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As we step into 2024, embracing a holistic approach to our health and well-being has never been more critical. In a world that’s constantly evolving, with new challenges and opportunities around every corner, prioritizing lifestyle habits that foster physical, mental, and emotional health is the key to thriving. From integrating sustainable practices into our daily routines to ensuring we maintain a balanced diet and regular physical activity, the choices we make today can significantly impact our quality of life tomorrow. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top lifestyle habits you should make a priority in 2024 to ensure you’re not just surviving but flourishing in every aspect of your life.
Getting good sleep is something that most of us struggle to do day to day, with either kids running around, meeting deadlines for work, or bingeing a new series on Netflix/Stan/ Binge/ Disney+ (there are too many streaming platforms to keep count). We often shoulder this and get about our day, but this can have some long-term effects if it isn’t addressed promptly enough, like high blood pressure, obesity, kidney complications and depression. Adults need roughly 7-9 hours daily for a good night’s sleep.
When thinking about being active, most of us have gym sessions, pilates, footy training or some social sport that we do throughout the week to keep us active. But for some people, it’s near impossible to try these things, as life can get in the way (looking after the kids & taking them for their extra-curricular activities, looking after a loved one that may not be in the best of health). However, making minor changes to get some form of exercise during the day, like taking the stairs when possible in an office space and having a nice walk around the block when the weather is good, can be beneficial in the long run.
Many believe meditating can calm a restless mind and help find some form of balance & peace. Finding some way to meditate in 2024 can be a great way to start your journey of better health & wellness. Some of the physical benefits of meditation include reducing stress hormones, which can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as reduce oxygen consumption and hyperventilation. Emotional benefits include an increase in positive emotions like compassion, reduction of aggression & reaction to negative feedback. It’s also noted through research that medication can help to “re-work” the brain by reducing the amount of negative neurological connection to the medial prefrontal cortex, which is commonly associated with traits like fear, stress & anxiety.
The constant hustle and bustle of daily life surrounded by traffic, construction sounds and people talking on their phones on the street or public transport can make you feel trapped. So finding time to escape the urban landscape and embrace nature is something we should all strive for to allow us to breathe in fresh air and hopefully not have bugs attacking us. Having that separation from your daily life and adjusting to enjoying nature can help boost overall well-being.
With our ever-growing population, we must look for alternative food sources that are nutritious but also environmentally friendly, so including more plant-based foods is something we should all consider implementing into our diet. Now, you don’t have to drop the weekly Sunday roast or weekend barbeques or enjoy an excellent juicy burger. Still, including more plant-based foods throughout the week would be good. Having a plant-based diet can lead to positive outcomes for your health, like better weight control, lower risk of developing cardiovascular complications, and improvement of heart function; for those with Type 2 Diabetes, it can help in weight loss & better control of insulin release, lower blood pressure & risk of hypertension.
Staying hydrated is a habit we all need to make in 2024. It’s straightforward, yet many of us don’t necessarily seem to like this task, and we usually only feel the need to hydrate after a big workout/run. Currently, it is recommended that adults drink at least 3.4L of water daily to stay hydrated. Now, hearing that may seem quite challenging, but you don’t have to drink that much water in one go; it can be consumed in small amounts throughout the day. Be cautious of being too hydrated, as your body can’t filter that much fluid, putting the kidneys and bladder into overdrive to help balance it out in the body.
We all enjoy a nice drink at the bar/pub, at a social gathering or simply as a way to cool ourselves down on a hot day. With drinking culture changing, maybe cutting down on alcohol consumption is something achievable in 2024. Some benefits that can come about from reducing or even cutting out alcohol entirely include improved sleep, more energy, more money in the bank account (alcohol can be pretty expensive in some places), better memory, improved Immunity, and improvement in mental & physical health.
This one may be tough to address in 2024. With so much happening worldwide, our devices help us connect with friends, family, and like-minded people with a simple tap or click. However, this constant connection can often make us feel detached from the real world – our eyes are constantly glued to our devices, and are with us almost 24/7.
Being so attached to our devices can affect our eye health (dry eyes, vision complications), may lead to insomnia, and some may develop anxiety and depression. In this technological age, it’s hard to do most things without the assistance of our devices. Still, there are things we can do to limit our device usage, such as having the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature turned on to limit constant notifications, allocating time throughout the day to be away from your devices and having a timer/set a block of time for how long you can use your device.
Finding a hobby can be a beneficial thing to do to de-stress and enjoy something that is outside the day-to-day tasks that you do. Painting, drawing, cooking new recipes, trying your hand at dancing, jigsaw puzzles, or simply collecting something are all examples of things anyone can do to help separate their busy work selves and embrace a more relaxed version of themselves. Being able to separate yourself from constantly having work on your mind can help you relax better and make you feel rewarded for the hard work you have done for the day.
With how fast-paced life can be, we can often forget to ask ourselves how we are doing internally from a mental standpoint. With growing trends in healthcare and the desire for a more holistic approach to viewing health, there has been an emphasis on addressing our mental well-being to ensure we live a fulfilling life. Finding time to step back and reflect can be a great way to help you feel more grounded and know that there are things you might need a hand in dealing with.