Everyone hopes to better themselves, especially with a new year rolling around. As 2020 gives us new opportunities to become the best version of ourselves we've ever dreamed possible, there are plenty of places to start. Whether it starts with the world around you or within yourself, there are numerous ways to better yourself right now.
Stay Up-To-Date On News
Keeping up with the news is one of the best ways you can be a well-rounded individual who is aware of what's happening in your community and the world around you. With informative, free apps like "USA Today" and access to every news channel's apps, it's easier than ever to stay in-the-know. Even if you aren't a fan of a printed newspaper or don't have enough time to watch live news on T.V. you can still find other ways to find your daily news. Just be sure you're not relying solely on social media apps or your friends for all your news sources and be sure to always question the news you hear before believing it.
Start An Exercise Routine
You don't have to be a bodybuilder or exercise buff overnight or even work out every single day. Even starting a routine to take a short walk every day could gradually benefit your overall health. Taking a 10-minute walk three times a day or one 30-minute walk each day can improve your mood. Walking daily can also burn calories, strengthen your heart, lower your blood sugar, ease joint pain, boost your immune function, boost your energy, tone your legs, improve creative thinking, and extend your life.
Reach Out To Loved Ones
We've all been guilty of having numerous things on our plate that we don't take the time to reach out to our loved ones. We might be busy at work or in our personal lives, but taking even 5 minutes to call a loved one can make their day, more than you could possibly know. Call or text a family member or friend to let them know you've been thinking of them and check up on them to see how they're doing. You never know how great of an impact those few minutes could create.
Do One Thing Daily To Be Happy
I'll admit, I stole this one from a white canvas print I bought at T.J. Maxx but I still highly stand by it. The quote said, "Do one thing every day that makes you happy" and I think it's a great quote to always keep in mind. Whether you wake up to your favorite genre of music instead of that annoying iPhone alarm or you stop by your favorite coffee shop before starting your day, do one thing that will brighten your day even in the slightest. We can't control what happens in our lives every day but we can do one thing each day that can better our mood as we take on the world.
Pet Every Dog
This is certainly a personal preference because I'm an avid dog lover but I highly suggest you pet every dog you pass on the street- with permission from the owner first. Some dogs are shy or scared of strangers but if you're lucky enough to find a dog you pass by that you're able to pet, go for it! Petting animals can actually reduce your stress hormones, which is why you're more likely to see animals on campus during finals season. Relieving your stress will better yourself as you give every dog you pass an extra amount of affection!
Help The Planet
As the concern for climate change increases, everyone is making small changes to gradually help the planet. Using reusable water bottles, being persistent with recycling, and picking up trash left on the ground outside could all be small actions that inevitably help the planet. You don't have to become an environmental activist like Greta Thunberg, but you could immensely help your planet by making just a few changes.
Start Your Morning With Music
Most of us listen to music every day while we're driving to work, relaxing at home, or getting ready for a night out. By starting your day with your favorite music to get you in a good mood, you're more likely to start off your day with an optimistic outlook. Listening to your favorite music actually releases dopamine and causes you to feel emotions of excitement, joy, and happiness.
Get More Sleep
Most of us have pulled all-nighters before and felt the eventual 'crash' sneak up on us the following day. Getting enough sleep can make-or-break your mood the next day and your productiveness at work. When you don't get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep at night, your productivity and concentration will decline the next day and you're more likely to be angrier. A lack of sufficient sleep could also reduce your ability to interact socially and can weaken your immune system. Do your body and mind a favor and get a full 8 hours of sleep every night- everything else can wait.
You don't have to go vegan but deciding to make healthier food choices can go a long way. Switching from white bread to wheat bread or whole grain can be a small step to healthier eating. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables and cutting back on meat can also be beneficial. While you don't have to change your diet entirely, keeping an eye on processed foods, added sugar, and sodium in the food you consume can benefit your health. Deciding to eat cleaner can help your heart and reduce your risk of diseases.
Rid Of Stressors
Some of us have toxic people enter our lives and we can't always get rid of them. Sometimes it's a boss, a neighbor, or simply a bad friend. Determining what our key stressors are is the first step to reducing our daily stress. If your boss always asks you to take on more projects or stay late at work, tell them you'll do it this once but that they can't expect you to always put work before your personal life and family. Whatever your specific situation may be, keep your mental health as the top priority and don't let the stressors of other people ruin your mood. Don't let the stress bundle up inside you until they one day explode- only worsening your mental health. Take everything day-by-day and remember to always put yourself first while using stress-relieving tactics that work for you.
Bettering ourselves in the new year is a gradual change that can't happen overnight. With mental, emotional, and physical health changes, you can slowly help your body and improve your overall mood. Hopefully, these tips will lead you toward the best you in the new year. Good luck!