NEW YEAR, NEW MINDSET
If you want 2020 to be your best year yet, aim to become your happiest and healthiest self. Here, we’ve compiled some ways to help you convert healthy goals into solid new year habits.
Prioritise stress management
While you’re relaxing on summer holidays, stress can seem like a distant memory. But when work, school and obligations kick into gear, that feeling of pressure may return all too quickly. Here are some great new year resolutions for managing stress in 2020:
- Make relaxation a priority each day, with activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises or art
- Nurture your bonds with family and friends
- Acts of kindness can help build resilience, so extend kind words to co-workers, pay it forward at the cafe by buying a coffee for the next person, or commit to volunteering
- Create healthy habits, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet
Learn to love healthy habits
Looking after your physical health can not only boost your mental wellbeing, it also improves your quality of life – which earns it a worthy place among good new year goals.
You don’t have to join a gym or take up military-style classes to hit healthy exercise targets – running, cycling or dancing all qualify. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, of moderate-intensity exercise (which means you breathe harder but can still talk). One of the best ways to stay motivated is to choose a physical activity you enjoy, and getting friends or family involved helps too.
If your new year resolutions for health include a more nutritious diet, look at where you’re out of balance – are you eating enough fruit and veggies? Perhaps you're eating too much-saturated fat, salt or sugar, or not getting enough fibre? The Dietitians Association of Australia can guide you on healthy goals when it comes to what you eat, or seeing your GP, a dietitian or nutritionist are good places to start too.
Scale back your digital activity
As much as we love our smartphones, spending too much time online takes a toll on relationships, with family and friends as well as mental wellbeing. If you feel like time online is adversely affecting your life, it's a good idea to monitor your use (most phones have settings that allow you to track your time online) and turn off notifications (especially for social media apps). It’s also important to prioritise offline activities you love, such as hobbies, socialising or sports.
Adopt good sleep hygiene
Fact: getting a good night's sleep is one of the best ways to improve your health and wellbeing. If you want to nail healthy sleep habits this year, follow these guidelines:
- Go to bed at the same time each night (including weekends, where possible)
- Create a 'wind-down' routine that you put into play an hour before bedtime, involving relaxing activities such as reading, turning off digital devices
- Avoid caffeine before bedtime
- Avoid or limit alcohol in the evening, as it impacts sleep quality.