Every New Year seems to bring the same resolution: “I want to lose weight!” It’s a common one to choose, and with the new year coming up, we’ve all experienced the feeling of wanting a “new you.” That being said, there is so much more to being healthy than just being a certain weight!
Rather than focusing on how much you weigh, try some of these resolutions that will focus on other aspects of your health. These activities and small changes in your daily routine will help you focus your energy, have time to reflect on your emotions and be an overall calmer and healthier person.
1. Practicing yoga once a week
Yoga is a great way to engage in physical activity while focusing on your mental health as well. Kristen Cortez, studio manager of The Yoga Garden in Philadelphia, says yoga is not only “good for your body’s strength and increased muscles, [but] when you improve your body, your focus is also on your mind.”
Cortez encourages newcomers to yoga to sign up for a beginner’s class at your local yoga studio or school’s gym. These classes can be found on your school’s gym and fitness center website, or you can use YogaFinder to find a yoga class year you.
Yoga simultaneously helps you exercise and love your body while giving you time to reflect on your day. “I’ve had breakthroughs where something was on my mind and I found resolution and clarity” while practicing yoga, Cortez says.
2. Volunteer one hour a week
As a college student, you might not have a lot of pocket money. Between paying for books, your tuition and your Starbucks habit, it can be hard to find extra cash to donate to causes, no matter how worthy they are.
However, you can help make the world a better place by donating your time! Volunteering helps you feel better because you’re helping others feel better; it’s called a “helper’s high.” Francine Glaser, a senior at Rutgers University, says, “Volunteering makes me feel good about my decision…to help communities I’m involved in. I am happy…to make an impact in someone’s life.”
Volunteering doesn’t need to be a huge time commitment! Every little bit you do can help someone and help you feel good about yourself.
If you’re looking for a specific cause to volunteer for, such as helping the elderly or cleaning up the environment, use a website like VolunteerMatch that will connect you with volunteering opportunities in your area.
3. Walk 15 minutes twice a day
Walking is a great way to clear your mind while getting a little exercise. Not only does it get your blood flowing and allow your mind a break from whatever you’re working on, walking also is a great time to reflect on what you have accomplished that day and what’s left to do.
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition recommends doing 30 minutes of physical activity a day. By taking an easy 15-minute stroll twice a day, you can achieve the required amount of physical activity it takes to stay healthy.
4. Write in a journal once a day
Journaling has many health benefits. It can be a great way to de-stress and evaluate your day. If you are feeling sad, angry or upset, journaling helps to release these feelings and make sense of them.
Anna Barcy, a Rutgers University senior, says, “When I’m consistently writing in a diary, I feel a comfort and confidence that I will figure out whatever is going on in my life. This is because through journaling, I’ve created a safe space to work [these feelings] out.”
Writing down your thoughts in a notebook can also help you realize any healthy or unhealthy habits you have and can help you track your goals and accomplishments.
Integrating some of these New Year’s resolutions into your daily life could help you become a healthier person. By taking some time to focus on your health, 2016 can be your best year yet!