How to Set Resolutions You Can Stick to

How to Set Resolutions You Can Stick to

January is here and for many people that means New Year’s Resolutions. Have you already set (or failed) a goal for 2022? We’ve got some tips on how to set resolutions that you can stick to! With our mission to help improve the whole health of individuals who live, work, learn, play, and pray in Hancock County, we love to help people set (and fulfill) wellness goals all year long. 

Start out small

When setting a yearly resolution for your health, it can be tempting to set a huge goal for major change. However, that may just be setting yourself up for failure. Rather than making it a goal to get in an hour-long workout every single day in 2022, try to fit in a few minutes of exercise each day or an hour each week. As the months go on, you will get used to incorporating smaller workouts into your schedule, and it will be easier to increase their duration with your improving stamina. 

Be specific

Another resolution that can be sure to fail is one that is not specific. Rather than just planning to “eat healthy” in 2022, set specific goals around your meal planning. If you are going from a diet with virtually no produce, maybe you could plan to incorporate fruits or vegetables in at least one meal per day, with an ultimate goal of reaching the recommended 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables.

A helpful acronym when setting goals and resolutions is SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. With our healthy eating example, you could set a goal to eat at least one vegetable or fruit each day for the next 30 days. Once you have achieved this relevant goal, you can set a new timeframe with an overall plan to form healthier eating patterns. 

Try, try again

We’ve talked a lot about setting resolutions that won’t fail… but what if they do? It can be discouraging to fail a resolution that you’ve set for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should just give up. Give yourself a little grace and forgiveness and try again the next day! Maybe your New Year’s Resolution is to quit smoking. Healthy365 has some great resources to help, but with any addictive substance, it may take more than one try to quit.

A number of studies have been conducted on the number of times it could take to finally kick the habit, with suggestions ranging from 8 to 11 attempts by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and up to 30 attempts in a 2016 study from the University of Toronto. Don’t let this discourage you… quitting is really hard! Use it as motivation if you do fail to keep going and know that any attempt to quit is a step in the right direction.

Set reminders

Missing a day in your resolution is easy to do, but you can help yourself remember by setting reminders. Use a physical calendar or your phone’s reminder app to set a consistent time each day (or each week) to fulfill your resolution and make it a part of your regular routine. Maybe you are trying to become more mindful and aware of your mental health in 2022. Journaling every day has great benefits for mental wellness, and doing it every day when you wake up or before you go to bed can be a good way to make it a regular habit instead of a sporadic practice. 

If you are looking for support in your journey to improve physical, emotional or mental wellness this year, Healthy365 would love to help! Contact our Support Navigators today online or at 317-468-4231 so that we can connect you with the best local resources for your or your family’s situation.

Self-Care that Doesn’t Cost a Thing

Self-Care that Doesn’t Cost a Thing

When you think of self-care, what comes to mind? Maybe a pampering spa day, or a weekend alone in a fancy hotel? These can be good forms of self-care… but true self-care doesn’t have to cost a thing. Self-care just means finding ways to preserve or improve your own health and wellness, and that practice can vary from person to person. Healthy365 is rounding up some of our favorite free self-care activities that you can use to reduce stress and improve wellness. 

Take a walk or workout in nature

No matter the time of year, a walk or run in nature can be a great way to destress and take some time for yourself. Here in Hancock County, we are lucky to have a number of beautiful parks and nature preserves, so find your favorite one and take a little walk. Exercise boosts your endorphins, and listening to some fun music or an encouraging podcast can improve your well-being too. If you are doing a self-care workout in very cold weather, be sure to check out our winter workout tips

Do some journaling

The benefits of journaling are extensive, including the improvement of your mood, strengthening your immune cells, decreasing your risk of illness, and lowering your blood pressure when you make journaling a daily habit. Working on specific self-care journaling prompts can help improve your wellness as well. You could work on a list of the things you like best about yourself, or create a bucket list for the next year, next decade or your whole lifetime. Along with journaling, getting creative with coloring, drawing or painting can be a great self-care activity too. 

Take a social media break

Social media can be a great tool for learning and connecting with others, but it can also negatively impact our mental health. Comparing our daily lives to other people’s highlight reels on social media can create unrealistic expectations and make you feel unhappy. When you take a social media break for self-care, in addition to improved mood, you may also notice increased productivity and better relationships with family thanks to more quality time. Your social media break could last a few hours, a few days or a few weeks… or could even be a regular daily/weekly habit. 

Declutter and organize your home

This activity is not just free, it could actually make you a little money! Did you know that excess clutter can actually impact your mental health? A messy home can make it more difficult to fully relax or may create feelings of guilt, especially when guests visit. Organizing your home and donating or selling things you no longer use can make your home feeling much more relaxing. For many people, organizing and decluttering can be a form of self-care, but even if it stresses you out, a decluttered home can create new opportunities for self-care afterward. 

Go to bed early (or sleep in)

Are you getting enough sleep each night? Good sleep is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Make it a point to practice self-care by going to bed early (or sleeping in when you can) to get in 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. Getting enough sleep offers benefits like reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, a better immune system, lowering risk for diabetes or heart disease, thinking clearly and avoiding injuries from practices like drowsy driving. 

Are you looking for additional ways to improve your overall wellness? Healthy365 is here to connect you with local resources (many times at low or no cost to you) to help you on your wellness journey. Contact our Support Navigators today at 317-468-4231 to learn more about our mission to improve the health of Hancock County residents.

