5 tips for a happy and healthy 2020 Featured Image

As we enter a new year and a new decade, your friends at Fraserside thought we’d jump on the bandwagon and not only wish you a happy new year, but also offer some ideas for your new year’s resolutions. When we’re happy and healthier, we’re better able to create communities of belonging.

  1. Spend less time on your phone

When you put your phone down, you’re able to be present. Just having your smartphone in the room can be a distraction. So next time you’re at the dinner table or relaxing with loved ones, put the phone away. You will find that you will sleep better, have greater social connections and be happier when you spend less time looking at the screen. And think of all the extra time you’ll have to focus on your other New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Create belonging

When we create communities of belonging, we create stronger and happier selves. “A sense of belonging to a greater community improves your motivation, health, and happiness.” Creating a sense of belonging starts with little steps, such as:

  • Smiling and saying hello to those you pass on the street when you’re out for a walk.
  • Join a club or volunteer.
  • Host a block party.
  • Be more accepting of others.
  1. Be more accepting

Just like practicing kindness and gratitude, being more accepting helps you create better relationships and build communities of belonging where the diversity of all people is welcome. Being less judgmental of others, and yourself, will also go a very long way in reducing anxiety in your own life. Here are a few ways to get you started to being more empathetic and less judgmental:

  • Stop your own negative thoughts.
  • Try to find common ground you share with others, even those that you think are different from you.
  • Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  1. Perform random acts of kindness

Research shows that when you are kinder and more giving, you are happier and healthier. Performing and witnessing kindness has many positive health benefits, including reducing stress, pain, and even blood pressure. As noted above, it is also a way of building community and creating belonging. Once you start, you’ll see how easy it is to start incorporation acts of kindness in your everyday routine. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Volunteer for a local organization.
  • Pay it forward by paying for a coffee for the next person in line.
  • Reach out and let an old friend you’re thinking of them.
  • Make a donation to a local non-profit.
  1. Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive rather than the negative can improve your health and your mood. Practicing gratitude can also help you deal with adversity and build stronger relationships. Starting a gratitude journal, meditation and writing thank you notes are just a few ways that you can easily start your new year with gratitude.