As soon as a new year approaches, we’re bombarded with ads about making resolutions to eat better, lose weight, go to the gym, and generally be a more glamorous and fabulous version of ourselves. There’s a lot of value in reflecting on the previous 365 days and thinking about what you’d like to change when the old year gives way to the new but trying to stick to grand resolutions can add a lot of pressure and stress to your year.
Instead, reframe the way you look at resolutions and consider setting intentions instead of resolutions. Think of it as tiptoeing into healthier habits or taking baby steps towards your big dreams instead of jumping in with the best of intentions but no plan at all. Setting intentions gives you space to lay out the things you want to do and the person you want to be, but with significantly less pressure than a resolution – even the name is softer!
Find purpose and peace in your new year activities by resetting and refocusing with these wellness intentions.
There’s no rule in the book of humanity that says you have to be in motion every minute of every day. This year, make rest a priority in your schedule and encourage relaxation where and when you can. Shut the computer at least an hour before bed so you have time to unwind. Don’t pack your weekend with endless activities; try to save a day to go with the flow. Start a bedtime routine that sets you up for more restful sleep, and in turn, your body will thank you with increased energy and a stronger immune system.
Drink more water.
Ah yes, the eternal challenge: drinking enough water. No, you don’t need to carry around a gallon-sized bottle to sip from. Try adding one extra glass to your day, no matter how hydrated or dehydrated you may be. Meaningful change can happen with the smallest of steps, so consider downing a glass first thing in the morning or when you hit the 3 PM wall. If you need help remembering to take those extra sips, create a ritual you look forward to – tea counts too, so if steeping a bag of herbal tea makes you more eager to pour up a cup, go for it!
Be kinder to yourself.
The world is not the same place it was two years ago. We’re all dealing with near-constant change and uncertainty, so be kind to yourself. You’re doing your best, and if things sometimes fall apart, that’s OK — that’s life. When you’re more mindful about how you respond to stressful situations and setbacks, you’ll be more understanding and kinder to yourself. If you don’t already have a mindfulness practice, get started with mindfulness tips from an expert.
We don’t need to tell you that stress can be, well, stressful for your body, including your immune system. This year, identify one or two things that are bringing you more stress than necessary and figure out how you can alleviate said stress. Is housework on your list of stressors? Maybe it’s time to add a few chores to your child’s weekly tasks or consider hiring a monthly housekeeper if you have the means to do so. If your to-do list stresses you out on the daily, maybe it’s time to reframe the way you use it and stick to five actionable things you know you can get done each day.
Get outside more.
Spending time outside is so good for your well-being. For example, a long walk can clear your mind like nothing else, spending time in the garden is a great stress reliever, and a meal outdoors with loved ones fills up your cup with joy. Even if you live in a climate with less-than-ideal winter weather or super-hot summers, find time to enjoy the outdoors when you can; a daily walk around the neighborhood or a trip to a local conservatory or arboretum counts too! Set an intention to have a moment with nature each day and your spirit will feel inspired and restored.
Connect to your higher self.
You are your greatest resource, so make a point to regularly check in with yourself and look inward when you need answers. In 2022, set an intention to spend more time just being yourself – put down the phone, close the computer, set aside any distractions and simply be, even for just a few minutes. Make a habit of writing down five things you’re grateful for each evening or sit down to reflect on the day with a cup of tea. When you’re in tune with yourself, you’re better able to navigate change, accomplish goals, and approach each day with a positive outlook.