SALT LAKE CITY — The new year typically brings a rush of diet and exercise-related resolutions, but while both are components of overall health, they're just one piece of the puzzle.
True well-being focuses on eight health aspects: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual health. If you've decided to prioritize your overall health this year and need some ideas of what to focus on, consider some of these suggestions:
Are there places in the U.S. or overseas that you have always dreamed of visiting? Can you take a long weekend and visit a new national park? Utah itself has five incredible national parks and those memories may last a lifetime.
2. Start a gratitude practice
Expressing gratitude on a regular basis has been associated with improved health benefits, according to Psychology Today. You can start by journaling three things you are grateful for each day.
3. Learn a new skill or hobby
Have you always wanted to learn a new language, how to throw a pot or how to dance? Look in your area for discounted classes or check out your local community college for night classes.
4. Find a physical activity that you enjoy
Have you always wanted to try skiing, Zumba or a yoga class? Now is a great time to try. Many fitness studios or gyms will offer a first class for free, or provide a discount for your first couple of classes. If group fitness classes aren't your thing, check out Meetup to find an organized group activity to participate in. Finding a type of movement that you enjoy doing will make this practice sustainable.
5. Make sleep a priority
Research shows that consistent and adequate amounts of sleep (i.e. 7-8 hours) is optimal for health. Can you turn off the TV earlier or put your phone away before bed so that you can get that amount of sleep each night? Try it and see how you feel.
6. Ensure that you see your physician, dentist, therapist, dietitian and/or optician regularly
Many health insurance plans have preventative care available for free or at a low cost. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for a preventative care checklist.
7. Connect with friends, family and your community
Be purposeful in reaching out to friends. Research shows that having strong social connections is extremely important for your overall health. You could also take time to volunteer within your community at your local food bank, Ronald McDonald House Charities or the American Red Cross, to name a few.
8. Learn a new way to prepare food
Hate boiled broccoli? Try it roasted with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to increase flavor and satisfaction. Need more guidance? If you are local to Utah, check out your local Harmons to try any of their cooking classes.
9. Take time off work
You need time to relax and recharge. You may find that you return to work more productive, focused and ready to get things done. If possible, take some vacation time each year and do something fun for yourself.
Take time to evaluate your life
Are you content in your career? Your relationships? Your city? Ask yourself, what changes can you make this year to improve your happiness?
Editor’s Note: Anything in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition; Any opinions, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of KSL. KSL does not endorse nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, information, or statement made in this article. KSL expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.