Take a Break and Swap Habits

Whether you are considering giving up something, like alcohol, during the upcoming period of Lent or simply checking in with New Year’s resolutions, as February draws to a close it might be a good time to consider some healthier lifestyle choices.  As the days grow decidedly longer, there are more hours of sunlight to encourage people to come out of hibernation and enjoy outdoor activities and social connectivity. 

If you have an enormous sweet tooth, giving up chocolate or soda could help shed a few pounds while reducing the risk for chronic illness including heart disease and diabetes.  Taking a break from eating fast food or eating out will not only be healthier, but you may also find it saves a significant amount of money.  

A digital fast can also help adults move more, connect in person with friends and family and, as a result, feel less socially isolated.   Try taking a breather from social media and binge-watching and you might be surprised how much better you feel.  While you’re at it, consider unfriending or unfollowing people with whom you don’t engage or that bring negative energy to your life. You could use the extra time to do a deep spring cleaning and donate unused household items and clothing to charity. 

Concerned about the planet?  How about breaking the single-use plastic habit?  Invest in few sturdy reusable grocery bags, straws and water bottles and you will make a meaningful change. 

What about giving credit cards or online shopping a hiatus?  You could save time and money by avoiding the lure of online deals or sticking to paying with only cash.  Try unsubscribing from texts and emails that might be tempting.  

With only a few weeks before we turn the clocks ahead on March 8, paying attention to sleep habits can also improve health and well-being.  Practice good sleep hygiene by turning off devices an hour before bedtime, keeping a cool, dark, distraction-free bedroom and avoiding late-night channel or media surfing. 

Whatever your beliefs, participating in a period of introspection and letting go can be a meaningful ritual.  Perhaps giving up guilt, worry, regret or judgment resonates with you this season.   Whatever you choose, if anything, good luck and happy almost-Spring!