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50 Healthy Resolutions That Aren't Losing Weight
It’s fair to say that 2016 wasn’t a popular year (to put it mildly).
But while we may be ready to embrace 2017 with open arms, there’s one mistake many of us will probably bring into the New Year: focusing on the wrong resolution.
If data published in 2015 is any indication, many of us will pledge to lose weight. However, the problem with focusing solely on the scale is that it isn’t necessarily beneficial or indicative of our well-being. Not to mention the fact that concentrating on a pants size may make us ignore all the other aspects of wellness (like self-esteem or empathy, for example).
Of course, if losing weight is imperative to your physical health, it’s necessary to complete those goals and follow a plan outlined by a doctor. But if you’re searching for a way to prioritize wellness, there are additional options.
We’ve rounded up some healthy resolutions that have nothing to do with dropping pounds. Check them out below and then vow to make 2017 your best year yet.
1. Sleep more.
Commit to those eight hours. Proper shuteye is linked to better mental health and a lower risk for physical health conditions.
2. Cut back on sugar.
It’s difficult but it can be life changing if you pull it off. Here are a few tips on how to give it up.
3. Limit sodium intake.
Dietary guidelines recommend consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams per day (but the average American may consume more than 3,400 milligrams in a day ― yikes!). Too much sodium is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and more.
4. Start meditating.
The benefits of a meditation practice are boundless, from improved mental health to better concentration to a lower risk for disease.
5. Pick up crafting.
Experts say activities like knitting can ease anxiety and put you in a meditative state. And you get a scarf in the process? Score.
6. Spend time alone.
Introverts are onto something. There’s power in a little “me time.”
7. Plan a trip.
You’ll boost your mood instantly. Research suggests planning a vacation can increase happiness ― and just think, you’ll have an adventurous city or a white sand beach to look forward to after you book it.
8. Keep a journal.
This could be a book that gives you prompts or just an empty place to scribble out your frustrations. Studies show journaling can be cathartic for your mental health.
9. Go for strolls more often.
It’s actually a really healthy exercise, according to science. Hit the pavement.
10. Cut back on complaining.
Negative thought patterns can increase stress levels. Try a mindful experiment where when you catch yourself complaining ― or thinking negatively ― you counteract it with something positive. Here’s a little inspiration to get started.
11. Give up diet soda.
Let’s face it: The zero-calorie coke alternative is not doing anyone any favors. It has the potential to hurt your health and studies have found it doesn’t help with losing weight.
12. Compliment someone once a day.
And not just on their appearance. Genuine compliments can go a long way for both you and the other person.
13. Practice gratitude.
Studies suggest that gratitude can improve overall well-being and may even boost physical health. Try keeping score of what you appreciate every day. Need some ideas to get started? Here are 100.
14. Go to therapy.
Therapy can be an incredibly useful tool for self discovery or as a way to work out life’s challenges. If you’re dealing with a particularly rough period ― or just want to know more about your inner world ― mental health professionals can help.
15. Volunteer regularly.
Donating your time to people or an organization in need can do a world of good. And if you needed more reason: Research shows volunteering can improve your health. It may also increase your happiness levels thanks to a circular effect. Kindness makes you happy, and happiness makes you kind.
16. Drink more water.
Forget what you were told about drinking eight glasses a day and aim for hydration instead. Here’s a handy guide to know when you’re actually feeling parched (it might be happening sooner than you realize).
17. Cook at home more frequently.
You’ll end up getting healthier in the process. Research says homemade meals can help you skip out on excess calories.
18. Commit to a strength-training routine.
Building muscle can help protect you against injury and even sharpen your cognitive skills. Start small ― even just using your body weight ― and increase as you get stronger.
19. Talk to more strangers.
It pays to make a little eye contact. Research shows smiling at someone you don’t know could help increase feelings of social connection.
20. Say “no” more often.
Burnout is real and it can happen in a blink of an eye. Make sure you’re prioritizing yourself and not saying “yes” to everything because it feels like an obligation. Self care isn’t selfish.
