With the new year almost here, many are thinking about what is and isn’t working in their lives and are considering ways to make improvements.
Despite all the uncertainties caused by the pandemic, setting intentions for the future can help us regain a sense of control. However big or small our resolutions may be, they allow us to focus on the things we’re most excited about!
Below are 10 ideas you may find helpful as you think about 2022. Whatever you decide, be patient with yourself as you commit to new goals.
Prioritize your mental health. No matter how old you are, maintaining your physical health is just as important as maintaining your mental health. Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being and impacts how you think, feel, and act. Take time to do the things that make you happy and know when to seek professional help. To find resources, visit: https://bit.ly/3H49Mdp.
Commit to eating healthier. Balancing your favorite meals with healthier foods can help keep your overall health in check. Instead of making drastic changes, consider simple steps, such as swapping high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables, drinking water instead of high-sugar drinks, and cooking meals for yourself instead of ordering out. For tips on how to eat healthier, visit: https://bit.ly/3EiYnVm.
Create an emergency plan. Emergencies are by nature unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead. Set aside time to talk with your family about what to do, where to go, and what to take in the event of an emergency. Put together an emergency kit equipped with food, water, supplies, and other basic items you can use over several days. Learn how to make an emergency plan here: https://bit.ly/3J8igSN. Read more about emergency kits here: https://bit.ly/3JgkYFU.
Find ways to stay active. There are many perks to regular physical activity, including decreasing blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing self-esteem. Adults should fit in at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity per week and kids ages 6-17 should get at least 1 hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day. If you’re an adult, try committing to 30 minutes of activity for 5 days a week. Here are a few ideas to get you started: https://bit.ly/3ehQwg9.
Keep up with wellness visits and immunizations. Staying on top of regular medical and oral exams and tests – including wellness visits, dental appointments, and cancer screenings – can help you identify and treat problems early. Getting your recommended vaccinations will help protect you against a variety of illnesses that can become severe. If you are uninsured, consider seeking care at a free clinic or community health center. To find a location near you, visit: https://bit.ly/32q5Q7J.
Reduce your risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Anyone who is sexually active can get a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. To help avoid getting an STD, use a condom, get tested, and communicate clearly with your partner about how to stay safe. Many STDs don’t have symptoms, but they can still cause health problems. To learn more, talk to your health care provider or visit: https://bit.ly/3mu5CUd. To find a confidential HIV, STD, and Hepatitis testing location near you, visit: https://bit.ly/3stV77s.
Make it a habit to recycle. By taking just a few simple steps, you can do your part to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Most household trash can be recycled, including plastic bottles, clear, brown and green glass, aluminum foil, and much more. Food scraps and yard waste can be composted. If you don’t have curbside recycling, visit https://bit.ly/32qe8MT to find a drop-off location near you.
Make a plan to quit smoking and/or vaping. You can improve your overall health and quality of life, reduce your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and COPD, and save money. Free resources, including coaching, planning support, educational materials, and referrals to other resources, are available by calling 1-800-784-8669, or 1-855-335-3569 for Spanish speakers. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3H7VnwJ.
Get rid of unwanted, unused, or expired medication. Most opioid misuse starts by people taking medication that wasn’t prescribed to them. Help keep your loved ones and the community safe by disposing of old prescription and over-the-counter medications, controlled substances (such as OxyContin, Ritalin), and pet medications at secure drop-off locations in Cowlitz County. Cowlitz County Health and Human Services’ medication disposal kiosk is located at 1952 9th Ave. Longview, WA and is open in the lobby year-round Monday-Friday, 8:30am-noon & 1-4:30pm.
Get enough sleep. Establishing a good sleep routine can improve your mood, help maintain your health, and boost your productivity. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and separate yourself from electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and phones. Physical exercise during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night. Adults should get 7 or more hours of sleep per night and school-age children should get 9-12 hours of sleep every 24 hours. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3EoL59G.
Happy New Year!