This New Year, instead of focusing on unrealistic “all-or-nothing” resolutions, why not seek measured, incremental improvements that make you feel good about yourself? Feeling better doesn’t have to be about plastic surgery or dropping 30 pounds on a kamikaze diet. It’s possible to get there with small, manageable steps that encourage you to keep trying, to seek self-improvement through your relationships, in your perspective on life, and in how you see yourself.
Emphasize Oral Health
Medical science has made a clear connection between dental health and other aspects of physical well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems and even contribute to dementia. From a social standpoint, poor oral health can be debilitating. If your teeth are in bad condition you may be less outgoing, lack self-confidence and be less proactive about seeking success in your professional life.
Many people are so fearful of a trip to the dentist’s office that they may go years without cleaning, or ignore warning signs that they need dental care. If you’re terrified of the dentist’s chair, consider other options, such as teeth whitening, or laser treatment for cavities, which might not require anesthesia, or try sedation dentistry, which is designed to make dentistry non-threatening and painless. If it’s just the price or location that hinders your bi-annual trips, look for another dentist who can meet your needs and who is in your network.
Self-care to Beat Stress
Stress is a major health problem in our society, a scourge that pushes people to try and meet unreasonable expectations. It’s an unhealthy way to live and can lead to a number of medical problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, and depression. This year, place greater emphasis on self-care by catering to your physical and psychological needs. Seek out activities that make you feel better and alleviate some of the stress we all face every day. Make time to go for a relaxing walk during the week, read a book or practice yoga.
Some people have found that certain supplements are helpful in reducing their stress. For example, CBD (cannabidiol) oil has anxiety- and depression-relieving properties that make you feel relaxed. Cannabinoids, which include CBD and THC, also help the body heal itself, an especially promising benefit. CBD may be a great option if you suffer from chronic pain or anxiety.
Volunteer for Your Health
Research has shown that altruistic behavior activates the part of the brain that produces feelings of self-fulfillment. Volunteering elicits positive emotions because giving makes you feel good. You feel happy, which heightens your sense of well-being. Volunteerism can also bolster self-confidence and optimism, and gives meaning and purpose to your life. The social connection you get from volunteering counteracts the negative impacts of isolation and loneliness.
Get Your Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a serious threat to your physical and emotional health, a problem that can be overcome by improving your sleep environment and establishing a bedtime routine that’s conducive to a restful night’s sleep. Sleep has a healing effect on the body that keeps your immune system and metabolism in good shape, helps prevent obesity and leaves you feeling happy and confident.
Spending time with friends or other social groups gives you a valuable source of emotional support and affirmation. Whether volunteering with a charitable organization or getting together with friends over coffee now and then, staying connected boosts one’s sense of self-worth and a more positive outlook on life. Social interaction also encourages good physical health and mental acuity.
This year, give yourself a life boost by focusing on activities and setting goals that give you control over your own health and happiness. Make self-care a priority and pay attention to any lingering health issues that are holding you back and getting in the way of enjoying your life.
Written by Stephanie Haywood