By Tyler Hale
New Year’s Day represents the turning of a page, a chance to take a new direction and make new choices in your life. It is a time to look forward and chart course for the coming year and the years after.
As we step into the New Year, it is also a time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions to improve ourselves by eliminating bad habits and cultivating good ones.
One of the best ways to improve your life in 2019 is by focusing on your physical and mental health. From losing weight to lowering your stress level, there are many ways that you can boost health and improve your overall wellbeing.
Try going to the local farmers markets more. Not only will you get the freshest produce available, but you will also be supporting your neighbors and stimulating the local economy. This will help eliminate processed foods from your diet, which can contribute to numerous health problems.
In addition to shopping at farmers markets, make an effort to cook at home more. If you don’t know how, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn. And AY is a great place to start when looking for great recipes.
Cooking at home serves a number of purposes. It can be a health-conscious choice, but it’s also a great way to save a little money from expensive restaurant meals and delivery fees. Roll up your sleeves and pretend to be the next Food Network star.
Of course, eating health is not the only way to improve your health. Getting in shape is great, but resolving to go to the gym more might be the most cliché New Year’s resolution. Many gyms take advantage of that by offering deals around this time of year. While many of us start off strong, the initial zeal wears off.
Instead of going to a gym, start off small. Jog or walk around the block or a nearby park. Walking isn’t too strenuous, but it will get your heart pumping. As you grow more accustomed to these activities, increase your workout load. Eventually, you might want to start going to the gym, and you will already have established a habit of working out.
Physical health is not the only area that you should focus on in your resolutions. Mental health plays a critical role in how you navigate everyday life and should be treated as such. Make sure to dedicate time to destressing every day by meditating, practising yoga or praying.
Another way of promoting mental health is to stretch your boundaries. You can do this by learning a new craft or taking up a new hobby. Break out of your routines and do something new. There are many local resources in Arkansas, from public libraries, community colleges and more specialized locations such as the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, where you can learn new skills and experiment.
It’s important to note, though, that Rome was not built in a day. That new hobby you picked up or your new exercise regimen will not change you overnight. And that’s okay!
Managing your expectations is a crucial part of New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions take time, and if you do not acknowledge that, it is easy to get discouraged. Take your time and go at your own pace.
The New Year is about improving yourself, not competing with anybody. Make the best decisions for yourself, that promote your physical and mental health. Everything will follow from these choices.
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By Tyler Hale