Fitness/ Life/ Recent

Healthy Habits to Start in the New Year

Add these healthy habits to your New Year to start things off right! 

2022 is HERE! I loved 2021 since I got to watch Thomas grow up. And the holiday season with him was extra special.

One of my favorite things about the New Year is kickstarting new habits. Over the next week or so, you’ll probably hear way too much about resolutions. Maybe you’re someone who LOVES resolutions. Or maybe you’re like me and don’t do resolutions at all. While I don’t do official resolutions, the new year always feels like a fresh start to emphasize healthy habits. Especially after the holidays when I don’t feel my absolute best, even following my own advice to stay healthy during the holidays.

One thing is for certain, healthy habits do NOT just include being physically fit and active, but also the way we handle our emotions, finances, social life, etc. And I don’t look for quick fixes. Rather, I always pursue a healthy lifestyle that’s sustainable in the long run, not a strict diet or regimen.

So, this post will cover some ways to implement healthy habits as we start the New Year. Let’s get into it.

Healthy Habits to Start in the New Year

Sleep More

Healthy Habits to Start in the New Year

Sweater | Bedding

One of the best ways to make sure other healthy habits stay on track is by getting enough hours of sleep at night. Sleep plays a vital role in our overall health. During sleep, our body restores, both physically and mentally. Sleeping helps support healthy brain function. Sleep also helps support children’s growth and development, among other important things. (source)

A few things I do to promote better sleep is to use a lavender spray (I’m not a big essential oils person, but I do LOVE lavender!), play white noise (Thomas uses it too!), take Equilibria CBD Daily Drops (more on that below), have a cup of decaf tea, and journal at night to get my thoughts on paper instead of racing in my head. I also sometimes read before bed to try to quiet my mind. (If you prefer to diffuse rather than use a spray, this is the diffuser I have in my office.)

A new baby made sleep quite a challenge in 2020, but things got much better over the last year. While I’ve learned that having a child means operating at a sleep deficit almost always, he’s 100% worth it. I’ve learned to adjust what I need to when Thomas’s sleep is off. That involves going to bed earlier than I used to so I can sleep when he is and also sleeping in more often rather than waking up early to workout. Now if I only he and I were better daytime nappers!

Drink more water 

dealing with dry skin

Blouse | Pants

Another healthy habit that I bet we can ALL agree we need to work on is our water intake. Drinking water is essential to our overall health. The Mayo clinic advises that men should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day, and women should drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day. You’ll need more if you do intense exercise or are breastfeeding. And if you are doing both of those things, like me, you’ll really need to focus on hydration!

This water bottle is perfect because it has a straw (which helps me drink SO much more water).

Practice a hobby

Doing something that helps you relax should be on everyone’s to-do list this year. I want to keeping playing golf with my friend, Meg, (we played 1-2x a month last year!) and hopefully spend more time on the golf course with Tommy — and maybe bring Thomas along once in a while! 🙂 It can be hard to make time in my schedule for golf while being a mom, being a supportive wife, running a business, and managing employees but it’s also so worth it. I love being outside, spending time with those I love and unplugging for a bit. I’m usually content with 9 holes and two hours of outside time in a gorgeous setting is hard to beat. It makes me a healthier and happier person and a better wife and a better mom.

Choose a hobby or activity that you really love or try a new one — and make it a priority to actually do it! If you want to take up golf, here are my favorite golf outfits! Bonus points if your new hobby involves being outside in the fresh air. Maybe this is running, hiking or bike riding, or even practicing an instrument you love. Spending time outdoors is proven to relieve stress and we’ll all be working on stress levels for a while. Thanks 2020… and 2021. Sheesh.

Unplug from social media

This is a MUST for me in 2022. I love to interact with y’all on Instagram, but I won’t lie to you, sometimes it sky rockets my anxiety. So I try to make a habit of logging out of the app or even deleting it at night so that I can stay present. I also delete it for one day on the weekend… or I try to anyway! Since my career is sharing online, it makes the balance hard, but I’m trying. It helps me to think about it as a work-day job that’s over (or mostly over) by 6 pm.

If social media stresses you out, make a habit of unplugging for an hour or two (or more!) a day. Or maybe unplug all day on Sunday. It’s hard to do, but so worth it. I promise you won’t miss it once you start focusing on the rest of your day or evening.

Focus on mindfulness 

One of the things I started doing this past year was taking CBD to help with sleep and anxiety (and sleep anxiety!!). I’ve been a bit iffy about CBD over the years since it never seemed to work for me and I didn’t know enough about the different types, but late last summer I decided to dig into it. I landed on Equilibria CBD and have noticed a huge difference compared to other brands I’ve used in the past. And I also feel good about their quality and the amount of consultation they provide to ensure you’re getting the right amount of CBD for YOU (which is super important). I take the Daily Drops at night to help me sleep (and it’s been working), and the Daily Gummies throughout the day when I feel the nerves rising about something.

