The New Year can be a good time to reflect on things that are working and things that are not. It is important to take a step back from the daily rat race and recognize what can be done to help mental and physical health. It can also be a nice fresh start and the right time to ease into some lifestyle changes. With that being said, this post will go over some tips that can be implemented without being too drastic or hard to keep up with.
The most important thing one can do for their health is get enough sleep. Emphasis is usually placed on getting a certain number of hours every night. However, the quality is just as important as the quantity. Quality sleep can help ward off viruses, common illnesses, decrease the risk of heart disease, and improve metabolism. Reading a book before bed instead of watching television, avoiding food for two hours before sleeping, not drinking caffeine after mid-afternoon, and making the bedroom a comfortable place can all improve the quality of sleep.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, metabolism is the highest around 10 in the morning and the lowest in the night. It is recommended to eat around 75 percent of allotted calories before 2 p.m. as it is easier on the body and ensures that there is enough time to properly digest everything.
As always, it is important to stay active. Staying active keeps inflammation levels at bay, encourages brain plasticity, releases endorphins, reduce stress, and can help with anxiety. It is essential to replenish the body with nutrients after a workout. This can be done via vitamins, meals, or protein powders. Some recommended brands are Garden of Life, Life Extension, and Metagenics.
As for mental health, it is extremely vital to build up face-to-face relationships in a predominantly social media era. It was found that individuals that do not hang out with friends are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from poor health. This is because isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, and heighten already high stress levels. It also important to try and reduce stress. Things like meal prepping over the weekend, deep breathing, walking outside, playing with a pet, or taking naps can help during hectic weeks.
It can be hard to take care of physical and mental health with demanding schedules, but it is just as important to schedule in self-care every week. Everyone has their own definition of self-care. It can be anything that makes one feel refreshed, recharged, and genuinely happy.