In Summary

Goals. What does it take to have a holistic successful year? Is it about making more money, getting that promotion at work, nailing your relationship goals? The most important thing we often forget, which is essential in our success, is taking care of our mental health first and foremost.

With the New Year almost upon us, this time inevitably brings about reflection. We assess what went well, what did not and what we hope will happen next. Below, are the best New Year’s health tips, ones that do not have a weight-loss or significant-other goal in mind. They are helpful for your mind, body, and soul all at once; each one bringing about a different way to feel better come 2019 (healthier, more active, and stimulated).

Clear clutter
Look at your surroundings. If you are constantly wading through junk drawers and cabinets stuffed to the brim, it is time to clear the clutter. Cluttered spaces reflect a cluttered mind, if you want to wipe the slate clean to allow room for new people and circumstances that serve you, you must get your mind clear. Whether this includes cleaning your favorite room in the house, or the whole house, having a clean space can help you stay productive and focus on other tasks or hobbies you prefer to tackle throughout the day. Studies have shown the more organised your home is, the more optimistic and clear-minded you will feel. Alternative methods to organising your space, such as Feng Shui, teach that there is a direct correlation between your health and the quality of the energy in your space. For instance, consider the air quality as well as the amount of natural light and colours in a room to create a more vibrant, joyous, and productive home or office space.

Exercise a little bit
Aim for smaller, attainable wins. People set high fitness goals for the New Year and then fall off after a month or less. This leaves their self-esteem shot, which is when self-loathing and depression can sneak in. It is better to set a reachable daily goal, like walking 10,000 steps per day. There are step-counting apps available to measure how much you walk, and they add up quickly. When you see accomplishment on a daily basis, you stick with it. This sets your mind in a positive direction.

Eat mind-boosting foods
There are a lot of essential nutrients you can get from food that support your brain function, manage stress, and just generally make you happier. An improved diet can be part of the easy, attainable shift you’ve been looking for. “Research finds that along with other benefits, foods rich in omega-3, such as some fish and nuts as well as those full of antioxidants, can help protect the brain from memory decline. So adding salmon and fruits like blackberries and blueberries to your diet can help with memory and concentration, as well as staving off possible mood and anxiety disorders. The good news is that brain and mood-boosting foods also include chocolate and avocados.

Read every day
You might be surprised at the number of benefits reading can provide for your mental and emotional wellbeing. An individual who regularly reads reaps the benefits of mental stimulation which can help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia as the brain is kept active. Reading can also reduce stress, increase your knowledge of the world around you, expand your vocabulary, improve memory, create stronger analytical thinking skills, improved concentration, and writing skills. Also by reading for just 30 minutes a day, you will be able to complete more books within a year. The more you know, the more you grow.

Learn something new
Challenge your brain by learning to cook, paint, or speak a new language. Try yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi. Pick something you think would be interesting or useful to learn, and go for it. If you avoided cooking your whole life, learning the basics will serve your brain very well. The more we can activate the cognitive functions of our brains, the better our short- and long-term memory, as well as our hand-eye coordination will be.

Apologise and forgive
A clear path toward mental fitness is forgiveness. Carrying around resentments and guilt wears us down and, believe it or not, can lead to serious illness. If you experienced a tough breakup, argument, or perhaps the political climate has led to disheartenment, reach out, allow yourself to forgive, and move on. Remember, forgiveness does not mean you condone hurtful behavior. Instead, it frees you and allows you to move forward without added baggage.