Of course, people want to know about the side effects, and I did too!

A super common question about the products is if they’ll make you feel high. The answer is no, there is no discernible impairment. You feel relaxed and calm, like you might feel after 2-3 sips of wine. I wouldn’t say it changes my mood at all, but rather it helps my mind relax when I’m going to sleep. If I take it during the day, it’s when I’m feeling stressed or rattled and can’t focus. A soft gel, rapid melt or gummy helps take the edge of that stress off while also increasing my focus. And no, it won’t cure panic attacks completely, or make you totally zen, but I do think it helps me manage stress and anxiety.

This little change — incorporating CBD into my daily life — has helped me stay so much more mindful about my mental health, in addition to having regular routines like reading, mindfulness and alone time (as much as I can with a 1 year old anyway!). You can read all about my CBD experience, the exact products I use, and more about the brand in general in this post and take 15% off your first order with this link and code “afoodiestaysfit”.

Focus on whole foods

healthy recipe ideas

Recipe here

I don’t believe in diets, but I DO believe in choosing healthy, whole foods. And rather than focusing on a set amount of weight to lose, focus first on adding more good for your foods. Increasing plants in your diet is a great way to do this!

For breakfast, make a green smoothie or try Daily Harvest. For lunch, make a big salad or soup. And for dinner, try new vegetable side dishes. I love the veggie dishes in Run Fast Eat Slow and Lexi’s Clean Kitchen cookbook!

I also use my Instant Pot to make a big batch of brown rice or sweet potatoes to pair with dinner throughout the week. And I always meal plan each week and shop at the beginning of the week with that plan in mind. It makes it easier to eat healthy when I know what I’ll be having for each meal throughout the week! If you need healthy recipe ideas, I have lots of easy ones for you!

How to Start a Healthy Habit

Be realistic

Don’t set the standard so high that you’ll inevitably be discouraged if you don’t meet it. That’s the quickest way to quit a good habit. Start by making your goal something broad, like spending more time with your family. Then create a few tangible things you can do consistently to make that happen. You won’t make every single one happen, but your goal was to spend more time together, and if do some of those tangible things, you’ve already met you goal.

If your goal is to run more in 2021, then start by getting a few running friends and scheduling a few runs a week. If you only make it to 1 or two of the runs, you’re still running! Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself is never a good way to feel inspired and empowered to meet your goals. If you want more support with running, join The Rookie Runner Program!

jogging

Make a plan

If your goal is to eat healthier foods this year, figure out a way to realistically do that. For me, that means meal prepping and stocking the pantry well so I have healthy foods available when hunger strikes. If I know there is a whole food option easily accessible, I’m much more likely to choose pre-chopped veggies or nuts when I need something quick vs. turning to cookies or chips! (Although sometimes I do choose those too! Balance is important!!) You should also check out Balance of Nature supplements to help you get those greens in without too much thought. 😉 I’ve been taking them for YEARS.

Make one change at a time

Choose the most important goal for this year and then work towards that. If you set five big new year’s resolutions, you’re unlikely to keep any of them. Pick one thing to work on at a time. Start by sleeping more at night. Then focus on drinking the right ounces of water. Keystone habits like that will help you feel good, help you want to be active and help encourage you to eat cleaner foods. It’s a snowball effect. Small steps will help produce sustainable, long term healthy habits.

Getting motivated is the first step, and I have a few tips on how to do that in this post.

Write down your goals

Accountability can help so much! Simply writing your goals down can help create accountability. If you need more accountability with the support of others, enlist some friends to help! For example, if you want to run more this year, joining a running group is a great way to make sure that happens. A virtual one works great too! Having someone to help you with your goals helps you more likely to stick to them and it makes it more fun. And that’s the goal, right?  We want to create habits we enjoy! Habits shouldn’t make you miserable… they’re not sustainable!

Healthy Habits to Start in the New Year

Sweatshirt | Leggings | Bedding

Reward yourself

Recognize when you’re meeting your goals and celebrate it. Seriously! Every step in the right direction is amazing. Your pace is YOUR PACE! And remember that rewards can look like many things – a facial, a massage, a long bath, a new pair of running shoes, or some cute athleisure!

 

And besides health goals, let’s all agree that we can all set goals to be kinder, more considerate, and respectful of each other, no matter what comes. Bring on 2022!

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This post was sponsored by Equilibria CBD. All opinions are my own and this post is not intended to serve as or replace medical advice. A big thank you to them for not only supporting my blog, but also supporting me and my readers in reaching our goals to live healthy, balanced lives! 

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