3 Ways to Reboot Your Habits This Spring
With the change of seasons and new life blooming in nature around us, it’s a good time to shed old habits and refresh with new, healthy routines.
This year especially feels like a reboot. Not only are we springing forward from winter, but the whole world is starting to rebuild after two years of the pandemic. Crowds are gathering again, mask mandates are being lifted, and people are returning to the office.
Taking care of ourselves has always been important, but we may have even more work to do after what we all have been through.
A panel of health experts from NAU’s Employee Assistance and Wellness team recently presented on rebooting habits for spring. Here are 3 takeaways to help you reset your habits and start taking better care of yourself.
1. Assess Where You’re At
Shawnee McDowell discussed post-traumatic growth, the idea that when we experience trauma we look to rebuild something better than what we had before. In what ways can your life or health be better than they were before 2020?
This video explains post-traumatic growth in further depth:
The first step is assessing where you’re at and looking for areas of growth. Then, what do you need to move forward?
McDowell shared a helpful tip for taking the right behaviors to get you there.
You can’t totally control your feelings, but you can control what you want to think.
She asks herself, what do you want to feel? What thought can help you feel that way? Feeling good will then help you take the actions you want to take to better your habits.
2. Plan Exercise in Your Week
Frank Micale of the College of Health and Human Services shared a few guidelines for exercise habits. He suggests 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, which could be broken into:
- 2 sessions per week of strength training
- 20–60 minutes of a rigorous workout 3 times per week
Micale is a fan of getting the planner out on a Sunday night and scheduling in the days in the following week when he’ll get those exercise sessions in.
He says focusing on process-oriented goals — such as a certain amount of days to exercise — is more important that setting outcome-oriented goals, such as trying to lose 10 pounds.
The real goal is to make exercise as normal and important as brushing your teeth every day.
3. Make Incremental Dietary Changes
Jay Sutliffe of the Department of Health Services expressed the importance of making small, incremental changes over time regarding nutrition. A big part of making healthy food choices is in the planning. Having the right food in the house is the best place to start.
Sutliffe says more changes to implement revolve around meal timing, proper hydration, and consuming more nutrient dense foods. Dr. Fuhrman’s ANDI Scores is a great resource for determining which foods will help you achieve the proper amount of micronutrients without eating too many calories.
For more ideas and resources, visit NAU’s Employee Assistance and Wellness team at nau.edu/eaw.