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easy steps toward physical and mental health

Redux Extra September 23, 2020
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What is your 2020 New Year’s Resolution? Is this a strange time to ask? If so, why?

Understandably, with recent global events, we have all been stretched thin, juggling life’s responsibilities in our homes, for all or the majority of our days. While no one would deny the challenge in navigating these new circumstances, most of us have made the necessary adjustments to accommodate what we can control. So, back to the question about New Year’s resolutions.

Are we prioritizing ourselves yet, here, seven months into the year?

I resolve that it’s time for us to reset the focus back on ourselves just a little, so that when we emerge from our pandemic cocoons, we are better versions of ourselves. This article lists a handful of small action you can aim to take daily (and some easy “cheats”). Some of these we have heard again and again, for good reason, and perhaps some will be new to you. But they all shift the spotlight inward, where the magic really happens.

1) Drink one gallon of water daily. It’s like brushing your teeth, but for your organs. Cheat: aim to drink a 16 oz glass of water (less than a standard bottle water) hourly, for eight hours. It’s okay to fall a little behind, but commit to finishing your eight glasses by dinner.

2) Be active for 30 minutes daily. Walk the dogs or walk with the kids around the neighborhood. Do some planks and jumping jacks, get in the pool or use the couch to repeatedly sit and stand while you watch TV. Better yet, go for a walk outside.

3) Get in the sun, even if for just 20 minutes. Sun exposure ramps up Vitamin D production in the body, which regulates calcium (in the long term) and is linked to better quality sleep (in the very short term). The sleep effects alone are worth it.

4) Sleep for seven to nine hours. This is very challenging for parents who finally have a block of a few quiet hours to themselves at night (and don’t want it to end!). Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep will absolutely transform you by giving your body and brain a rest from daily stress. You’re giving your body and mind a chance to heal and prepare for the day ahead.

5) Journal or write.
Simply jot something down about the day ahead that will give you focus. For example:

Today’s To-Do List:

  1. Text one friend and call one friend. Choose friends you haven’t talked to in a while.
  2. Write down a list of people you are grateful to have in your life.
  3. Make a list of good habits you would like to start.
  4. Write down what you wish to accomplish today.

You can be very specific by breaking down your full day, hour by hour, or just write a quick note about something, like wanting to breathe in the aroma of your coffee before taking each sip. You can add to your journal throughout the day, or complete it in the morning and put it away. Just write.

Your resolution alone to focus on each of these simple five activities will begin to re-align your overall self-awareness, focusing it on your daily life and improving it in every area. With the exception of sleep, most can be done simultaneously and during a short block of time (time where we are often aimlessly scrolling our phones). Start today though. New Year’s Day is right around the corner!

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