As the world draws to the close and we take stock of the past year, what are some of the things that we hope to bring into our lives in 2022?
It is perhaps fair to say that 2021 has been a tumultuous one as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic. However, what has become glaringly obvious is our need to take ownership of our own lives and wellbeing. What are some ideas for intentions for the new year?
Making resolutions might not be easy, but here is some food for thought of what you may wish to implement in your live for the coming year.
- Making time for your own wellbeing
Most of us are conditioned to do things for others. We rush around endlessly for social or work commitments, investing little time for unwinding and self-reflection. Are we spending enough time for ourselves for self-care?
Self-care does not simply mean going for a massage. While a trip to the spa could well be a part of your self-care regime, genuine self-care calls for one to spend time to check in with the self – to take stock of their emotional and mental health. Practices like journaling, speaking to a licensed therapist, practicing meditation, or talking more with people who inspire you are all recommended.
Perhaps in the coming year, this might be something you may wish to prioritise doing.
2. Is it time to see the dentist?
We are all aware that we should see a dentist at least once every 6 months. This is however a task that many put off. In this coming year, we should perhaps consider making an appointment with a dentist and actually showing up for your oral health!
It is imperative to note that dentists are trained to look out for a range of health problems, including early signs of cancer in the mouth and jawbone. Gum disease may also increase your risk of all kinds of other health complications, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease. These are just some of the reasons why visiting the dentist is important.
3. Getting enough sleep
As a result of work, family, or social obligations, many of us may have been burning the candle on both ends, sacrificing sleep in order to pack everything in. As we welcome the new year, we should also be making a commitment to getting enough sleep.
Good quality sleep helps the body remain healthy, supporting the immune system. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. Poor quality sleep can also affect our body weight, as changes in appetite-regulating hormones mean we are more likely to consume excess calories and exercise/burn less
Quality sleep is the key to better physical and mental health. Consistency is vital – keeping a regular sleep schedule. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reducing caffeine, and taking regular exercise can all help our sleep quality.
It may also be time to consider if your sleeping environment promotes quality sleep? is it time to invest in black-out curtains or a new mattress? Perhaps, consider removing the television or computer from the bedroom?
4. Getting enough time outdoors
Staying home has been a big part of the pandemic, but time outdoors really is a tonic. “Any form of physical activity is great, but I make the case for walking because it has the potential to combine several wellbeing practices,” says counsellor Wendy Nicholas.
“You’ll find your brain loves fractals, the geometric shapes found in nature, so much so that they stimulate the parahippocampus, which is involved with regulating emotions and helps us produce more feel-good brainwaves,” Nicholas adds.
“If you can manage your walk in the morning and make it anything over 20 minutes, you will be exposed to the sun’s rays, helping set key circadian rhythms and promoting better sleep. Finally, if you combine your walk with a friend, there’s a daily dose of connection, [which] contributes to overall physical and mental health.”
5. Is it time to go for your health checkups?
Just like visiting the dentist, many tend to put their health checkups on the back burner. It is however important to remember that many of the treatments of our health ailments rely on early detection!.
Routine checks and screenings are really important.
In the case of smear tests and mammograms, they can catch abnormal cells early and before cancer has a chance to spread. If you have an illness that needs regular monitoring, such as diabetes, check-ups are key in preventing your condition from leading to other problems.
In 2022, it may well be time to take charge of your health and make that appointment!