5 Unexpected New Year’s Resolutions for 2019
The new world resolutions we’re sharing below may very well sound both too familiar and completely foreign to you.
But remember your brain is a muscle. It needs to be pushed hard, and every once in a while you must throw it a curve so it doesn’t get lazy or complacent.
Let’s make a sincere effort to improve our health in 2019. Let’s get specific. Starting with …
- Set a bedtime.
Good sleep allows us to heal during the night and recharge our body batteries, two critical processes to staying healthy and avoiding both physical and mental health issues. And, not for nothing, but, if keeping a regular bedtime is good enough for your kids, to insure they sleep well and aren’t cranky in the morning, then it’s good enough for you.
Researchers at Duke University found in a 2018 study that keeping a consistent bedtime will keep your circadian rhythm in check. That, in turn, helps your body with things like digestion and regulating blood sugar.
One way to enhance one’s desire to go to sleep each night at the same time is to create an inviting sleep space with a good mattress, comfortable bedding, gentle lighting, etc. Also, look at mattresses for your needs. Say you’re a side sleeper, certain mattresses will work better for you because they have better contouring. Say you suffer from back pain, same deal.
- Take a break from sugar.
Because your brain thinks that sugar is a reward, we can develop significant cravings for it. You get addicted to the rush that comes with that “reward.” But too much sugar in your system can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of getting diabetes.
There are many reasons why a sugar detox could help, but only if you take it in small steps so you can sustain the lifestyle. Notice how we’re not insisting you avoid it all together. Any extreme measure is hard to maintain. So, in the meantime, eat fruit for a sugar fix and then just eat less sugar. You can train your body to need it less and then a little will go a long way.
- Fast for part of the day.
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that we abstain from eating to nudge our body into a state where our insulin levels go down. And that’s a great place to be for maintaining and losing weight and revving up one’s metabolism
Harvard Health talks about simply changing the timing of one’s meals to achieve the goals of intermittent fasting. One suggestion based on research was to shift eating all three of daily meals between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., and then leaving well enough alone the rest of the day.
- Try a new type of exercise once per month.
Getting out of a workout rut is both good for your body and your motivation for continuing an exercise habit. Are you a regular walker? Try an aerobics or CrossFit class. Do you take every cycling class available at your gym? Walk outside for a week instead. Enjoy nature and a change-up for your body.
- Learn and practice mindful meditation.
Mindful meditation doesn’t focus on changing our consciousness or relieving stress. It doesn’t want to change us but wants us to be aware of what is happening around us. Here’s a how-to-guide on mindful meditation.
While we start each year with wonderful intentions to change our lives for the better, that doesn’t happen in a month or two or three. Learning how to honestly and gently, without judgement, acknowledge our reality through mindful meditation can reinforce your commitment to taking care of your mental health in 2019.
Lisa is a freelance writer from North Carolina. Her battle with insomnia since her teenage years has grown her passion for educating readers on the importance of sleep health. When she isn’t writing, you can find her at cycling class or trying a new recipe on the kitchen.