5 Tips to Make 2023 Your Healthiest Year Yet
The approaching new year always brings a sense of possibility and renewal. It is a great time to make fresh commitments to your health and wellness and goals for improvement. We are always cheering you on at Brookview Wellness, so we are sharing Dr. Brooke’s top FIVE tips for making 2023 your HEALTHIEST YEAR YET.
1. Use Food as Medicine
We see a lot of diet-related chronic illness and inflammation in our office, so this tip is top of the list for the new year. The old adage that “you are what you eat” has never been more true than it is in our society today. We are surrounded by food choices that are produced with a complete disregard for our wellness.
Processed foods, fast food, and foods packed with chemicals are lining the shelves at every grocery store you wander into. It can be overwhelming and confusing when you try to determine what is healthy and what is toxic for your body. That is why, to make 2023 your healthiest year yet, we encourage you to approach food as medicine to heal your gut, maintain your health, and help you avoid chronic illness. Here are some tips for learning to utilize food medicine:
- Eat in harmony with your physiology – The foundation of your diet should be plant-based, whole foods that are not processed or packaged for a long shelf-life. Our bodies are designed for eating fresh produce and lean meats. Of course this means lots of veggies and fruits, but it also means limiting your consumption of things like grains, dairy, and gluten.
- Understand your unique deficiencies and requirements – Not every human body reacts the same to its nutritional input. Seek professional guidance to formulate a personalized program that addresses your needs and tastes.
- Be willing to learn and adopt new habits – As you learn to use food to heal and maintain your wellness, you must be willing to let go of old habits and establish new ones. This does not need to be a fast or stressful process, but it must be something you embrace to make the changes necessary to use food to keep you well.
2. Identify What is Holding You Back
Sometimes how you choose to take care of your body is intertwined with a variety of other lifestyle aspects and long-time habits. An important step to taking charge of your wellness is to identify the specific challenges in your life that keep you from making consistent healthy choices. Is your task list overwhelming? Stressed out? An emotional eater? Dealing with mental health issues? Any of these situations and plenty more can feel like obstacles to maintaining a healthy life.
When you start doing the work to delve further into these potential hurdles, you can unlock the will and seek the knowledge to make the needed changes. This might mean seeking out professional help, joining a support group, or talking to friends and family. The new year is a great time to start working on these things, but you certainly do not have to wait for a milestone event to get started on doing this work. Start researching resources and get to the healing for your healthiest year!
3. Deal With Past Traumas
It is entirely possible that past trauma is causing your chronic condition and is also holding you back from making good health decisions in your life. This is a very common discovery, so know that you are not alone in this category. Trauma shapes the way we think, react, and feel about so much that goes on around us. It affects our immune system and it is not surprising that it can also affect our ability to choose what is best for us.
When you wrestle with feelings of unworthiness and shame, every cell in your body feels that emotion causing dysfunction. It can seep also into our ability to take care of ourselves. Acknowledging and healing from your past trauma is essential to overcoming any chronic bad habits affecting your wellness. Seek out a mental health professional who specializes in EMDR or Brainspotting to assist you as you face your past traumas. It will be hard, but you will be better for it and more capable of prioritizing your health.
4. Don’t Be a Workaholic
One surefire way to set yourself up for an unhealthy lifestyle is to overcommit yourself to your job. You can love your job and still set boundaries that protect your health. The list of the negative side effects of stress over time is LONG. Cardiovascular issues and a severely compromised immune response are just two of the physical effects you will face when you choose work over self care. In addition, you will find it more difficult to choose healthy meals and exercise when you do not have the time to commit to maintaining those habits.
Like anything, moderation is best and that is very true when it comes to your job. Take a break, take care of yourself and give yourself the time to make this your healthiest year yet.
5. Have FUN
Fun is not something you will often see prescribed by a practitioner, but Dr. Brooke is all about adding this element into your life for better wellness. Not only does having a good time reduce toxic cortisol levels, it also releases that sweet, sweet serotonin into your brain. Serotonin regulates your sleep patterns, your cognition, and your moods. These are three huge contributors to a healthy lifestyle, so anything you can do to support those systems is of great benefit to you.
Regularly engaging in fun activities can give you better coping skills and boost your energy, both of which will affect your ability to maintain an optimistic mindset. Your mental health will thank you when you start adding some fun days to your calendar.
We hope these five tips for making 2023 your healthiest year yet give you lots to consider when you are making promises to yourself in the new year. Choosing to be intentional about your wellness is what will make all the difference, and we are always here to help.