It’s a new year. A fresh start. And this year, with a whole new decade arriving, it feels even more like everyone has a chance at a clean slate.
To help you take advantage of your chance start over – to improve on wonderful you – we’re sharing our 'Top 5 Healthy Work Resolutions for a New Decade', small tweaks you can make to your workday to start feeling better as we roll into the new year. These work-friendly resolutions are small, so that they're super-easy to stick with, and they'll fit right in to support your new-year new-you philosophy.
1.Drink more water
Know what’s going to keep trending in 2020? Hydration! According to the Mayo Clinic, besides keeping you hydrated, water helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout your body and helps your organs flush out waste materials.
Get a reusable 32-ounce water bottle and try to drink the whole thing twice a day to hit the recommendation of around eight cups. (How much water you actually need depends on a bunch of factors, like body size and activity levels, so feel free to be flexible to determine what feels right for you.) Or just add in one extra cup a day, as soon as you wake up in the morning.
For some people, self-care could mean building new personal relationships with colleagues. More group lunches. More walking meetings. More of getting to know the people around you past just a name and a face. Make a pact to yourself to stop sending emails and walking to a coworker’s desk for a little face-to-face communication.
For others, it might be more personal time. Think of lunch as a personal hour and see how it changes for you. Pause the mental treadmill of the workday. Take a walk. Have a coffee and people-watch. Meditate. Whatever works. Pack a healthy lunch and eat at your desk when you're done.
3.Get Serious About Preventive Care
Get a primary-care provider. Already have one? Pat yourself on the back — you're ahead of the game. Many people don't realize that a primary-care wellness visit can help with things like managing your mental health, sleep, healthy eating habits, and activity.
Many people view the healthcare system as a “sick care” system, and only seek care when they are not feeling well. However, it's important that every person has a primary-care provider in order to focus on staying healthy through preventative care. That includes a regular physical (depending on your age, you may only need one every few years), an annual flu shot, and any annual screenings recommended by your physician. In most instances, your preventive care is covered in full by your healthcare insurance/employee benefits.
There is compelling evidence that mindfulness is beneficial to our overall health, and on the other end of the spectrum, being buried in our electronic devices is detrimental to our health. By learning how to focus more effectively and manage our frustrations, we can avoid many of the common pitfalls that lead to dissatisfaction on the job.
To begin your mindfulness journey, consider downloading a guided meditation app like Calm (1-week free trial!) and using at lunchtime or on breaks. Answer emails only during dedicated periods of time, rather than constantly throughout the day or as soon as it pops into your inbox. Or take an even smaller step and just commit to putting your phone down every so often.
5.Get Up and Move
This may be tough if you work a nine-to-five that involves sitting in front of a computer all day (I mean, same). But sitting for prolonged periods has been associated with increased feelings of anxiety, and there's evidence that it can elevate your risk of issues including cardiovascular disease and even diabetes.
The good news is studies show that moving for just ten minutes a day can reduce these health risks. Stand up and stretch every hour and try to go for a quick walk — even if that's just a few laps around your office — daily. Remember, if you adopt the "drink more water" resolution, you may find yourself standing up more often to go to the bathroom anyway. Get those steps in however you can.
Get out there and make it a great 2020.
Elizabeth Gulino & Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, MD