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Resolutions and Self-Improvement
The new year is a time when many people seek to change and improve. To change things up, this set of tips will focus on four different areas of self-improvement: healthy consumption, budgeting, increasing physical activity and healthy sleep patterns!
Take time to reflect on your spending! Are there ways you could save money? Try making coffee at home vs. buying at the store, or making lunch the night before to avoid buying it out of convenience the next day.
Is it time to quit smoking or vaping? There are so many amazing reasons to free yourself from these harmful habits! Here are some helpful tips.
It’s that time of year to do a social media detox! Delete accounts that make you feel bad or push unrealistic ideals. Try changing your relationship with social media! Check out these tips to help you get started.
How many hours a day do you watch TV? There are so many streaming services and YouTube channels that suck us in for (maybe) too long. Try to track and limit how much you watch.
Try to be mindful of not engaging in the toxic trend around needing to "eat clean", "detox", or whatever other nonsense you hear from people suggesting you need to make up for how you ate over the holidays. Being stressed and obsessed with being healthy is actually unhealthy!
Part of a healthy lifestyle involves balance. If something is important to you and makes you happy, you don't have to cut it out of your life completely. If it's not the healthiest, ask yourself if there’s a way to do it in moderation or more safely.
If you're not ready to quit drinking or using substances, try planning ahead to ensure that you're safe. You can do this with our Getting High tool!
Take time to enjoy each day, even for a few moments. Dance to your favourite song, chat with a friend, have a relaxing shower, laugh! Doing something enjoyable each day will help you build up to enjoying more and more of your life, even when challenges are happening.
Our mind and body are connected! Taking a walk to clear your head is a great way to process what's on your mind, while getting some exercise into your day.
Consistency is key for getting into the habit of adding exercise to your life. You don't need to start big, just try to make it regular. A ten minute walk each day, or 20 reps of bicep curls can soon become more once you're ready for it.
Reframe the way you think about exercise. Shifting your mindset to see physical activity as something kind to do for your body and that will likely help you feel better, rather than a punishment or chore, will help motivate you to get moving!
Make a plan and carve out time for exercise during your weekly schedule to help you follow through with your intention to be more physically active.
Do you need some outside motivation to get your body moving? Look on Instagram or Pinterest to see what is offered for free from trainers, and follow their tips and tricks to stay motivated.
Do you have a friend or family member you could walk with often? Or does someone have a dog that you could walk? Getting exercise doesn't have to be a solo activity!
Do "challenges" motivate you to follow through with something? Pick a plank, squat or crunch challenge to increase the number of reps you do every day over a span of 30 days.
Think about why you are budgeting — what's your long term goal? Figure out where you want to be before you try to get there.
You'll need to gather some info in order to start budgeting: income (after taxes), fixed expenses, variable expenses, occasional expenses, and savings.
Figure out your monthly income as a starting point to guide your monthly budget. If your income varies (e.g. you're self-employed, part-time, etc.), divide your annual income by 12 for a general average of your monthly income.
Fixed monthly expenses are those that tend to stay the same (or close to the same) every month. They include rent, internet, utilities, etc.
Variable expenses change from month to month. They include gas, groceries, daily coffee, meals out and entertainment expenses.
If you run into unexpected expenses, consider selling unwanted items or doing odd-jobs. If this expense seems to happen regularly, start budgeting for it.
Track your spending by keeping your receipts and recording them in an app. This will let you see trends and areas where you could cut back and save.
Unplug an hour before you would like to go to bed so you can mentally wind down. Listen to relaxing music or some guided meditation to help shift into sleep mode.
If you find your mind running a lot at bedtime, consider talking to a helping professional. Having a positive outlet for stress is a great way to begin having better quality sleep.
Be mindful that caffeinated drinks stay in our systems for six to eight hours. Aim to drink decaffeinated options in the late afternoon so that by bedtime the caffeine is out of your system.
Work towards a regular sleep schedule. This means you are going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, which is a great way to get in tune with your circadian rhythm and evolve to a healthier sleep pattern.
Increase bright light exposure during the day; it helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy! Not only will it increase daytime energy, it will improve sleep quality!
Drinking alcohol before bedtime can negatively affect your sleep, even if it seems to help you fall asleep initially. Alcohol is known to cause increased sleep apnea, as well as disruptive and irregular sleep patterns.
If lying awake in bed gives you anxiety or you have been there for more than 30 minutes, get up and try a relaxing activity in a different spot until you feel sleepy again.
Can't drown out all the noise in your bedroom? Try a white noise machine to help give your room a constant sound and prevent drastic changes in volume that could disrupt your sleep. Can't afford a white noise machine? Try a free app!
Some medications can affect your sleep patterns. Talk to your doctor and see if yours may be causing you to have a restless night.
These tips were originally posted on our Twitter account under the hashtag #mymTips with a different topic each month. Follow us on Twitter to see a new tip each day, or visit the wellness section on our website next month to see the set posted in full.