Have you made your new year’s resolutions yet? The start of a new year provides us with a chance to look at our lives and make positive changes for the coming months. While you may have already made your resolutions, it can be beneficial to make resolutions that are focused on helping others as well as yourself.
Take Time for Yourself
People are busy, and between work, taking care of children, school, and other obligations it can be difficult to find time for yourself. However, setting aside some time to meditate is scientifically proven to help you relax and can actually trigger positive changes in the way your brain responds to stress. If you’ve never meditated before, consider taking a class or find resources online that will help you learn some tips and techniques to maximize the time you spend in this personal “timeout.”
You already know that you should exercise regularly for optimal health, but many people think that means you have to pay for a gym membership or find some fancy group aerobics classes. The truth is that your body needs movement—any kind of movement—to be healthy. Physical activity helps you brain create new neurons that will improve your memory and help you learn new things as you get older. Start small with a little bit of exercise, such as a 10-minute walk in the morning and evening, and make it a daily habit.
Make Social Connections
Social connections are critical to happiness and well-being, and we’re not talking about social media. In fact, too much time on social media is proven to make us feel less happy. Disconnect from your computer or smartphone and have a conversation with a friend, call your mom or dad and talk to them regularly, or join a book club to get some actual social conversation going.
Volunteer in Your Community
Doing good for others has the added benefit of being good for you. While weight loss and organization are great ways to feel better, getting out and serving others is proven to make people happier and more mindful of their community. Sign up to volunteer a couple of hours a week and see what a big difference it makes in your life.
Recycling used to be something that only the tree-huggers cared about, but today many people are becoming aware of the importance of reducing consumption and recycling to eliminate landfill waste. Check the web for information about how to start recycling, Recyclebank has some great resources, or see if your community already has a recycling program in place and resolve to participate, or get one started this year.