Maybe it’s just us, but it seems as if every time you turn on the news these days, people are struggling more than ever before. Everyone is at odds with one another, our environment is in jeopardy, and stress feels like it’s omnipotent. The most important thing to realize in times like this is that the only thing you can control is you. It’s actually quite liberating once you embrace this, as life seems a lot less intimidating. Don’t let this year get the better of you. All you need is some inspiration on ways to improve your lifestyle in 2019 and, for that, we’ve got your back…well, really, your soul.
This can seem like a bunch of new age hooey depending on your viewpoint, but the importance of mindfulness has been proven time and time again. With roots in Buddhism, this is simply about putting your full focus on what you’re doing, whether that’s getting the mail, eating dinner, or working out. In this day and age when so much value is put on multitasking, it’s not hard to see the importance of this. Employers are starting to realize the value of a present employee as opposed to one who is only motivated by achieving the next goal. Daily meditation is the best way to achieve mindfulness but simply being aware of it is a step in the right direction. If you’re the type to return emails while listening to music or to fold laundry while watching TV, try doing these things without extra task.
Fix Your Finances
Financial stress can weigh on a person more than many of life’s other stressors. It brings fear, uncertainty, and shame. And the worst part is that most of the stress is because we are often not facing it head on. There’s a reason for that. It’s awful, plain and simple. But you know what’s worse? Lying awake thinking about the bills piling up, lowering credit scores, and tax issues. Take this time to face the music, as we promise that getting your finances in order can help. Use a site like Dollar Daddy for guidance. It’s surely not going to be an overnight fix, but just knowing you’re taking a step in the right direction is often enough to unload that burden.
Manage Your Time
A whopping 30% of Americans are late to work every day. To those of us who are late, we get this with our whole beings. To those who are never late, this is as foreign as Latin. The truth is, most of us fall in one camp or the other, and neither camp understands the other. If you’re following along, that means that if you’re late to work and think that’s okay as you’ll make it up on the other end, your boss may be in the other camp. Therein lies the problem, and the inherent stress of being late. Although you might think you’re cursed to be this way forever, there are things you can do. Plan and arrange everything the night before. Despite the difficulty, stop pressing the snooze button. In fact, try gradually waking up earlier and earlier every day. Many of the most successful people in business are early birds (think Tim Cook, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington), so it wouldn’t hurt to try and become one, too. Either way, better time management might be challenging at first but it will improve your overall lifestyle.
Get the Blood Pumping
The reason we phrase it like that and not as “exercise regularly” is twofold. First of all, the thought of exercise can send some into fits of angst and rage. Second of all, daily gym visits or Crossfit sessions aren’t the end-all, be-all for everyone. However, there is plenty of proof that a sedentary lifestyle can cause a host of physical and emotional problems. So if you’re not the type to hit the 5 AM Orangetheory class, no worries. That doesn’t give you carte blanche to sleep until work and then play video games or Netflix binge all night. Even just a 30-minute walk before work, after work, or on your lunch break can make all the difference in helping with depression, energy levels, and overall health.
This suggestion doesn’t always automatically mean “sleep more” either, although more sleep is rarely a bad thing. It heals your body and your mind. Ask any mother of an infant how she felt the first time her baby slept through the night and she will tell just how life changing a good night’s sleep can be. Sometimes, however, better quality can be more important than better quantity. Set yourself up for success by doing a few things. First and foremost, put down the phone. Not only does looking at your phone right before bed put you at risk for thinking about stressful life or work events, the junk light your cell phone puts out is known to negatively affect sleep. Consider investing in a pair of blackout shades. Make sure the temperature is just right. And you might even consider using a nighttime meditation app, like Calm or Insight Timer. Whether you go for a guided meditation, body scan, or the sound of the ocean or rain, these can make all the difference.