21. Handwrite letters instead of emailing people.
Make an effort to communicate via snail mail this year. Handwritten correspondence is a lost art form ― but there are real benefits to putting pen to paper, from better creativity to a smaller risk of multitasking.
22. Schedule walking meetings once a week.
You’ll get far more out of it than if you were holed up in the office. And that added physical activity may just get your creativity flowing.
23. Use all of your vacation days.
Those who are lucky enough to get vacation time often don’t put it to use. A recent survey found that 32 percent of people used zero of their allocated days last year. But taking a break is super important for your well-being. Don’t feel like taking a vacation? Try a mental health day, instead.
24. Call your family more often.
Chances are they’d love to hear from you and you can benefit from it, too. Research shows calling loved ones like your mom can ease stress.
25. Cut back on material spending.
Money does not buy happiness, according to science. Take your hard-earned cash and use it for an experience instead. There’s evidence it will bring you more joy.
26. Try team sports.
The camaraderie is great and you’ll pick up a new hobby in the process. Plus, it’s ― you guessed it ― good for your mental health.
27. Learn a language.
Say “hola” or “bonjour” to a new life skill. Research even supports the theory that it’ll boost your brain.
28. Forgive someone.
Anger and resentment is like holding onto internal poison and can even harm your physical health. Life’s too short to not move on.
29. Make regular doctors’ appointments.
Research shows that ― for the most part ― it’s okay to forgo annual physicals if you’re generally healthy individual. But that doesn’t mean throw caution to the wind and ignore your body. If you’re sick or something is off, see a doctor. That includes specialists like dermatologists and dentists.
30. Donate to an important cause.
That same kindness feedback loop that happens when you volunteer may also apply in this case as well. Here’s a list of organizations that may need your help right now, in particular.
31. Read one book a month.
Research shows reading can boost empathy and emotional intelligence. If you’re committed to diving into multiple novels this year, check out this list of tips and benefits that will help keep you motivated.
32. Bring your lunch to work every day.
Trust us, your wallet will thank you. Take a look at this breakdown to see just how much you’ll save.
33. Practice self-acceptance.
It’s actually a key to a happier life but it’s a habit people rarely practice. Make your internal dialogue as kind as it would be if you were talking to your best friend.
34. Say a mantra every day.
Mantras can keep you grounded in the moment, allowing you to reap the rewards of mindfulness, and they could help you actually believe what you’re saying after a while. (Yes, you are beautiful. And yes, you should repeat that to yourself every day if that’s what you need.)
35. Wear sunscreen.
Skin cancer is no joke. Luckily, there are tons of moisturizers that contain a little SPF.
36. Eat more (good!) carbohydrates.
Psst, the healthiest people in the world actually consume a lot of carbs. (Yep, you read that correctly.) Check out how to incorporate more of these important nutrients into your diet.
37. Cut back on alcohol.
Sure, a little is fine (who doesn’t love a good glass of Pinot Grigio?). But the negatives outweigh the positives in the long term in this case.
38. Go outside more often.
Not only does it improve your mood, you get the added perks of exercise. Win-win.
39. Give up the snooze button.
Seriously, you’ll feel much better for it. And maybe you’ll finally become one of those successful morning people.
40. Floss regularly.
There’s a reason your dentist nags you about that tiny string. Clearing your gums of bacteria is necessary for oral health, so do what you can to make sure they’re in good condition.
41. Make your bed every day.
No act of organization is too small. And it may make you happier.
42. Don’t use your smartphone before bed.
The type of light that’s emitted from screens can disrupt your sleep and keep you awake longer. Try ditching your device at least 30 minutes before you shut your eyes.
43. Do an activity outside of your comfort zone.
There’s a whole life to discover on the other side of your routine. Not to mention the fact that doing something different may boost creativity.
