As people begin to pay off their holiday bills, they face the financial stress that the holiday season can leave behind. Taking small, simple steps like cutting down on unnecessary expenses (going out to eat, frequenting the movie theater, etc.) can alleviate financial stress in big ways over time. While this holiday season has come and gone, consider adopting a strict budget to take on the next year. Take stock in what the holidays are truly about, gathering with family and friends to celebrate each other!
Being proactive is key this winter in maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Making small changes to your everyday life can go a long way. Choosing healthier food options a few times a week, joining a gym, or even talking to your close friends or family can help jumpstart a healthier life. If you need some more insight on how to start healthy habits, check out these four tips for wellbeing in your new year and throughout your year.