With the new year upon us, it brings a time for reflection now that another year is in the rearview. Take a deep breath — you made it through the many ups and downs of 2021, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and rise of other variants to the pressures of feeling like life came off pause for the first time in over a year. In a world that’s still reeling from a global pandemic, it’s easy to feel out of control and overwhelmed.
Luckily, one thing that we can control is how we take care of our bodies and maintain our health. As you begin to create intentions for the upcoming year, see what health resolutions you can make to better care for your well-being. By eliminating stressors, practicing self-care, and improving your mental and physical health, you can be a proactive participant in your health and wellness to make 2022 your healthiest year yet.
Explore 25 New Year’s health resolutions for bettering your mind, body, and spirit that you can use, make your own, or use as inspiration for what your health resolutions might look like for 2022 and beyond.
With more and more people making the switch to remote work and spending more time overall at home due to COVID-19, it can be easy to skip movement for the day. Staying active can boost your energy levels, improve your mood, control your weight, and promote better sleep.
Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least three days per week. If you’re strapped for time, you can break it up throughout the day. If you’re strapped for time, you can break it up throughout the day. For example, get your heart rate up for 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes during your lunch break, and 10 minutes after work. This can look like any activity that you enjoy and gets your heart pumping — like a lunchtime walk, stretches during a cameras-off meeting, or yoga before bed.
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We all know the effects that a poor night’s sleep can have on your day. Approximately 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems — so if you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, consider finding ways to improve your quality and quantity of sleep.
Stress is one of the main culprits that can inhibit our ability to unwind at the end of each day and ease into a restful sleep. Finding ways to make a nightly routine that reduces your stress at night can improve your sleep quality. Find what nighttime stress-relievers you can incorporate into your nightly routine, such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, a warm bath, aromatherapy, or unplugging from electronics.
If you still find yourself experiencing feelings of stress at night, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, consider taking an at-home sleep and stress lab test that measures hormones related to stress (cortisol and cortisone) and sleep (melatonin).
Out with the old and in with the new year! A common resolution is to clean and organize, and it’s no wonder why it’s so popular — living in a clean, organized, and inspiring space can help you live and feel better throughout the year. Clearing out unused items within your space is a great place to start, or by making it a goal to declutter and reorganize one space in your home each week.
Decluttering can help ease anxious feelings and cultivate a happy and healthy environment. This can also help prevent certain allergens, like dust and dander, from building up in your home and causing unwanted symptoms, like watery eyes or sneezing.
Your gut houses trillions of bacteria, which carry out vital roles for keeping your body functioning properly. To fuel the healthy bacteria in your gut, a diet full of dietary fibers, prebiotics and probiotics is important. These can often be found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha.
Making it a resolution to take care of your gut can not only help with gut-based issues, like bloating or constipation, but can help promote overall health. Studies suggest that impaired gut health plays a part in low-grade systemic inflammation, which is a key risk factor for heart disease.
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If your resolution is as simple as “drink more water,” you’re making a bigger health resolution than you may realize. Dehydration can lower energy levels and even affect brain function, so it’s important to ensure you’re drinking enough water each day.
A few easy ways to up your daily water intake include:
Many people make their resolution something broad like “eat better,” but narrowing it down to something more specific, like watching your sugar intake, can help you make strides in your health journey. Limiting added sugars from both food and beverages in your diet is important for your overall health, as added sugars can contribute to an elevated risk for certain chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Consider making your resolution to experiment with temporarily removing or limiting sugar from your diet. To do this, focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, and unprocessed foods. You can also replace table and processed sugars with natural sugar substitutes such as whole fruit, xylitol, stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit. If you have a sweet tooth you just can’t kick, try replacing nightly desserts with naturally sweet foods such as dates, smoothies, or frozen yogurt. Keep in mind some smoothies and frozen yogurt may have added sugars depending on brand and what's in them.
Self-care during COVID-19 and the resulting aftereffects is proving to still be a challenge, with our favorite gyms, wellness centers, or spas still temporarily or even permanently closed. Luckily, there are many ways to practice self-care from the comfort of your own home.
Consider dedicating time each day for self-care, no matter what this looks like to you — time to journal before work, meditating before bed, or a night by yourself with no plans. If you struggle coming up with ways to practice self-care, you could even participate in a self-care challenge to help you prioritize yourself each day.
The important aspect of self-care is to make it an activity that you enjoy, and one that will benefit your mental, physical, and/or emotional health (bonus if it hits on all three).
Some New Year’s resolutions focus on big-picture goals or life changes, and others can be as simple as getting outside more often. Spending time outdoors, like going for walks, hiking, or just being around nature, can lead to significant health benefits like boosted mood and improved energy levels; plus, exposure to the sun helps your body produce vitamin D.
Dedicating time for getting out of the house and enjoying the fresh air can help lift your spirits, especially if you work from home and don’t have regular times to leave the house like you might’ve had pre-COVID.
In our current climate, maintaining your health and wellness is critical. Though it may not be the most glamorous resolution, making a commitment to schedule all of your important health appointments is a relatively easy way to prioritize your wellness going into the new year.
This doesn’t mean you need to get every appointment scheduled for January 1 — rather, you could pre-schedule your yearly gynecologist visit, dental exam, and physical for the coming months.
Once the appointments are scheduled, use our health and appointment stickers in your planner, on your calendar, or anywhere else you keep track of important dates.
Pre-planning can give you the peace of mind that you’re doing at least one thing to prioritize your health and care for yourself, especially if you live a busy lifestyle and find that health appointments are the things often taking a back seat to other commitments.
You can also schedule out time for taking an at-home health test that makes it easy to check in on various areas of your health and wellness, such as your thyroid, heart health, [and more](https://www.everlywell.com/products/.
When adopting new health resolutions or goals for the new year, the most important thing is to make them work for you and your body. Remember that health doesn’t mean just physical health, so health resolutions can be anything that involves nourishing your mind and internal health, as well as physical health.
Below are a few other health resolutions, tips, and intentions to consider adopting this year:
Remember, these are meant to improve your health and wellness, so the last thing you want to do is stress yourself out. Taking gradual steps for your health and focusing on progress over perfection is how you’ll create healthy habits — not just for this year, but for many years to come.
Once you’ve narrowed down exactly what your health resolutions look like, you can use the printable goal-tracking sheet to set health intentions for the new year and track your progress throughout 2022.
When beginning the new year, we encourage you to see this as an opportunity to improve yourself and set healthy intentions to improve all areas of your life. Look at the fresh slate of a new year as a chance to recommit yourself to a healthy lifestyle.