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8 Low-Stress, Easy New Year’s Resolutions for Better Health.

Many people think of healthy New Year’s resolutions as making a promise to tackle a grand endeavor such as losing 50 pounds or completing a marathon, but resolutions need not involve such drastic measures to result in a happier, healthier you.

Loving yourself means constantly striving to improve as a complete human being — mind, body and soul. Change happens gradually over time, and we become a product of our daily habits and routines. Consider resolving to one or two of the items below so that by the time 2020 rolls around, you’re a new and improved version of yourself.

1. Say Yes to Self-Care

Many people consider self-care an unnecessary luxury, while in reality, taking care of ourselves allows us to recharge adequately to give our best to others, be they loved ones, friends or coworkers. In 2019, think like the elites in society by making regular self-care a part of your daily — or at least weekly — routine.

Each week, do something nice for yourself, whether that involves relaxing in a nice, hot bath, taking a new yoga class, or getting a pedicure. Schedule in at least one hour of me-time each week, and write it in your appointment book to remind yourself of the importance of caring for self.

Most psychologists agree that when we fail to take care of ourselves, we become grouchy and irritable in our interactions with others. Develop the mindset that by helping yourself, you’re creating a ripple effect that spreads joy to others.

2. Start Your Day off Right

Are you one of those people who grabs a quick cup of coffee on your way out the door or along the drive to work, and calls it breakfast? This year, resolve to make eating a healthy breakfast part of your daily routine.

A healthy breakfast revs up the metabolism early. Even eating a high-fiber protein bar first thing helps create a sense of fullness, making it easier to be productive.

3. Get a Physical

When was the last time you had a thorough workup from a medical professional? Maintaining good health means getting regular checkups, so get on the horn and call your PCP or GP now to schedule a thorough physical. Regular check-ups catch minor health issues before they develop into more dangerous conditions.

4. And Get Physical

Regular physical exercise helps cut bad cholesterol levels and naturally alleviates stress and depression. Getting in a great workout doesn’t need to involve a costly gym membership either.

Busy moms, for example, can put on their favorite tunes and dance with their tots. Tech-savvy folks know that sites like YouTube often feature workouts available for free.

Those more dedicated to achieving specific fitness goals can invest in a fitness streaming service such as Daily Burn for much less than they’d spend on a gym membership and also enjoy the comfort of working out in their PJs in front of the TV.

5. Sit up Straight

Our sedentary lifestyles have led many to develop atrocious posture and repetitive stress injuries. This trend especially puts office workers who spend hours at their desks at great risk for injuries.

To improve your posture at work, consider investing in a cushion that forces your body into a straight spine position, or even replacing your office chair with a more ergonomic model. To further eliminate your risk of developing problems, set alerts on your cell phone to remind you to get up from your desk at least once an hour to walk around.

6. Get a Little Sunshine

Approximately 42 percent of all Americans suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. This issue happens when people fail to expose themselves to adequate sunlight. We want to avoid severe sunburn to prevent premature wrinkles and skin cancer, but slathering on the sunscreen 24/7 blocks us from deriving any benefit from the sun, otherwise known as humankind’s natural vitamin D source.

Aim to take at least a 10- to 15-minute walk outdoors once per day, or at least sit by a sunny window, if possible, on days when it’s simply too chilly to venture out.

7. Practice Stress Management

Stress results in poor concentration, and can even lead to the development of health disorders. This new year, invest in a stress management course or experiment with your own stress management techniques, such as stretching out the neck regularly to prevent tension headaches and neck pain. Consider a visit or two with a counselor if you’re stressed to the breaking point.

8. Sleep Well

Lack of sleep can make anyone more than a bit grumpy and impact concentration as well. This year, resolve to turn off your electronic gadgets 30 minutes before bedtime to let your mind rest. If insomnia has become a nightly phenomenon, consult with a doctor or sleep specialist to determine the underlying cause so that medication or counseling can help you catch some zzz’s.

Smile!

Now that you know some simple ideas for becoming your best you in 2019, perform one or two actions that you feel will benefit you most each week. Improving our health makes us feel better and more energetic, leading to more smiles — something the world definitely needs.

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Kate Harveston
Kate Harveston is a freelance writer and blogger. Her work focuses on health and culture. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found curled up in her hammock with a book or exploring the city for trendy coffee shops. You can visit her blog, So Well, So Woman to read more of her work and receive a free subscriber gift!