Building Habits for the New Year and Adapting to Our Ever-Changing World

By: Michelle Graham
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verywhere I turn I keep hearing, “I want to get back to a time Pre-Covid.” I have thought and continue to contemplate wanting to go back to my old life. I miss my life before the pandemic happened, but there are many things that I like even better now. I love that I have more time with my family, I love that my work life forced me to step outside of my comfort level and allowed me to grow and change, I love that my crazy life slowed down if only for a bit, I love that I get outside and appreciate nature more. I don’t like wearing a mask, I don’t like that I cannot see people smile and don’t like the limitations the pandemic has caused in our daily living. In these crazy times, I have found that building some solid positive habits have kept me grounded and forced me to grow and change in ways I never dreamed possible. What habits can you embrace in 2021 and beyond? 

    Getting outside in nature has served me well through the pandemic and into the fall. I now wake up early and get outside and walk most mornings. Of course, this is part of my workout but being in nature has provided me with so much more. I have found time to be grateful for a body that moves well and a community that is safe and beautiful to walk in no matter the time of day. Find a way to move and get outside more. The rewards are endless. 

    Above all things stay positive. Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day. It is easy to get mired down with the heaviness of our day. Look for the good in your day and in others. Be the person that sees the glass is always half full. Keep your circle sweet and your words kind. As we embark on the holiday season find ways to lift others up. 

    Drinking more water has always been a goal of mine and I was finally able to implement this for 30 days. The benefits of water include better brain function, improved metabolism, toxin removal, improved complexion, increased energy, enhanced alertness, improved circulation and joint support. Can you improve your water intake, could you make this a 30-day habit for the upcoming year?  

Breathe and take a some-time to relax.  

    I like the 4-7-8 breathing method when I need to relax or find my inner calm. Carving out time each day for relaxation and mindfulness is something I treasure. The 4-7-8 breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. To do this 4-7-8 breathing technique you will first let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth. Next, close your lips, inhale through your nose as you count to four in your head, then, for seven seconds, hold your breath. Make another exhale from your mouth for eight seconds. I have found in times of stress or if I am feeling anxious this works wonderfully. This is also a good tool for falling asleep. Can you find five minutes a day for relaxation and peace during the holidays and beyond?  

Get an adequate amount of rest.  

    Thomas Dekker once said that “Sleep is the Golden chain that binds health and our bodies together”. Powerful words indeed, sleep is an essential component to good health. Through healthy restful sleep healing happens, we decrease our risk to disease, elevate our mood, strengthen our heart, boost our immune system and can improve memory. Be kind to yourself and make getting plenty of rest a priority this holiday season. Can you implement a sleep schedule/habit and adhere to it for 30 days?  

Making changes and building new habits takes time. 

    Give yourself 30 days to try something new. Matt Cutts did an amazing Ted Talk about trying something new for 30 days I found this to be inspiring, here is the link: www.youtu.be/UNP03fDSj1U What we discover about ourselves is that anything is possible. My current 30-day challenge is staying positive every day for 30 days, finding the good in people and inspiring those around me to look at life with optimism and enthusiasm. Muhammad Ali had some amazing words he lived by and I think they hold true today, he said “Don’t count the days, Make the days count”! My wish for you during this Christmas season is that you can embrace change and continue to find inner peace and joy and most important Make Every-Day Count.”