How Can I Be My Healthiest Self in 2021?

The new year is the time where we reflect on the previous year and set goals or intentions to create positive change for the future. With the COVID-19 virus still impacting our nation, many are attempting new habits for optimal health. We can often assume this only entails physical health, however, God created us with not only a body, but a mind and spirit as well. He also gifted us with emotions to experience and people to enjoy life with. Each of these facets are necessary to tend to if we are striving to be our healthiest selves. Below are some ideas to consider as we set goals that engage all the faculties and gifts God has given us to become wholly healthy.

Body

  • Sleep – Establish a nightly routine that you can be consistent with.
  • Exercise –Challenge yourself not to just have a weight loss goal, but rather to appreciate your body for what it can do, rather than for what cannot do or is not. Strive to move for 20 minutes a day, however this looks.
  • Nutrition – Nourish your body with nutrient dense foods. Fasting certain foods may also be helpful. **Note: consult your doctor before making drastic changes.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Caffeine intake – If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, adjust your caffeine intake.
  • Water intake – Simply put…drink more water!!
  • Reduce cell phone usage

Mind

  • Journaling – Free write or find prompts to engage your creativity and self-awareness.
  • Reading
  • Social media fast – Take a break to renew your mind. Note how you feel before and after.
  • Grounding techniques – Engage the senses to distract the mind. Find 5 things you see, 4 things you feel, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation – Deep breath in and tense muscles for 5-10 seconds, slowly breathe out and release every muscle. Repeat three times.
  • Do something physical – Dance, go for a walk, hold some ice cubes, etc.
  • Therapy

Spirit

  • Pray – Seek the Lord in all things. Ask Him what he desires of you this year.
  • The Bible Recap – A great tool to read the Bible in a year.
  • YouVersion – So many plans to read the Bible, plus devotional plans!
  • Meditation
  • Worship – Turn up a favorite worship album and sing praises or laments to the Lord.
  • Lament – Replace complaining with lamenting
  • Sabbath – Honor the Sabbath and commit to 24 hours of full rest a week.

Emotions

  • Journaling
  • Meditate on gratitude – Write three down a day.
  • Self soothe – Make a list of ways to self soothe when emotions become difficult to regulate. Having a concrete list will help so you do not have to think of things in the moment. A tip: do not use food, alcohol, or other substances to do this.
  • Listen to music
  • Contribute – Find a worthy cause to give to or volunteer with.
  • Therapy

Social

  • Boundaries – Setting and maintaining boundaries is not selfish, but necessary and healthy.
  • Intentional time – Whether a romantic partner or friendship, make a plan for at least one night a week with the people that are close to you and have a positive impact in your life.
  • Four Horsemen In conflict, we can often fall victim to four pitfalls that lead to more issues in our relationship. John and Julie Gottman state these four pitfalls, or Four Horsemen, are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. Working to eliminate these from our conflict management improves our relationships.
  • Focus on intimacy – Intimacy benefits all areas of your life. This does not just include physical intimacy, but emotional, mental, and spiritual as well. Brainstorm ways you can become closer to the people in your life and do them.

 

If you are struggling to know how to put any of these ideas into action, or are needing additional support, please reach out to us at SureHope and we will direct you to a therapist that is the best fit for you. Best wishes as you pursue holistic health in 2021!

 

-Callie Gross
https://surehopecounseling.com/callie-gross-adolescent-therapy/