5 Tips for a Healthier and Happier Life

4 Tips for a Healthier and Happier Life


Now that 2019 is nearing its end, it’s time to review our achievements this year and make resolutions for the next one. Most of us make resolutions to lose weight, to travel more, or read more, but take our health for granted. The reality is that good health and happiness are inextricably tied to one another; it is very unlikely to have the latter without the former, even if everything else is perfect. 

 

Here are 5 simple things that you can add to next year’s resolution to achieve a happier and healthier life: 

 

1) Eat Well

 

Let’s admit it, we all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to food (whether it’s chocolate, soda, icecream, or chips) and while there’s no harm to give in once in a while, it tends to become habitual. The two tips below may help you build a better new years resolution when it comes to your diet:


  • Avoid Trans-fat: Research cited by Consumer Reports shows that eating foods containing trans fats can make you feel depressed. Trans-fats are used in many processed foods, so be sure to read all food labels before making a purchase. Be wary of the fact that, because the term ‘trans-fat’ has gained a negative reputation (and for good reason), many processed foods are now excluding it from their ingredients and replacing it with “hydrogenated” (which means the same thing) In lieu of processed foods, choose to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably those from the farmers’ market and avoid using cake-mixes, brownie-mixes, or any baking mixes for that matter, as almost all contain trans-fat.

  • Eat  More Superfoods: Including vitamin-packed superfoods in your diet is a simple resolution that is easy to keep . These foods not only keep you healthier and  more energetic, but many of them may also combat stress. Once a week, try a new recipe using a superfood, such as salmon, kale, mushrooms, broccoli, avocados, beans, walnuts, and whole grains.

 

2) Sleep Well

 

To lead a healthy life, it is important for your mind to be well rested and relaxed, so make sure that your new year's resolution includes sleep goals:


  • The Magic 7

Sleep maintains the biological balance of your body; when you sleep, the body repairs itself, so it is no surprise that getting adequate sleep will enable you to do your best work and help you handle daily challenges. According to a study reported in the Harvard Business Review, the magic number of sleep hours needed per night is 7 for most adults. 

  • Unwind for at Least an Hour Before Bedtime

Two of the most common mistakes that people make right before going to bed is 1) using their phone (whether its for work or for social media) and 2) squeezing in a workout; these people struggle the most when it comes to actually falling asleep. Both habits make the mind more alert and - no matter how tired you were prior to engaging in them - winding down becomes extremely difficult. So, avoid working out right before going to bed and try disconnecting from your phone and WIFI.


 

3) Be More Social

Everyone needs ‘me-time’, but completely isolating yourself is an extreme measure that will adversely impact your mental health. The fact that it is Winter makes matters worse, because we tend to subconsciously hibernate in the comfort of our warm homes during this season. So, when making your new year's resolution, make sure to take the weekends (or at least a day every week) to surround yourself with friends and/or family.Go sledding, build snow figures, or have a nice and cozy family game night indoors. Doesn’t really matter what activity you do, as long as you are surrounding yourself with close friends and family every now and then.


4) Get Some Sun

Many people have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the Winter months due to the lack of sunshine.  Even if you aren’t afflicted with SAD, staying indoors all the time (which is common during these months) can get suffocating and depressing. So, for your new year's resolution, make a goal for getting at least 15 minutes of fresh air every day during these winter months, and an hour or two of outdoor time during the warmer months. The sun helps your body produce vitamin D, which many people have a deficiency of.

 

Final Word:   

 

If you’re trying to lead a fulfilling life, start with making small changes in your daily routine. New year's resolutions are the best way to motivate yourself to take the coming year into your own hands, but make sure your resolutions follow the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) rule, otherwise it will become very difficult to stick through. If your new year goals are more health-focused, try using technology to your advantage by downloading the most relevant mHealth / fitness apps that can monitor your daily activity and offer recommendations & encouragement to stick to predefined health goals. There are many apps and health wearables out in the market today, but the most tried and tested ones are Polar devices, Fitbit wearables, Strava, SWEAT with Kayla, Fabulous App, and so on. Many new and cutting edge platforms are also making an impact in the digital health space, such as Playpal, Dacadoo, Gyroscope, that you should also consider!