44. Pick a theme for the year.
If you’re starting to feel like this whole “resolution” thing isn’t for you, try sticking to a theme instead. Instead of picking a goal, pick a word you want to abide by for 2017. It could be “brave” or “confident” or “compassionate.” Whatever you want to start doing ― or being ― more of.
45. Fix your posture.
Straightening up is not only an instant confidence booster, it can also prevent back problems and reduce stress. Your future self may just thank you.
46. Sign up for a race.
There’s something satisfying about crossing a real finish line. Running comes with a lot of physical and mental health perks, from lower risk of disease to improved mood. Why not celebrate a running routine with a tangible medal of your accomplishments?
47. Marie Kondo your space.
Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is the champion of the tidying method where you only keep items that bring you joy. Since then, the trend has gained traction and for a good reason. Not only does it keep your home clutter-free, there’s also a psychological health component to focusing on the materials that make you happy.
48. Cut back on social media.
Research shows that constant scrolling through a newsfeed can lead to social comparison, or the need to stack your life up against someone else’s. This can then lead to depressive symptoms. Take a step back from all of it and live your life based on how you feel ― not on how cool it’s supposed to look with a filter.
49. Spend time with people who think differently than you do.
Empathy, or the ability to walk in another’s shoes, is the foundation for a lot of positive perks. The more you expand yourself and open your eyes to different perspectives, the more open minded you become.
50. Love yourself.
Because you’re all you’ve got ― no matter what
love in disguise
5 WTF snaps from the Comedy Animal Photo Awards
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (yes, that's a thing) are back once again, showcasing candid shots of the funniest critters on the World Wild Web.
So good are some of these snaps, it's almost as if the animals knew the brief. From peekaboo eagles to ballet-dancing ants, and friendly polar bears to snowball-flinging monkeys, the most comedic scenes from the animal kingdom are all here.
Kick-started last year to help raise cash and awareness for conservation efforts in a lighthearted way, you can enjoy a handful of 2016's funniest shots below before heading over to the CWPA website to LOL at the rest of the entries
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a 'peli-can't catch a fish to save his life'
*Plays 'The Great Escape' theme tune* © Nicolas De Vaulx/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016
That feeling when you forgot something important
"Shit. Did I leave the iron on?" © Barb D'Arpino/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016
Oh yeah. Laugh it up
"You want a funny photo? Owl handle it." © Edward Kopeschny/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016
Who needs hand-eye coordination anyway?
"Oh yeah, this is awkward for you, huh?" - fish © Rob Kroenert/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016
That's a bad day in the office
"Hey, Dave, I'm taking the rest of the day off." © Tom Stables/Comedy Wildlife Photo 2016
Check out the rest of the entries to this year's competition right here.
So,this happened yesterday.
After having examined the never ending series of patients continuously for hours together at the morning OP. We were finally excused to pleasure our exhausted bodies with lunch.The hospital canteen being so routine as always.We decided to treat ourselves "biryani" at a nearby fancy restaurant.
We entered the restaurant being totally aloof of what was waiting for us ahead!
It had quiet the satisfying food it was famous for. Meanwhile,we found it strange to find, two "guys" rotating around our table.It happened more than twice,and that really made us feel weird.
We had to anyways get back to the hospital.
So,we quickly did our lunch,payed bills and we're on our way back to the parking,ONLY to have noticed these "guys"(mentioned earlier) looking eagerly for us to walk down past them.
Completely took us off guard!
One of two guys,
Tinted teeth,red mouth,gutka chewing,quiet the malnourished body.Comes on to me!!!and yells on the middle of the road!
He goes on like this-(very angry tone)
"Hey you!what's your name?!"
(And here am,"thinking in my mind",why the hell would he be event talking to me??!!!!)
I say-Excuse me!Is there a problem??
He yells at me!"what is your bloody fucking name?!"
His tone gets me on my nerves and this time!
I wanted to give it back.
I said,"who the bloody fucking hell are you to ask me that!?"
Looks like,I agitated him.
And he doesn't stop there!
