New Year, Be Kind
It is no secret that this year has been tough on all parties involved, which is everyone. Be proud of however you got through. You are a rock star! This is a time when people set goals: weight loss; health; milestones. But this year, I challenge you to try something different.
Focus on being kind, kind to yourself and kind to others. Set some goals about how you will do this, structure is important. When you’re out in public, give space and smile. A neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine, Dr. Isha Gupta, explains that a smile can release certain hormones, like serotonin and dopamine by causing a chemical reaction in the brain. These hormones can reduce stress, increase happiness and boost your immunity. I know it may seem pointless to plaster a big one on your face when you’re wearing a mask, but smiling can actually make you feel better. Try it next time you work out, you’ll thank me.
Laugh everyday, as much as possible. Whether you have a weakness for baby videos, comedians, a favorite television show, or a good book, laughter is incredibly beneficial. The Mayo Clinic tells us that in the short term laughter can stimulate many organs, activate and relieve your stress response, and soothe tension. In the long term it can improve your immune system, relieve pain, increase personal satisfaction and improve mood. Looking for a good book? Download Overdrive or Libby and put that library card to good use. Endless numbers of free books are at your fingertips and audiobooks at your ears.
Hug a loved one, your pet or even yourself. It may sound silly, but wrapping your arms around your torso, placing your hands on your shoulders and squeezing can provide some serious perks. Healthline cites research that found hugging yourself can help relieve pain, provide feelings of safety and security, improve your mood, and increase self-compassion. So take a deep, cleansing breath, embrace yourself and show your body some love.
Whatever this year may bring, you are ready for it. We’ve put a crazy year behind us and now we move forward into fresh opportunities. Fuel your body with healthy foods, fuel your brain with dreams, and fuel your soul with good intentions. You got this!
by Catie Zimmerman