How to be healthier and happier in 2014, Part I
It’s true that we, as humans, have a knack for expecting too much of ourselves. So, when it comes time to implementing your New Year’s resolutions for 2014, don’t be too hard on yourself! It is common for people to set themselves up for failure by trying to implement several lifestyle changes all at once. You might be successful for a couple of days or even weeks, but then, before you know it, you are back to the same old habits. Part of this is due to setting our sights too high and not really enjoying the process of meaningful transformation.
We face many challenges trying to filter the information that we are exposed to through the Internet, radio, and television. We are bombarded with lists of what we should be eating, what supplements we should be taking, and what we should be doing to get healthy. However, putting these wellness tasks into action all at once can be overwhelming and they don’t always equate to health! Let’s not forget that we are all individuals. What is right and works for you is not necessarily going to work for the next person. So, how do we sort this out and take a step towards health that will be more effective for us?
Being healthy is not simply defined by working out all of the time or by eating organic food. If your resolution is improved wellness and striving to be healthier, it has to be about more than just putting these goals into action. It’s about balance and must include just as much focus on mental and spiritual health as it does on physical health.
I challenge you to a yearlong approach to becoming healthier. Take it slow and have fun with it! Remember, if it doesn’t feel good in your gut, it isn’t good for you. This yearlong resolution offers you the opportunity to take your time in getting healthier and actually enjoy the process rather than setting yourself up for failure by expecting too much. Each month, I would like you to focus on one aspect of health. Make it your mission to practice this daily. Integrate it into your life, mind/body, and soul. Forming a habit can take anywhere from three weeks to five months, so be patient with yourself and remember that getting healthier and happier is a process, not an event.
Let’s get started! Remember to focus on only one thing a month!
February: Clear out the chemicals! From personal care products to household cleaning products, many people assume that because a product is being sold in the store, it is safe. Unfortunately, many of these products contain ingredients you would never want to breathe in and/or allow to come into contact with your skin. Learn what these chemicals are, how to safely get rid of them, and the healthy and easy alternatives you can use instead.
March: Learn about the health benefits of buying fresh, unprocessed foods locally and sustainably! There are so many wonderful resources in our area for fresh, living food! Why travel to the grocery store to pick up foods that have traveled thousands of miles when you can get fruits and vegetables from your own community? We will share with you Thrive’s favorite resources for local food vendors and guide you on healthier shopping at the grocery store.
April: April is National Stress Awareness Month. This month we will focus on how stress is affecting our lives and how to become proactive about reducing personal, family, and workplace stress. Over 70% of people regularly experience physical and psychological symptoms caused by stress. Learning to manage stress through changing lifestyle habits, clearing your clutter, meditation, and exercise are just a few of the topics we will discuss in April.
The balance of the year will be covered in Part II, so be sure to look for it in next month’s Gazette.