It’s that time of year again. It begins with friends, family and strangers wishing one another a happy holiday and good tidings. But then January creeps closer, and the greetings give way to that all-too-familiar question: What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Maybe you like the idea of a fresh start, or perhaps you’re tired of the whole “new year, new me” mindset. Either way, let’s all agree that throughout the year, we can all be guilty of indulging in some not-so-good habits. So whether January 1st is the beginning of a new era or not, it can’t hurt to try and incorporate some positive change into the next 365 days. That’s why we’ve gathered some small ways to tackle a handful of pesky bad habits.
Defend Against Snack Attacks
Whether you’re watching TV or sitting in your morning commute, it can be tempting to pop something salty or sweet in your mouth — even if you’re not hungry. That’s because when we’re stressed or bored, we develop a fixation to snack. And It’s not the most healthy way to keep our minds occupied. So the next time you’re feeling a snack attack coming on, try occupying your hands and mind in other ways. Knit or cross-stitch when you’re watching TV, or call a friend (hands-free, of course) to catch up on your commute or listen to an audiobook.
Avoid Getting That Annual Sunburn
We get it — putting on sunscreen isn’t built into everyone’s routine. But it should be! Uncomfortable and embarrassing sunburns aside, your skin will be so much healthier if you apply sunscreen regularly. According to one trial, daily use of an SPF 15 or higher reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent. Even on an overcast day, that sneaky sunburn can find a way to make an appearance — so lather up!
Keep Happy Hour Happy
Getting together for a drink with friends can be a nice way to catch up and see the people you care about. But there’s a limit to when happy becomes unhealthy. The Mayo Clinic suggests that two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women is a healthy approach to enjoy your favorite adult beverage. Something to bare in mind for the new year: Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks within two hours for men. Drinking less also means spending less money and sleeping better, so imbibe responsibly and reap the rewards!
Stop Skipping Out on Sleep
It’s all too easy to get caught up in work and play and settle for five hours of restless sleep. But the benefits of a good night’s rest should be incentive enough to make the time for proper shut-eye. From weight loss to productivity, getting a solid eight hours improves your quality of health and overall life. If you’re wondering how to fall asleep quicker and get in a more regular routine for better sleep, check out this helpful list.
Don't Let Yourself Get Dehydrated
Here’s an easy resolution you can commit to without much effort: Keep yourself hydrated. You’ll feel more energized, have better digestion and even have healthier joints. All you need to do is take a sip or a gulp when you’re thinking about it, preferably before you start feeling really thirsty. Maybe you’re a 32-ounce water bottle kind of person, or maybe you like sipping straight from your favorite mug. Either way, keep that water flowing!
Trade Screen Time for “Me Time”
A recent Nielsen study tells us that we spend about 10 hours per day staring at screens. Yeah, oof! And sure, a lot of that is unavoidable if you use screens for work, but we could all try to spend less time mindlessly scrolling and more time perfecting a craft or practicing self-care. The next time you find yourself getting lost in social media, try to step back and ask yourself, “How else could I spend my me time?” It could be a relaxing breathing exercise or discovering a brand-new hobby.
Make Preventative Health a Priority
In our last blog post, we talked about the importance of getting your annual checkup. If you haven't read it, check it out and you'll see why avoiding that yearly appointment is a bad idea. It's better to catch things before they become a problem, even if it means a slight hiccup to your schedule. Take a look at this list to see the other types of screenings adults can get to stay ahead of the game.
Put Your Couch Potato Ways Behind You
With a whole slew of fitness apps out there, it's easier than ever to get off the couch and get your sweat on. We know, we know — it's everyone's resolution to work out more. But if a personal trainer isn't in your budget and a gym isn't your scene, you have options. These apps are as easy as:
- Popping on some headphones
- Selecting a workout
- Grooving to a previously mentioned workout
So there you have it — some simple ways to start breaking those pesky bad habits for the new year. It’s all about baby steps, so don't get discouraged if you find yourself slipping up and binge-watching Netflix or not drinking enough water. It will come in time as long as you're determined to stick with it and take your habits day by day. What are your bad habits? How do you plan to break them? Let us know your plans in the comments below!