Living Your Best Life

Aimee Duffy, M.D. Physician / Lifestyle Architect / Wellness Mentor                                                                        January 2023

New Year... New You!

It's a new year, and guess what that means—it's time to start fresh! It's the perfect time to take stock of your life and make the changes necessary for better overall health. But where do you start? I know it can be tricky if you don't have a clear idea of how to make those changes. But never fear! We're here to help. I’ve put together a list of some of the best ways to get started on your new year's resolution and make this the year you finally get healthy and stay that way!

Eat Well

Eating well is the most important thing you can do for your health and the way you eat is as important as what you eat. While it might be tempting to load up on junk food and other unhealthy treats, doing so will only make you feel sluggish and harder to get going with your resolutions. Instead, make sure that what you're eating is full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that will help keep you feeling satisfied while giving your body the fuel it needs to thrive.

One of the best suggestions I can make is using mindful eating. Not that consuming all of that healthy food won’t work, but turning off your cell phone or big screen, and taking a few deep breaths before you dig in will make a difference, I assure you. Learn to savor your food, take the time to taste and enjoy it. You’re likely to find you’ll eat less and have better digestion, and those minutes of calm will help your day, too. Be sure to eat breakfast daily, even if it's just a bowl of oatmeal or a smoothie.

Breakfast will help your metabolism and give you plenty of energy to start the day right. Also, ensure that you're eating something healthy at lunchtime and dinner, so your body gets all the nutrients it needs throughout the day.

Get Moving

Another critical element of a healthy lifestyle is exercise. Even if you're not in the best shape, there is always time to start moving. If you want to lose weight or feel better about yourself, adding light exercise into your daily routine will make all the difference. You don't have to join a gym and spend hours on end sweating away; there are plenty of other ways to get moving throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of using an elevator or escalator; walk around while talking on the phone rather than sitting still; do pushups while watching TV at night—these are just some examples of how you can sneak in extra activity throughout your day. Your metabolism will thank you for it! If you have an aversion to regular fitness routines, make it fun! Instead, get involved in a sport you enjoy or get active with your family or friends. Swim, bike, dance - there's a world of fun out there that will burn calories without you even realizing it. 

Be sure you are exercising for the right reason. Don't put all of your focus on weight loss. Do it because you want to be healthy and strong and because exercise makes you feel good. If you're exercising for the right reasons, your chances of sticking with it are much higher. There's no need to go overboard; get moving!

Find Your Creativity

I encourage my clients to use creativity as an excellent outlet for emotions and expression. Try writing, drawing, or painting. Playing a musical instrument can release stress, and if you don't know how to do these things, taking lessons can give you a significant boost in confidence! Get creative with your home décor by making things yourself instead of buying a finished product. For example, make a collage out of magazine clippings, paint a picture on canvas or use some old materials to make something new. I find that creativity is a great way to calm ourselves. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, do something with your hands or body and just let go. Need a break from life or a situation? Going for a walk outside or just sitting quietly without distractions is an excellent way to calm your mind.

Engage With Others

Socializing is a great way to relax, and connecting with others is fundamental to good health. Whether it's a party or just hanging out with friends, these interactions help you to feel more content and happy. If you need help with your social life, try expanding it by volunteering or joining an organization that interests you. Scientists believe loneliness and isolation can become double the risk of obesity in our culture. Our health depends on the role, and support others offer. Connection to others increases our immune system, provides a sense of belonging, and increases a life span of up to fifty percent.

The New You

Being your best self is one of the best ways to live a long and healthy life. You can do this by caring for your body, mind, and spirit. Your physical health is the foundation for all other areas of your life, and when you're happy with yourself, it shows in how you treat others. Self-care doesn't mean taking care of only your mind and body. Instead, it should include focusing on how you feel inside and out. A positive outlook on life will help reduce stress levels, improve health and boost your overall quality of life.

So, have fun along the way! Taking time out for yourself and doing something that makes you happy daily is a great way to stay stress-free. Find time to laugh with family and friends or participate in activities that make you feel good about yourself.

Welcome to the new you!


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