Foster a healthier, kinder version of yourself this year
The arrival of a new year shines a spotlight on goal setting. While setting resolutions is a breeze, the real challenge lies in achieving and maintaining them; only 19 percent of resolution setters sustain their goals after two years. So, rather than letting another resolution slip through the cracks, embrace a gentler approach to goal setting with these five-minute health actions.
Your circadian rhythm—the internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle—can become disorganized when you’re exposed to excessive artificial blue light, especially at night. This can lead to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, cognitive impairment, premature aging, and more. To mitigate these risks, refrain from late-night screentime. To restore your circadian rhythm balance each morning, opt for at least five minutes of sunlight exposure by going outside soon after waking up.
Beyond the Thanksgiving table, make gratitude a daily practice. Focus on your “haves” rather than your “have nots” by allocating five minutes each day to jotting down or verbally expressing reasons why you’re grateful. This routine can reduce stress, enhance sleep quality, lower blood pressure, and enhance overall positivity.
Carving out time to immerse yourself in the joy of a good book is challenging in today’s tech-dominated era. Research reveals that 90 percent of adults often use some kind of screen within one hour before bedtime, which can significantly disturb sleep. So, ditch the blue light and opt for that neglected book on your shelf instead. Delving into a chapter or a few pages before bed can improve sleep quality and boost energy levels for the following day.
Feel healthier and a little spicier this year by incorporating saffron, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, and cinnamon into your cooking—or perhaps in alive’s delicious Saffron Quinoa recipe. Whether you pay a quick visit to the health food store or rediscover them tucked away in your spice drawer, adding these spices to your meals is an effortless way to reap various health and well-being benefits.
Instead of remaining sedentary after a satisfying meal, try engaging in immediate muscle movement for about five to 15 minutes. Whether it’s a short walk, kitchen cleanup, or calf raises at your desk, immediate post-meal exercise will help support weight management, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote stable energy levels throughout the day.
The benefits of meditation are undeniable—from reduced blood pressure to improved memory and mood. The challenge is finding time for meditation in our fast-paced society. The good news is that even just five minutes of stillness can yield positive results. For a calmer year, dedicate a mere five minutes per day, set a timer, and make space to discover your Zen.
Staying hydrated can be easily forgotten as life gets busy, yet dehydration poses several health risks, including fatigue and brain fog. Begin your day with a tall glass of water or set daily phone reminders to ensure you stay adequately hydrated and refreshed this year. Invest in a reusable water bottle you love to make hydration more enticing.
Sitting too much, though seemingly restful, is detrimental to physical health. If you sit for extended periods, make a conscious effort to stand and stretch frequently for five-minute durations. Consider walking around or trying easy office exercises to alleviate pain, enhance mood and cognitive function, and prevent future health complications.
Avoiding that extensive to-do list? While there’s no magical spell to make it vanish, take a constructive approach to tackling one or a few quick tasks by setting a five- or 10-minute task timer. Channel your inner competitor by making it a game to see how much you can accomplish in a short period of time. While your to-do list may not disappear completely, this is a step toward boosting your daily productivity.
Social isolation and loneliness are all too common these days and can contribute to various health consequences, including depression and anxiety. Connecting with others has proven benefits: boosting happiness and health, reducing stress, and adding longevity to your life. Make sure you carve out time for loved ones, whether it’s a walk, a coffee date, or a five-minute phone call; this enhances not only your well-being, but also theirs.