By Dan Scalco
How would you like to become a healthier and happier you in 2018? Well, you certainly aren’t alone. Most New Year’s resolutions include making a health or happiness change of some sort. Fortunately for you, making those kinds of changes don’t have to be difficult.
Today I’m sharing five tips that will help you upgrade both your health and happiness in 2018.
- Make a Long-Term Diet Change
The first tip to becoming a healthier and happier you in the year ahead is to make a long-term diet change. This is something that’s usually quite intimidating to people. They know their eating habits aren’t great, but they struggle to make a change and actually stick to it. After all, it’s hard to completely abandon the temptations you’re faced with every single day.
However, there are a number of ways to change up your diet and actually get it to stick. You can begin by making small changes to what you eat on a daily basis. For example, if you’re guilty of eating lunch out during your work break, start by packing your lunch instead. For those who normally skip breakfast, you can make more time in your schedule to eat a proper meal instead.
Another tip is to stop trying to cut out your favorite foods. That’s only going to make your diet harder to stick to. You should never have to deprive yourself of something you want. It’s more important to make smarter choices about those foods. You can treat yourself to them every once in a while or you can find healthier swaps to make those meals better for you.
You can also try using a meal delivery service to help you stick to a healthy eating plan. A service such as DeliverLean helps to take the guesswork out of planning nutritious, tasty meals. Plus, it helps you save a lot of time. Getting started with DeliverLean is pretty simple—just choose a meal plan and you’ll be sent healthy, pre-made meals. With delicious meals delivered straight to your door every week, sticking to a new diet is much easier because your dinners are already planned out.
- Incorporate Meditation Into Your Daily Routine
If you haven’t already tried meditation, it’s something you should definitely start thinking about incorporating into your daily routine. Meditation is great because it helps to calm both your mind and body. It works as effectively as it does by eliminating the stressors and worries that have been floating through our minds throughout the day. In the moments you’re meditating, you get to wipe your “mental slate” clean and start anew.
Meditation also provides a variety of other benefits. It can improve your concentration, which makes it a great way to start your day. Plus, it also encourages mindfulness and self-awareness because it allows you to address any thoughts or feelings that arise in the moment of meditation.
Getting started with meditation isn’t as hard as it sounds. There are actually a handful of smartphone apps available such as Calm and Headspace that walk you through guided meditation no matter where you are.
- Optimize Your Sleep
By now, we all know that sleep is important for our daily function. A lack of sleep can cause low energy levels, bad moods, and even make it harder for us to focus. It’s incredibly important that we get a good night’s rest in order to fully relax and recharge our bodies. Otherwise, it opens us up to long-term health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
When it comes to optimizing your sleep routine, the best place to start is by giving yourself a set bedtime and sticking to it each night. This is beneficial because your body will start to become accustomed to the schedule and eventually fall into a sleep pattern that helps regulate REM sleep (deep sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed).
You also want to stop consuming caffeine late in the day. Ideally, you shouldn’t consume any caffeine after 4 PM because you don’t want to risk it impacting your body when you’re trying to go to sleep.
Other things you can do include taking a hot bath to relax, using essential oils like lavender to promote sleep, and keeping your bedroom dark and cool. After all, your atmosphere is very important. Even the smallest amount of light can be distracting for your body. And keeping the room cool will help you drift off to a peaceful night’s sleep.
- Find a Hobby
Another way to become happier this year is to take up a hobby. You might be thinking, “I have no time for a hobby!” When you think about your day job, your family life, and everything else you have going on, it may seem impossible to squeeze a little extra time in the day for just you. However, it’s something that will be very beneficial to your long-term happiness.
Having a hobby can help you relax and will allow the stress and tension of the day fade away. Many people that are deeply immersed in their hobbies say it can be a meditative experience. It’s so simple, but it really does do wonders for putting you in a positive mental state.
- Load Up on Vitamins & Nutrients
And finally, another important tip is to get plenty of vitamins and nutrients. After all, what we put into our bodies directly impacts our mood and our overall health. So, we want to make sure we’re eating things that are going to make us feel good. That all goes back to making sure we’re getting plenty of nutrient-dense foods, like fruits and vegetables, into our diets.
A study conducted by the University of Warwick found that eating the right foods can help improve our mental well-being. They discovered that there was a link between consuming fruits/vegetables and happiness, as well as overall mental health. If you want to feel better, you’ll want to load your plate with fruits and veggies.