Wellness Gift Guide

Wellness Gift Guide

Are you working on your holiday shopping? We think just about anyone on your list could benefit from a little wellness boost or a self-care surprise! Just like Healthy365 supports our community’s whole health and wellness, you can support the mental and physical health of your family and friends too. Check out our roundup of some of the best wellness gift ideas that you can give someone you love (or treat yourself!) this holiday season. 

Wellness Journal

A journal is a great gift for anyone looking to enhance their overall wellness. Studies show that journaling can reduce stress, improve your mood and make you feel happier in general. And a journal is a practical gift that your loved one can use in any way they wish, such as gratitude journaling, recording their fitness journey or as a day planner to stay better organized. With a HUGE variety in styles and quality, a journal may just be the perfect “catch-all” gift for those people on your list who seem to have everything. 

Water Bottle

Another great gift for just about anyone on your shopping list is a water bottle. Staying hydrated (especially during a strenuous workout) is one of the single-best things you can do to improve your health, and water bottles come in just about every single color, material and size so you can find the perfect fit for your loved one. If drinking super cold water is important to your giftee, we recommend a metal water bottle, with many keeping a drink cold upwards of 8-12 hours. Other people might like a water bottle with hourly goal reminders of how much to drink to stay hydrated through the day. Even kids would appreciate a fun water bottle with their favorite character or color on it!

Weighted Blanket

In the wintertime, just about everyone loves curling up with a cozy blanket. But if you have someone in your life who has anxiety or trouble sleeping, then an extra cozy weighted blanket may be a great holiday gift. Several recent studies have shown benefits to sleeping with a weighted blanket, including falling asleep faster, reduced insomnia and lower rates of depression and anxiety during the day. It is usually recommended that a weighted blanket be roughly 5 to 10 percent of the owner’s body weight, with blankets for adults ranging from 12 to 30 pounds. 

Light Therapy Lamp

If you know someone who is affected by the darker days of winter, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), then a light therapy lamp may be able to help by replicating daylight. Prices range from around $20 and higher, and using one for a few minutes each day can help individuals increase Vitamin D and get that extra mood boost. Users should talk to their doctor before beginning treatment with light therapy. 

Subscription to a Meditation App

Meditation is a great way to improve both physical and mental wellness. Meditation can improve self-awareness and decrease stress by focusing on your breathing and shifting your attention away from the distractions of life. Learning to meditate can take practice, so a subscription to a top meditation app may be a great gift if you have a loved one who is getting into meditation. 

Headphones

Speaking of meditation, some people like to listen to their guided meditations through a set of quality headphones. And working out is usually made more fun with a motivating playlist or interesting podcast to listen to. Still other people just need a moment of self-care by blocking out everything and listening to some relaxing music. Headphones are a great wellness gift, especially with the convenience of bluetooth headphones that pair up to your phone and eliminate the annoying cords connected to a device or laptop. 

If you or a loved one need assistance on the journey to better wellness, don’t hesitate to reach out to Healthy365 online or at 317-468-4231. We’d love to hear your story and connect you with local resources and services available in Hancock County.

Benefits of Keeping a Wellness Journal

Benefits of Keeping a Wellness Journal

Have you ever kept a diary or a journal? Maybe it feels like a childhood hobby, but journaling as an adult is actually a great way to improve your overall health – mind, body, and spirit. Whether it’s a physical journal, a note on your phone or a document on your laptop, keeping yourself accountable and recording your thoughts can truly assist your journey to better health. And with the help of Healthy365, processing what’s in your wellness journal can get you better connected to necessary health resources right here in Hancock County.

Increasing gratitude and reducing stress

A gratitude journal is a simple way to get into the habit of journaling. Try to end each night by recording at least one thing you were grateful for that day. Even when you’re having a rough time, chances are you can find one thing to be thankful for, and it could spin the whole day to feel more positive. And when you make journaling a part of your daily routine, studies have shown that blood pressure is lowered by managing stressful experiences in a healthier way. 

Boosting mood and emotional well-being

In addition to reducing stress, psychologists say that keeping a wellness journal can improve your mood and make you feel happier in general. Journaling is a good mindfulness practice, helping you process things that happened that day, regulate your emotions and give you more confidence in daily life. You can “vent” about difficult situations, let go of the negative thoughts surrounding them and track thinking patterns that may affect how you live life from day to day. 

Tracking your physical wellness

If you are making efforts in your fitness journey, keeping a journal of your exercise and food intake can help. A study published in the “American Journal of Preventive Medicine” showed that among U.S. adults aged 25 and older seeking to lose weight, those who kept a food journal at least six days a week lost about twice as much weight as those who didn’t. A wellness journal can also be a good place to plan workouts and track your progress, helping you stay motivated to keep up the hard work.

Improving immunity and physical function

Journaling can also have surprising benefits on your physical health aside from just exercise and diet. Studies show that writing can strengthen your immune cells, decreasing your risk of illness. Journaling may even reduce symptoms of asthma and asthma, and improve liver and lung function. Plus, keeping a journal can keep your memory sharp by increasing capacity, potentially improving your overall cognitive processing. 

Sharing your journal with a trusted person

If you feel comfortable, sharing your journal with someone you trust can often be a positive experience. You may consider sharing the thoughts in your journal with your therapist to discuss your mental health state and gain new clarity or perspective. You could share your exercise or food journal with a friend or workout partner to increase accountability and keep you driven on your journey to better physical health. You could also share thoughts from your journaling with a Healthy365 Support Navigator so that we can offer you a non-judgmental and confidential listening ear, connecting you to local resources for issues like mental health, addiction, money concerns, physical wellness and more.

If you need assistance in your wellness journey, contact our team today online or at 317-468-4231. We’d love to help you get healthy, stay healthy and thrive as a community.