If you made a list of new year resolutions last year, this blog is for you! 43% of new year resolutions in 2022 were related to practicing a healthier lifestyle. Goals such as eat more vegetables, exercise more, and improve sleep are tales as old as time. Try something new in 2023 with 4 wellness trends you haven’t heard of for your best (and healthiest) year yet.
Taking a break from social media and technology is a proven way to improve mental health. The majority of us are on social media, and many of us spend hours on it every day. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget about how you’re spending your time. It is also possible to experience burn-out from too much time online. Symptoms of social media burn-out include chronic stress, lack of motivation and focus, feeling emotionally drained, and being easily triggered into a negative mindset.
Social media can be an excellent way to keep up with friends and family, but if you feel like it’s taking over your life, it may be time to take a break. Here are some ways to get started:
- Set a timer on your phone or computer to limit how much time you spend on social media sites each day.
- Take a break from Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and other sites that make you feel bad about yourself by scrolling through endless photos and videos of friends’ ‘perfect’ lives.
- Set aside specific blocks of time throughout the day to check in with your favorite apps without feeling like you have to stay logged in all day long.
Want to set a digital detox goal for the whole year? Start in January with 1 day without social media. Increase the number of consecutive days without it each month; February is a 2 day detox, try 3 days without social media in March, 4 in April, and so on. By the end of the year you will go 12 days in a row without social media, and opened up 78 days of opportunity for more meaningful experiences and interactions.
There are several things you may notice when doing a digital detox. For example, more presence in day-to-day activities, decreased anxiety, and even increased self esteem. All of these side effects from less social media improve mental health and wellbeing. Give it a try!
You will love the idea of habit stacking. In fact, you may already practice habit stacking without realizing it because it’s a genius way to accomplish the tasks you’re less than thrilled about doing.
Here’s how it works: just combine a task that you can easily accomplish or want to do with a task you generally avoid. For example, if you want to exercise more but can’t find the motivation, call a friend while going on a walk. Another example is to listen to your favorite podcast while folding laundry, or take the garbage out while waiting for your morning coffee to brew. Practicing this technique is especially useful when attempting to start a new routine.
The brain sees the undesirable task as a reward because it experiences a dopamine release with the enjoyable activity. Not only does habit stacking increase productivity as well as the likelihood of sticking with new habits, it also improves self-discipline.
Start habit stacking by making a list of the tasks you like doing along with a list of the activities you dislike or have difficulty completing. Next, pair up different combinations of these two lists. There is no right or wrong pairing; stacks are dependent upon what is best for you!
The truth is, most of us could use more exercise. Americans are constantly gaining fat and losing fitness. Obesity rates have increased by as much as 3 percent since 2015, according to the CDC. And it’s not just adults — this increase has been seen in children as well.
Exercise ‘snacks’ are becoming a popular way to combat this trend by providing an easy way to get additional physical activity throughout the day. Shorter increments of time are easier to commit to than an hour or two at once when it comes to working out. For example, instead of exercising for 60 minutes straight in the morning, commit to doing 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes during lunchtime and another 20 minutes in the evening. By doing so, you’ll be able to squeeze in three short workouts throughout the day instead of one long one.
“You’re not restructuring your day around exercise. You’re restructuring exercise into your day.”
MATTHEW STORK, UBC SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND EXERCISE SCIENCES
Incorporating exercise snacks into your day breaks up sedentary periods, improves focus, boosts mood, and increases energy. Try going for a walk during a break at work or climbing a few flights of stairs. Simple activities like these are a great way to increase heart rate and can be also be stacked with other tasks.
Self care for mental health
2023 is the year to check-in with your inner self and make sure that you are doing all the things that will help you live a happy, healthy life.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health refers to “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Strong mental health is imperative for overall well-being. Activities such as meditation or yoga allow for the brain to become calm and explore self-reflection. You may even practice self-care already by spending time in nature, listening to music, or being creative. There are endless ways to take mental health breaks; the main goal is to improve quality of life through the activity.
Start and end your day with self-care as your priority. For example, take the time to relax while showering before work instead of rushing, or listen to a guided meditation before bed. Simple changes to your routine will make a big difference for your mental health in 2023.
The future of health and wellness will start with you! These four trends are sure to make you healthier and happier, so get ready to embrace them in the new year. Digital detoxing, habit stacking, exercise snacks, and mental health all play a role in making 2023 the best year yet.