New Year, New You! Healthy Choices to Begin Making in 2020

Many of us mark a new year as an opportunity for a fresh start, but you don’t have to set sky-high goals for 2020. Even small changes in your choices can add up to big changes towards a fulfilling and healthy life.

Choose to Care for Your Emotional Health

Choose Healthy Relationships

Research reveals that healthy connections to others are vital to your emotional and physical health [1]. It’s best for you to be in no relationship than to be in a poor-quality relationship. Take inventory of your relationships to determine if they are truly healthy for you — or not. Trust your gut about this. Qualities of a healthy connection in a relationship include:

  • Trust
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Equality
  • Respect
  • Safety
  • More contentment than conflict

In contrast, unhealthy relationships might include things such as:

  • Apathy – not investing in the relationship
  • Jealousy or possessiveness
  • Manipulation
  • Control
  • Shaming and Criticism
  • Name-calling
  • Fear of the other’s temper
  • Physical harm (hitting, punching, kicking, etc.)

These kinds of negative behaviors don’t belong in healthy relationships, and you are too valuable to be treated in a way that is anything less than respectful. If you recognize the listed unhealthy patterns in your relationships, it’s time to practice healthy boundaries.

Practice Healthy Boundaries in Your Relationships

All healthy relationships have boundaries. A relationship boundary can be defined as “your ability to understand, communicate, and make a stand for how you want to be treated in your relationships [2].” Boundaries aren’t mean or selfish. In fact, you can’t enjoy fulfilling healthy relationships without boundaries.

If your relationship lacks boundaries, you might see these signs:

  • You say “yes” when you want to say “no.”
  • You can’t express your needs.
  • You don’t stand up for yourself when you’re treated poorly.
  • You feel responsible for the other person’s emotions.
  • You are the one giving, and the other person is doing the taking.

In a relationship with healthy boundaries, you’ll feel:

  • Empowered
  • Heard
  • Freedom to be you
  • Appreciated and valued
  • Respected

Choose to Take Care of Your Physical Health

When you choose relationships that are healthy for you and set boundaries for them, it improves not only your emotional health but also your physical health. There are other choices you can make to get 2020 off to a new you:

Get Enough Sleep

It’s all relative to your individual needs, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged 18-64 should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. You should get 8-10 hours of sleep if you’re age is 14-17.

Stay Physically Active

You should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise each day. Bonus points for getting it outside!

Eat Healthily

Ancient philosopher and physician, Hippocrates, said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” He may have spoken these words in 400 B.C., but modern science proves he was right. Good food keeps you strong and restores you.

Keep Your Body Free from Toxins

Your body recognizes sugar, junk food, nicotine, and drugs as poisons. Don’t poison your body!

Get Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Testing

Did you know that you will rarely experience symptoms for the two most common STIs (chlamydia and gonorrhea)? This is why we recommend testing, even if you don’t have symptoms. Maintain your reproductive health by following the CDC testing guidelines [3].

If you have additional questions or think you might be pregnant, contact us today for a no-cost, confidential appointment with us at Pregnancy Care Clinic.

[1] Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, August 6). The Health Benefits of Strong Relationships. Retrieved on February 12, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships

[2] Matthews, Mike. (2019, April 15). What Are Boundaries and Why You Need Them. Retrieved on February 12, 2020 from https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-are-boundaries-and-why-you-need-them/

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013, October 30). STDs & Infertility. Retrieved February 12, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/std/infertility/default.htm