New Year. Better You. Here’s What Your Top 3 Resolutions Should Be!

 In Health & Wellness, Lifestyle

So, we know that 2016 was capricious in nature and wreaked havoc on many. But you’re reading this and it means we made it through. At the top of any new year, the trend is to create and implement your resolution(s). In the latter part of the year when we’re approaching the kickoff of a new one, we have vision board parties, create brain maps, set goals, and desire to prune ourselves of bad habits (or “bad” people depending on how your year went). I truly hope your resolutions include self-care and introspection. With that said, here are the top 3 areas in which you should strive to incorporate into your lifestyle.

1. Mental and Emotional Health: Protect your peace

Your emotional and mental well-being is so vital to your success. Thankfully, the stigma around seeking mental health care is decreasing, which will hopefully lead to the increase in access to such care. Luckily, there are some existing access points that most young professionals aren’t aware of. For instance, a large number of employers and colleges/universities offer EAP or student counseling benefits that everyone should take advantage of. These benefits usually allow 5–6 counseling sessions per year. Did I mention these visits are free? Many allow for you to bring a partner if you’d wish. Entrepreneur? There are other resources you’re able to tap into such as:

  • Talkspace — This is an affordable and convenient way to chat online with licensed therapists from the comfort of your own home or while you are on the go. Talkspace counselors are available 24/7, too!
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has an index of in person and online support groups nationwide.
  • The SAMHSA site also provides a directory of mental health providers. Other directories of national providers can be found at www.thenationalcouncil.org/providers.
  • Interested in seeing a therapist of color? Visit www.africanamericantherapists.com for a listing of providers in your area. The website also features articles pertaining to tips, current events, and how this all relates to the state of mental health for people of color.
  • Look into Mental Health First Aid classes in your area. This course equips laypersons with the skills to recognize and help others whom may be developing a mental health problem. It also offers training in being able to properly intervene, aide, and provide appropriate resources for someone experiencing a mental health crisis. You’d receive a 3-year certification which is definitely a resume booster.

This is not an exhaustive list but hopefully a great starting point. Utilizing tools that allow for you to unpack life’s events and protecting your mental and emotional health this year is key. Share your tips with others, too!

2. Physical Health: Treat your body like the temple it is

The most popular resolutions are focused on exercise and diet. Health is wealth and being intentional about how we are treating our temples will yield greater results for us. When it comes to physical activity, an awesome daily goal should be to carve out at least 30 minutes for exercise. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation is 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. The CDC also suggests adults should engage in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity every week. However, especially as we gracefully age, nutrition, nutrition, nutrition is soooooo important. With us being professional women with stacked calendars and constantly on the go, it’s a necessity to fuel our bodies with the proper essentials. Plus, wouldn’t you want to pass these healthy habits on if you choose to build a family. Setting a routine (stay flexible, of course) and having an accountability partner will make choosing healthy habits the norm. Lastly, getting an adequate amount of sleep will do wonders for you mentally, emotionally, physically, and prevents and reduces bags and dark spots. Get those 7–9 hours of rest, girls!

3. Disconnect: Step. Away. From. The. Screen.

Our lives are growing busier as time and technology progresses. There are plenty of benefits such as remaining connected, receiving news and updates in real time, promoting your services, and increasing productivity with the right tools. However, a survey was conducted with large employers to rank the top 10 workplace distractions. These diversions are related to the decrease in productivity with employees. You can guess what some of the top 5 were: Cell phone usage/texting, the internet, social media, email, and gossiping (which you may be using your phone to do *wink*). So, as you can see, there comes a time where one must “log off” because it’s actually beneficial! Let’s look at some of the advantages:

  • You can use this time for self-reflection or planning
  • Spend time and connect with family, friends and loved ones….in person
  • Give your eyes and brain a break from continuous, almost incessant stimulation because there are links between overstimulation and anxiety
  • Memories from experieces are rewarding, so exercise mindfulness and being present in the moment

Want to see how much screen time you’re spending on your iPhone or Ipads? Download the “Moment” app, a screen-time tracker. You’ll be surprised by how many times you open your phone and the number of hours spent on your device(s) per day. These are just a few benefits and I’m sure you’re able to conjure up tons of other benefits to add to the list. I pray nothing and I mean nothing but the best for you all in this year. Take care of yourself so you can serve others. We need you in tip top condition, sis. #BeABetterHumanBeingIn2017 (that’s kind of a long hashtag but you get the gist).

This article was originally featured on 1/11/2017 on Medium.com: http://tinyurl.com/znc5vfv

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Written By: Brittany R. Smith

Brittany R. Smith is a well-respected eclectic. She draws her knowledge  from various life experiences and wishes to share the lessons learned to help others live more fulfilling lives.  She has passions in promoting mental and physical wellness, especially in marginalized populations. Mrs. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in Pyschology from Wayne State University and Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Brittany has developed and implemented various community health programs that focus on prevention, and policy, systems and environmental changes. She’s a public speaker and has been able to present her ideas and work, nationally. She is also a creative and has created parodies, written short films, blogged and co-created the Mixtapes and Pancakes music festival. Brittany is a natural at connecting people with others and with resources needed to aide them in their journey. Follow her stories at: https://medium.com/@rspctdeclectic

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