As 2023 progresses, many people are in the midst of trying to incorporate new wellness patterns or resolutions into their life. Typically these resolutions are goal oriented, often requiring a dramatic change in life.
Some of the most common resolutions include eating healthier, losing weight, saving money, spending time with friends and family, spending less time on social media and reducing work-related stress. While these are all great concepts, it can often be overwhelming to think of transforming your life in just a few months, or even days.
Creating changes to your health and life is more successful if done slowly. Making change step by step is a more attainable approach. Simple steps to gently incorporate change into your life will overall yield better results as you won’t be as overwhelmed, or as discouraged by not reaching a strictly defined end goal.
Whether you’ve already forgotten the changes you wanted to make or are still moving forward, here are some simple and easy ways you can incorporate health and change into your life in 2023:
• Sexual health: Take charge of your sexual health. Consider getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and check out GetTestedChaffee.com for testing sites. Have a conversation with your partner around what sexual health means to both of you and find ways to begin to incorporate that. Open, honest conversations around our health and sexuality are important ways to honor yourself in 2023.
• Fueling your body: While goals here may vary widely, from losing weight to building strength or to rediscovering movement after an injury or illness, there are lots of ways to incorporate small stepping stones to reach a bigger goal. Consider walking or biking to work or scheduling a time with a friend to bring more movement into your life.
Consider weekly meal prep or a food delivery service to decrease eating out and to find nourishment even when you’re in a rush. You could also consider setting up an appointment to get screened for diabetes and check your cardiovascular health at Chaffee County Public Health.
• Asking for help: Connect to a mental health professional to improve your mental wellbeing. If all of the options feel overwhelming, and you are unsure where to start, consider reaching out to one of Chaffee County Public Health’s behavioral health navigators who can help guide you on your mental wellness journey.
If you are a new mom, an amazing resource for help is through Healthy Start, a program that serves new families (birth through 12 months) regardless of income and number of children. A nurse home visitor meets with the family in their home several times throughout the first year. Services in this program include breastfeeding education and support, what to expect in the early days, safe sleep, depression screening and referral, normal newborn behavior, developmental milestones, car seat inspections, Cavity Free at 3, community resources, nutrition, exercise, birth control, infant safety and solid food introduction among many other topics.
• Increasing energy, avoiding winter cold season: Get good sleep. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night and stop screen time at least an hour before bed. Going to bed at the same time, with the same rituals can help improve sleep quality.
Avoid winter cold and flu season by washing your hands, staying home when you feel sick, and consider getting your flu or COVID shot to stay up to date and protect yourself from severe disease.
In good health, happy 2023!
Abigail Smedly is a registered nurse and clinical education and outreach coordinator at Chaffee County Public Health.
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