Just a few weeks ago, you might have been optimistically drafting New Year’s resolutions, committing to hitting the gym, eating better, and being more social. Now, you might be wondering why things have already started falling apart. Often, people set resolutions that are too lofty or require unsustainable lifestyle changes. But broken resolutions shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a more positive lifestyle — you can still refocus your efforts and work towards establishing smaller, healthier habits that will still make a significant impact over the next year. Here are 10 healthy habits to try if you’ve ditched your New Year’s resolutions.
Dehydration is often the culprit behind dry skin, headaches, weight gain, and more. Many people undervalue the benefits of drinking enough water, but it could be one of the best habits you adopt this year. Stay adequately hydrated by consuming 2 to 3 liters of water each day. Since we get around 20% of our daily fluid intake from food, try to incorporate more fresh produce, which is high in water, into your diet. This is also an excellent opportunity to limit your consumption of dehydrating beverages such as coffee and alcohol.
Limit Screen Time Before Bed
Excessive screen time can take a serious toll on the body. While staring at a screen may be unavoidable in many modern workplaces, we can still take steps to limit screen time at home. Staring at your smartphone or computer right before bed may interrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, leading to a more restless slumber. Try putting your devices away for at least an hour before falling asleep to help ensure a better night’s rest.
Walk 30 Minutes Each Day
Taking a light stroll for 30 minutes each day has great benefits, such as keeping the heart healthy and leaving us feeling more energized. Even if you can’t spare 30 minutes, getting out and walking for just 15 minutes is better than staying stationary.
Probiotics are a healthy form of bacteria that aids in gut health. Adding more probiotics to your diet can help ease problems such as bloating and constipation. Make it part of your routine to take a probiotic pill with breakfast or eat probiotic-rich foods, such as Greek yogurt, during the day.
Practice Good Posture
We spend so much time sitting at our desks that it’s natural to slouch, but doing so will lead to spinal issues in the long run. There’s no time like the present to fix your posture. Practice sitting upright on your chair with your feet flat on the floor, knees in line with your hips, and a straight back. You can also take things one step further by purchasing a standing desk to eliminate sitting at work altogether.
Learn a Language
Learning a language is challenging but one of the most rewarding habits to add to your routine. Adult language learners see benefits like better problem-solving skills, conflict resolution, and enhanced cognitive function. Apps like Rosetta Stone have made it easier than ever to practice learning a language for a few minutes each day, making this one of the most accessible habits to add to your routine.
Cook Meals From Scratch
Instead of pursuing a vague, confusing goal like “eating better,” try setting a goal to make more homemade meals. Making meals from scratch helps you manage just how much sugar and carbs you consume, leading you to have a naturally healthier diet. Cooking, packaging, and freezing meals ahead of time each weekend can help keep this habit solid, even after an exhausting weekday where all you want to do is order in.
Develop a Stretching Routine
As we grow older, our joints and muscles become less flexible and more susceptible to injury. Stretching your muscles makes them less likely to tear and encourages a full range of motion. That’s why it’s critical to start each day with a stretching routine, whether designating a few minutes for leg stretches or loosening up your entire body.
Apply Sunscreen Daily
Sunscreen isn’t just important on sunny beach days. Even on gloomy winter days, the sun’s UV rays can still creep through the clouds. Applying a daily SPF 30 or higher sunscreen helps keep your skin healthy and can help prevent premature aging, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Be sure to use a nickel-sized dollop for your face alone. Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors for best results.
Engage With Your Community
Engaging with your local community helps you benefit socially, make connections, and prevent loneliness. Whether it’s through volunteering at a local charity or picking up a hobby alongside like-minded neighbors, community involvement offers a sense of purpose and belonging. If you feel like you’re struggling to fit in, find something you’re passionate about and find local organizations that may fulfill that need — it might just be the best decision you make this year.
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