Resolving to Live Healthier
Spring is a great time for a health reset. But when we set the bar too high, we inevitably fail. Here’s a list of doable goals that can set you up for a healthier, happier life. And none of them have to do with fad diets or weight loss!
Tip #1: Try meditation. Many Teamsters ask us for help managing stress. Meditation is an easy way to decrease stress, lower blood pressure, and improve focus. Not to mention, it can be free. Try an app like MyLife or Aura. Their mindfulness and breathing exercises help you relax in about 5 minutes with calming sounds and images.
Tip #2: Find exercise you love. It shouldn’t be a chore to get moving. Try different types of exercise until you find something you really enjoy. It might be lifting weights, dancing, swimming, walking, or maybe goat yoga in the park – better yet, a combination to switch up your routine and get outdoors.
Tip #3: Plan social time. Humans are social creatures. We know that social time is key to maintaining strong relationships and feeling supported. In fact, caring connections help us live longer. Be intentional about having one day a week when you get together with a friend or invite the whole family to share a meal together.
Tip #4: Schedule time to rest. Many Teamsters are understaffed and overworked. Overtime is nice, but not if you can’t get to the lake to enjoy your new boat. Take some time to slow down and do nothing – it’s how we prevent burnout. Rest is not something to feel guilty about. Vacation is self-care.
Tip #5: Stick to a sleep schedule. Getting enough sleep is as important as diet and exercise. Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough sleep raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and dementia. Most experts agree that 8 hours of quality sleep is ideal. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day leads to better sleep.
Tip #6: Cut down on screen time. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with our phones. Sure, they are incredibly powerful and convenient. But it’s easy to fall victim to “doomscrolling,” obsessively scanning social media and feeling overwhelmed by all the bad news you’ve consumed. Mayo Clinic recommends that adults limit their screen time to two hours a day. That’s because excessive exposure leads to higher stress, greater fear, heightened anxiety, and sadness. To help you cut down, try setting reminders on apps that tell you to put your phone down and take a break. You can also set your phone to give you screen time reports that track your progress.
Tip #7: Drink more water. Get a reusable water bottle and sip water all day. Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water each day. Proper hydration is great for your body, your skin, and even your mind. It regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, keeps your skin healthy, boosts alertness, and aids in digestion.
Tip #8: Eat more vegetables. Many fad diets focus on things you should cut out or avoid. Instead of restricting yourself, add more vegetables to your plate. Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and can be added to every meal from breakfast to dinner. Consider shopping at your local farmer’s market or planting a vegetable garden. Homegrown tomatoes and spinach can turn plain eggs into a tasty omelet.
Tip #9: Set a realistic budget. A budget makes it easier to pay bills on time and save for major purchases like a car or home. Try the 50/30/20 rule as a budgeting framework. Allow up to 50% of your income for needs. Leave 30% of your income for wants. Commit 20% of your income to savings and debt repayment. Our Teamsters Service Bureau offers financial counseling to help union members reduce their money-related worries. Simply call 612-676-3700 for a referral.
Tip #10: Practice gratitude. Notice the good things in your life, look for them and appreciate them, even when times are hard. You can express gratitude to yourself, write it down in a journal, or thank someone for their kindness. Beginning and ending your day with a positive attitude can be transformational.
These helpful tips are inspired by Jessica Ball, a dietitian who writes for Eating Well magazine.
Teamsters Service Bureau