wellness

"Call in sick when you're sick." 20 very doable things that will make 2020 your healthiest year yet.

We’re now entering New Year’s resolution season – that time before January 1 and after work wraps up for the year – and many people may find themselves promising they’ll ‘get healthier in 2020′.

For some, that may mean focussing on their mental health, for others, it’s revamping their diet or taking on a new sport.

But beyond the Instagram-approved matcha lattes, 30-day shreds and linen-heavy wellness retreats, it’s often the little changes that are most effective – not the glamorous pursuits that feel more fad than fact.

From the tried and true method of limiting screen time to picking up a new creative hobby, we asked the Mamamia community to share the small things they’ve done to make their lives healthier and happier.

Just in case you needed a little inspiration for 2020.

From the keto diet to interval training: 7 health myths debunked. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

1. “Be more aware of what triggers me, and make efforts to avoid these triggers. For me, this is not sleeping enough. This year I realised just how much my mind and body are affected by a continual lack of sleep, so I’m going to actively focus on managing my workload, stress levels and self-discipline to avoid burning myself out. I’m sure I’ll still slip up, but being aware of what self-destructive habits can affect your mental wellbeing certainly helps.” – Amy.

2. “Mine is to call in sick when I’m sick.” – Elise.

3. “Go to the doctor at the beginning of the year! Even if there’s nothing wrong with you, get a full check-up at least once yearly.” – Ella.

4. “I no longer sleep with my phone in my room which keeps me calm and not listening for the ‘ding’ of news or messages, I also don’t check my phone in the AM until after my breakfast.” – Bronte.

5. “Chuck out the scales.” – Talia.

6. “Meditation has really helped me become healthier this year. I spent way too much money on a course so now I force myself to do it to get the money’s worth. I do 20 mins twice a day – but I think even just five minutes can help. It’s made me reassess what’s important, made me much calmer and able to deal with stress more easily.” – Lily.

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7. “Everyone underestimates going for a walk every day but it’s literally some of the best exercise you can do. I spoke to a bunch of exercise experts and they said the best exercise you can do is whatever you can do every day. Which for most people is walking.” – Jessie.

8. “Mine is to cook more often at home. I rely too much on takeaway and pre-packaged meals and I’m not sure if I’m getting all the nutrients I could be getting. Finding easy healthy recipes that don’t involve great cooking ability is a priority.” – Adam.

9. “I take a day to myself every now and then. Lately, I’ve been using them to buy gifts for people or organise food for a party. Next year I’m going to use those days to focus on the hobbies that I’ve neglected. I enjoy dancing, scrapbooking and reading books about my interests (that have no ‘I’ll be able to discuss this to sound ‘with-it’ and cultured’ value). These things often get thrown aside because ‘I’m too busy’ but next year I’m prioritising my interests, and I think that’ll help my mental health.” – Cindy.

10. “I’m going to try and actually use my gratitude journal. Apparently writing down three things you’re grateful for before bed helps you be more present and feel joyful for what we have rather than focussing on what we want.” – Lisa.

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Image: Getty.
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11. "I got a FitBit as a Christmas present last year and it has motivated me so much to not only exercise but to get enough sleep! The sleep tracker is so helpful and it actually motivates me to get to sleep earlier during the week. You can also track daily water intake, which has led me to drink more water during the day." - Jess S.

12. "When I’m limiting my alcohol intake, I’ll still go out and ‘drink’ with my friends but instead, I’ll order a soda water and tell them it's a vodka soda." - Eleanor.

13. "Literally to just go outside for at least half an hour every day. Fresh air is amazing." - Keiran.

14. "When it comes to exercise, I completely lower my expectations of what I want to achieve. Instead of saying to myself that I have to run for 5kms at a set time, I tell myself to just do 3kms at whatever pace I can manage and then stop. It only takes 15-20 minutes and sometimes I'll do more, other times I'll just do the required amount, tell myself I've done enough and move on with my day. For an over-striving, overthinker it's been amazing." - Jess W.

15. "I keep a big water bottle with me at all times! It's a great reminder to drink your water because it's literally right there in front of you." - Ally.

16. "Next year I'm going to let go more. Let go of my anger over things that have happened in the past that have hurt or disappointed me. I hold onto things very tightly, I always have. But I think for a happier everyday state of mind I need to work on releasing that anger." - Charlie.

17. "Find a creative outlet. It doesn't matter if it's painting, pottery, makeup, embroidery or cooking, the joy that comes with learning and improving at a new skill is so under-rated. It's an instant way to feel better and more positive about yourself and gives you something to look forward to." - Sarah.

18. "I like to take joy in planning future holidays or any future events for that matter, it helps me feel happy every day and I've learned to love the journey. Why feel happy for four weeks of holidays when you can spread that joy out over the year?" - Ashlee.

19. "I try to eat at least two fruits and two veggies a day. I know it's meant to be more but it's what I can always reasonably do." - Emily.

20. "I like to saltwater gargle. I never got why it was good for you until I got sick, did it often and recovered way faster than normal. Now I do it for preventative purposes." - Toby.

What are your small tried and true health hacks? Tell us in a comment below.

Feature Image: Getty.

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