Do you want to know a secret? We know. We know that healthy habits might not be at the top of your list during the holidays. We know that you might be thinking of pressing pause on portion control until January. We know that there are cookies to bake (and eat), time-honored recipes to make (with real cream and butter), and pajamas to lounge around in.
And, we know that you are looking forward to a New Year that feels like a fresh start, when we will shake off the craziness of 2020, flip the calendar to a new page, and hit “play” on our healthy habits.
So, wherever you are in that process, here are twelve ways to ring in the new year with health and well-being. Start whenever you’d like, and enjoy!
Day 1: Do just one thing that makes you feel like a kid again. Driving around to look at lights, watching a favorite movie, or jumping in a pile of leaves; whatever makes you feel like a kid on a break from school, treat yourself!
Day 2: Take a 2 mile walk in the woods. Being in nature lowers your blood pressure, raises endorphins, facilitates mindfulness, and makes just about everything better. And, a 2-mile walk will burn off about 200 calories of cookies.
Day 3: Write down 3 intentions for 2021. Writing your goals and intentions help make them more likely to be achieved, and can help you think about them as SMART goals rather than wishes. How do you want to live in 2021? How do you want to be?
Day 4: Turn on some holiday music and host a living room dance party for 4 minutes! It’s okay if you spend more than 4 minutes dancing, just FYI. Whatever song is your jam, turn it on and boogie your cares away. You’ll boost your energy and yes, dancing counts as exercise!
Day 5: Take 5 minutes for meditation or just quiet time before starting your day with other people. Five minutes may not seem like enough to make a difference, but believe us, it is. We recommend the Headspace app for some simple guided meditations that will help you soak into being yourself before you join the day with others.
Day 6: Challenge yourself to text six people a cheery greeting! Did you know that gratitude makes you healthier? We challenge you to think of six people that you can send a message of thanks, hospitality, or good cheer.
Day 7: Push yourself to reach a new level of intensity and wake up your body for at least 7 minutes! Get your heart pumping with a challenging workout, and take it to the next level for seven minutes. You can do it, and your body will thank you!
Day 8: Aim for 8 glasses of water each day. Hot tea, sparkling water, or hot coffee all count. And, drink a glass of water for every festive beverage… trust us on this one.
Day 9: Listen to your body's hunger signals. Take a 9-minute break before going back for seconds. There is so much deliciousness during the holidays, and it can be best enjoyed when we slow down and enjoy it mindfully. So, before going back for another helping, rest for 9 minutes and enjoy what you have already had.
Day 10: Take 10 deep breaths before going into that challenging meeting or conversation. It doesn’t take long to pause for a moment for a 5-second inhale, 5 second hold, and 5-second exhale. Repeat 10 times and feel your body relax.
Day 11: Take 11 minutes to recall as many fun and happy memories from this year as you can. Involve your family and write them down! Put them in a jar and keep it where you can recall them on challenging days.
Day 12: Forgive whatever went wrong in 2020 and let it be the past. Write a great new chapter for 2021!
We at Wellview wish for you all the best in the coming year, and look forward to being your partner in health every step of the way. Happy Holidays!
Heather Fuselier, CHWC, CFP, TTS
Health Advisor | Email Heather