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New Year’s Resolutions: 3 Key Things to Focus On

As the New Year unfolds, it is common to set resolutions with the intention to lead a healthier lifestyle. However, for many of us, especially those managing a health or painful condition, navigating this journey can be a challenging experience. 

To help you get started in 2024, we would recommend the following 3 key things to focus on for your health and have some great tips for you too!

Be Active

Start with realistic and achievable activities, especially if you don’t exercise regularly usually. Simple things like a brisk walk or a short yoga session. Take it slow, gradually increasing intensity over a number of sessions, to minimise the risk of pain or injuries. Remember the goal is to improve your physical activity levels for the long term, so avoid a boot camp style of exercise which you are far less likely to maintain.

Making it a family affair with outdoor activities like walks and bike rides can add some fun to your exercise regime. You can even incorporate exercise into holiday traditions, like a morning jog or a family dance-off. 

Listen to your body—if you feel pain or discomfort, address it promptly and seek guidance if needed. Don’t forget to prioritise recovery by getting enough sleep and taking time to relax. By being mindful and starting with enjoyable activities, you can stay fit and healthy while enjoying the holiday season.

For more tips on staying active, you can read our blog here.

Eat Sensibly

As the festive season approaches, it’s common to want to maintain healthy eating habits despite the tempting array of food at social events. The team at 360Me Nutrition advocates for a balanced approach to nutrition, emphasising good portions and planning instead of strict restrictions. Here are some simple tips to enjoy holiday meals without compromising your health goals:

Opt for a lean meat option like turkey breast for the traditional Christmas roast, removing the skin for a healthier choice. Limit roast potatoes to a daily allowance, focusing on green veggies, carrots, and pumpkin. Dry roast or bake vegetables with a light oil spray to control calories. Aim for five servings of vegetables daily to help manage dessert cravings.

When it comes to festive desserts, enjoy them in moderation. Consider healthier alternatives, like a pavlova with low-fat cream cheese and fruit or choc-dipped strawberries. Use smaller plates or serve in ½ cup ramekins to control portion sizes. Arrive at events comfortably hungry, starting the day with a balanced breakfast, and eat regular, fibre-rich meals or snacks before attending evening functions. Choose what you truly love to eat, allowing yourself to swap out less favoured items, reducing guilt associated with food decisions.

Be mindful of alcohol consumption during celebrations. Opt for moderation, choosing clear spirits with soda water or diet mixers over beer and cider. If you prefer wine, pace yourself with one glass at a time, interspersed with non-alcoholic drinks. Aim for at least two alcohol-free days per week for overall well-being. By following these tips, you can navigate the festive season with a focus on enjoyment and balance.

Bonus Recipe: Christmas Cherry and Chocolate Balls

Sleep Well

Understanding the importance of sleep health is crucial, and a clinical psychologist sheds light on common reasons for daytime fatigue. One key consideration is whether there’s sufficient opportunity for sleep. In our busy lives, we often prioritise other tasks over rest. If you find yourself falling asleep immediately but constantly tired during the day, it might indicate insufficient time for quality sleep. Simple adjustments, like turning off screens and going to bed earlier, can make a significant difference.

Breathing-related sleep disorders are another factor, especially if you snore, wake up gasping, or experience brief breathing pauses at night. Seeking medical advice, including a possible overnight sleep study, is essential for addressing potential long-term health consequences. Insomnia, characterised by difficulty falling or staying asleep, can significantly impact daily life. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i), administered by a psychologist with sleep disorder expertise, proves more effective in the long term than sleeping pills.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders, where the body’s internal clock is out of sync with societal norms, can disrupt sleep patterns. If you struggle to sleep until the early hours and find waking up for work challenging, a psychologist with specialised training in sleep disorders can provide valuable insights and behavioural interventions. While the mentioned factors are common, a comprehensive sleep assessment by a professional is recommended for a personalised understanding of sleep patterns and potential issues.

Not sure if you have a sleep problem? Complete this quick screening questionnaire to receive some personalised feedback about your sleep quality from our clinical psychologist.

So, as we step into the New Year, prioritising health becomes paramount, especially for those managing health conditions. 

Focusing on three key things —being active, eating sensibly, and ensuring quality sleep—offers a holistic approach to well-being. 

From realistic exercise routines to mindful eating habits and addressing sleep concerns, these practical tips aim to guide individuals towards a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. 

Embrace these pillars of well-being in 2024, incorporating enjoyable activities, balanced nutrition, and a mindful approach to sleep, ensuring a journey towards improved health and vitality.

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