"You are a Muslim,how shameless are you to be moving around with a guy like this!"he says pushing my colleague back!
Being the person am,it took no time for me to snap at him right away!My anger knew no bounds at that time(not that I can express,I was rrrrreallly scared though,within!)
I shouted back,saying "Who the hell are you to question me?!!!Trying to be my brother??You are not even family! What gives you the authority to question me??!
Ohk!you gotta problem with me,let's go to the Police!"
(20 men around me and noone makes a move!and I,stand here being yelled,and uselessly shouting back at this piece of crap that he is,making me wonder why all these men around me forget their pride,in calling themselves a MAN. You can't even standup for a girl,whose fighting for herself,Do you really consider yourself to be one?!!
Now that I think of it,I wish,I could have asked them right on their faces.)
A 45-50yr old Muslim Man comes out of nowhere in the middle,
He starts by sushhhhing everyone around.
He turns towards the guy and asks him,
Do you know her?
The guy says, NO.
then goes asking,does she know you?
The guy says, NO.
Right at this point,when am finally thanking this old man for his wisdom,in my own head.
What's your problem with her then,he asked?
The guy said- am a Muslim.She is shamelessly moving around with a nonmuslim.Its becoz of girls like her the whole religion is getting spoilt!She wears a scarf and does things like this.I cant tolerate.
I could take that nolonger!
I stepped in,right into his face and said,
"Who the hell are you??What do you think of yourself!"
On this,the old came intervened,He broke all hell loose,when he said.
"Look she is young,she doesn't know what she doing.you got lotta time right?you came here just by following her right? Follow her home and tell her parents.They will do the best for her".
Having heard that coming from an elder person,who I few seconds ago,thought "wise"! Made me completely loose my faith in "logic","wisdom".He,once for all!proved me wrong to have believed him to be wise,though I knew he was a Muslim himself.
Whoever said,with age comes experience!
Hellooooo Mister!!!!"You are completely WRONG!"
Few brains never mature!
So obvious it was of me to ask this foolish old man,how was he even making sense??!!!
On this,he takes the guy to a corner,trying to calm the guy down I guess (but it looked more like,he was adding the fuel)
And seeing all the irrelevant, meaningless,coward nonsensical foolish people around.
We thought,it's better we just leave.
And started on our way.
Little did we knew,
That these guys were still following us,with the one sitting in the pillion seat was actually taking a video of us!
It was only when they overtook us,with the guy shouting at me,"tum ch***** ho!"did we knew!
And now,there was no more thinking!Our next stop was Police Station.
Iff only,I had superpowers of jumping from one vehicle to the other,I would have definitely kicked the guts outta him.(Iff you knew me,you know I could do that!)
But,that being no close to reality,I replied! "Bade marad bante ho,ruk police station hai yaha saale".
On saying that,
They both vanished!
And now!We were trying to trace them.
Only to have realised that we already missed them.
You might have probably realized by now,that am the girl wearing the scarf(hijaab),and am a Muslim.And my colleague here,who came by with me,just to have a proper meal is a NONMuslim.
The guy who stopped me,was a Muslim,who regards his "being a Muslim morale" higher than being a human!
He had a problem,when he saw a Muslim girl having lunch with a NonMuslim.And,that was all it required to bring out the inhuman psychopath he was.He gave himself all the rights to question the girl,irrespective of the fact that it was never his business what-so-ever she does with her life! So,obvious-The old muslim man was of no help.Now that i think of it,might be iff he was sensible enough Or probably belonged to Non-Islamic religion would he had stopped the sequenced that followed to have happened.
Sitting awake all night,feeling helpless and miserable.
Waking up,to hear about the 4yr old (Muslim Girl) being raped in her own school (Islamic International School)
I can't help but ask!
Is religion really a boon??
Creating differences,encouraging discrimination(be it based on religion,caste,colour-is that the new way of being Kool?
Are there no real men out there,who would speak and stand for GOOD?
Are we really as free and independent,in this democratic country as we call it to be?