STATEPOINT — It’s already the time of year to reassess where the past 12 months took you and decide what you want to improve, change or start doing in 2022. Coming up with meaningful resolutions can be hard. To help simplify this process and get started toward becoming a better you, here are five things to consider working into your daily schedule in the new year:
1. Cut screen time for better sleep. Multiple studies show if you stop using screens an hour or two before bedtime, you’ll likely have a more restful night’s sleep. Unplugging also allows you to relax and decompress after a busy day. Your energy levels will rise, your brain and body will thank you, and it will be easier to start fresh in the morning.
2. Add more fresh foods to your diet. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, so why not kick off 2022 with a resolution to eat more of them? Try a new kind of lettuce. Eat berries with your oatmeal. Take an apple to the office. Be realistic about how much you can eat in a week. Don’t overstock your refrigerator, but definitely add more fresh produce to your shopping cart.
3. Allow your favorite spaces to bloom. Adding a flowering plant to your favorite room, such as an easy-care orchid inexpensively brightens your décor. Research shows that having plants boosts mood, productivity and well-being. Plants, including orchids, also remove toxins from the air. Orchids are particularly good at eliminating xylene, a chemical that causes nose and throat irritation and potential neurological issues.
4. Walk it off. Walking daily for even 15 minutes burns extra calories and improves your mood. Longer walks, such as vigorous hikes, build physical and mental endurance and strengthen cardiovascular health. If you’re crunched for time, take that short walk or even a couple short ones throughout the day if your schedule allows it. The benefits are worth it. Don’t forget to bring your favorite walking buddy with you!
5. Sing in the shower, the car or the kitchen. Research has shown that people feel happier after actively singing than they do when simply listening to music. If joining a choir isn’t your thing, never fear. Breaking into song in the car, shower or while you’re cooking can provide the same kind of lift. It doesn’t matter where you sing, it just matters that you do. Harmonizing with friends makes it even more fun.
As you read this list, you might be inspired to come up with a few other encouraging ways to become your best self in 2022. Go for it. Kick off this new year with better focus, renewed enthusiasm and a fresh approach to the days and weeks ahead of you