It’s not easy to make New Year’s resolutions when a pandemic is raging and so many factors that impact our health and well-being are beyond our control.
Taking care of yourself won’t change the anger or apathy that so many people feel about where we are right now. And alas, diligently following all of the most up-to-date public health guidelines will not necessarily prevent you from being infected with the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
But one thing that you definitely have can is not to get down on yourself when you make your resolutions for 2022. Remember you can’t change the course of the pandemic, but you can be kind to the body that has carried you so far. You can set aside small moments to take care of yourself, even when taking care of yourself seems futile.
With that in mind, here are five easy health resolutions for 2022 that have absolutely nothing to do with weight loss and that seem doable even in the face of an ongoing pandemic.
1. Stop putting a moral value on your food
After the holiday season, far too many people feel guilty about everything they have spent the past few days or weeks eating and drinking. As Ashley Broadwater wrote in a recent HuffPost article, people often scold themselves by saying things like, “I was so bad at eating XYZ.
The problem with comments like this is that they place a moral value on food, confusing what you put in your mouth with your worth as a person. But food is not Good or bad. Of course, some are richer in nutrients than others. But you are never a bad person for eating in a particular way.
So in 2022, especially at the start of the year, when you’re swamped with diet and gym ads, make a conscious effort to push back the ‘I was so bad’ mentality. Atlanta-based culinary and integrative dietitian Marisa Moore told Broadwater that a simple strategy is to be really aware of when you end up in a moral judgment zone and reverse the script.
“Instead of using critical words, you could think or say how you chose to savor your favorite food this weekend,” Moore said.
2. Move your body
Need another reason to drop “lose weight” from your 2022 resolutions? A study published last fall found that exercise is far more important than weight loss when it comes to increasing longevity and improving heart health.
“We would like people to know that fat can get fit and that fit and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes,” said researcher Glenn Gaesser, College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. , in a press release at the time. .
So in 2022, decide to move your body more – and remember, you can keep it pretty simple. It doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. Take a walk a few days a week or mow your lawn. Then do some gardening or yoga for some strengthening exercises.
Remember, moderation is the key. Too much exercise can actually be bad for your mental and physical health, so give yourself permission to spend a lot of time lounging on the sofa.
3. Ask for help
As Lindsay Holmes, Editor-in-Chief of HuffPost Wellness, recently wrote, there are limits to how much each of us can ‘take care of ourselves’ to feel better about all that is going on in the world. the world as we head into 2022.
That’s why one of the best things you can do for your own well-being this year is to seek help. What this means is personal. Perhaps you recognize that now is the time to start therapy – what Holmes reminds us all is a strength, not a weakness. (Here are some affordable options.)
Or maybe you are an exhausted parent who needs a break. Have a family member watch your children overnight, even if they don’t suggest it. Take time for yourself. Find ways to tap into your parenting joy.
Think about the areas in your life where you might really need a little extra support right now, and go ahead and ask for it. You are not an imposition, and as the pandemic has shown us, we really all depend on each other in ways big and small.
4. Continue to be responsible for the Covid, but don’t beat yourself up if you get sick
In a few weeks, the Omicron variant has really changed the pandemic. It’s increasingly clear that you can do whatever it takes – get yourself vaccinated and boosted, wear your mask indoors, avoid social gatherings – and still get a breakthrough infection. In fact, experts go so far as to warn that most Covid infections could soon be breakthroughs.
It’s hard to hear if you’re someone who’s taken this pandemic seriously from the start, and you’ve been relatively careful from the start.
That’s why, as we head into 2022, you should swear you won’t see this as a moral failure or a disgrace if you are infected. Yes, continue to take the pandemic seriously. Yes, continue to follow the most recent public health guidelines, whatever they may be.
But as Julia Reis recently wrote in a wellness post from HuffPost: It’s not your fault Omicron is so contagious. Decide to repeat this to yourself if your test is positive as the variant increases.
5. “Pile of habits”
Habits stacking is a term coined by author SJ Scott in his 2014 book on the subject, and it’s a great way to set aside time for self-care, even if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed.
So how do you do it? Pick a little new habit you’d like to work on in 2022, make a list of the daily habits you already have, then stack them in a way that makes sense, explained Alexandra Frost in her recent HuffPost post on tactics. . For example, you may decide to “meditate for a minute while brewing your coffee,” says Frost. Do this until it becomes a daily habit, then you can stack another one up.