With a new year just around the corner, it’s time to prioritise wellness and self-care. Here’s our pick of the healthy habits to concentrate on in 2024.
January is fast approaching and with it comes the usual pressure to set goals and make resolutions for the new year.
While we are always here for taking charge of your health, restrictive resolutions or overly ambitious goals can do more harm than good. To make successful, long-term changes to your health, you are better off focusing on small, sustainable changes to your existing lifestyle.
Instead of trying to overhaul your entire life in one go, try incorporating just one or two healthy habits into your daily routine.
Choose Small Habits Over Large Changes
Taking a slower approach may feel like it isn’t making much difference at first, but even small changes build up over time. Incrementally adding new habits into your routine can gradually help you become healthier and happier.
Most importantly, small, slow changes are easier to maintain for the long term. Consistency is key when it comes to wellness, so it is those little healthy habits we do every day that matter most.
Start by looking at your existing daily routine to see where you can attach new habits to the activities you already do every day, as James Clear recommends in his seminal book, Atomic Habits. Eventually, these healthy habits will become an automatic part of your routine, so you don’t need to rely on willpower or motivation to keep doing them.
Can you, for example, keep a bottle of water by your bed to grab as soon as your alarm goes off – helping you get your hydration in for the day? Can you do a five-minute stretching routine while you wait for the kettle to boil in the morning? Could you keep your vitamins beside the breakfast cereals, so you remember to take them every day?
Simple, small changes that work within your existing routine are the most powerful way to support your health for the long term.
5 Healthy Habits to Adopt in 2024
We’ve looked at how to incorporate healthy habits into your existing routine to improve your health and wellness. Now, let’s look at some of the simple changes you can make in 2024 for a happier, healthier you.
1. Delay Your First Caffeinated Drink
This piece of advice comes from Dr Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the department of neurobiology at Stanford School of Medicine.
Huberman has taken the internet by storm with his science-backed approach to a healthy morning routine, and one of his key tips is to delay your first cup of coffee (or other caffeinated drinks) for 90 – 120 minutes after you wake up.
Apparently, delaying your caffeine intake in this way improves your overall alertness and focus, helping you to avoid the typical mid-afternoon crash.
Instead, switch your usual cup of coffee or black tea for a caffeine-free version. We like zingy Lemongrass and Ginger herbal tea for its uplifting taste, or a cup of NutraCleanse to support digestion.
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Staying well-hydrated is essential to your overall health, but so many of us don’t drink enough fluids throughout the day. So, a great way to improve your health in 2024 is to make sure you prioritise proper hydration.
Water is the best choice here. While fruit juices, fizzy drinks, and coffee will all contribute to your overall fluid intake, they are often packed with sugar or caffeine (or both), so should only make up a small percentage of what you drink in a day.
If you find water simply too boring, herbal tea is a great alternative – naturally low in calories, it also lets you incorporate more herbs into your daily diet.
3. Prioritise Rest
We all know, in theory, that rest is important. But how many of us reflect that in our daily actions? Whether it is staying up too late scrolling social media or neglecting proper rest days in our training regimes, we rarely give rest the attention it deserves.
There are several healthy habits you can implement to make rest more of a priority in your day-to-day life. Consider creating an evening routine that helps you wind down for sleep, keeping to a consistent wake-up and bedtime schedule, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoons.
If you are putting together an exercise regime for 2024, make sure you add in rest days to avoid overtraining. And make sure you have some free evenings each week where you can focus on rest and relaxation – not trying to pack in a few extra hours of work or study.
4. Get Moving
Exercise is another area where there is often a big gap between what we know and what we do.
Few things have as much impact on our physical and mental health as regular movement. But exercise is so bound up in social expectations, body image, and self-created pressure that it can easily become a source of shame and anxiety, especially for those of us who aren’t naturally drawn to physical activity.
To make regular movement one of your healthy habits in 2024, try to let go of any expectations around what this should look like. You don’t need to become a regular gym bunny or go for daily 10K runs to increase your health through movement.
If all you can manage is a 15-minute walk or a 10-minute workout, then do that. Research shows that even a small amount of moderate-intensity exercise can reduce the risk of early death.
Going for a 30-minute run will feel much more daunting than a 10-minute jog – so opt for the one you’ll actually do. And if you need a little help feeling energetic enough to get out the door, try a cup of NutraBoost tea pre-workout.
5. Enjoy Your People
We hear regularly how diet and exercise make us healthier. But much less attention is paid to the role our relationships play in our health. So, we want to finish with a look at this often neglected area of our wellness.
We are social beings, and we need connection with one another to feel happy and healthy. Indeed, you might be surprised to learn that social connectedness is as important as diet or exercise for our long-term health.
So, if you want to concentrate on your wellness in 2024, look at where you can build stronger relationships with those around you. It could be having family dinners several times a week, setting aside a weekend a month to visit friends you don’t see often, or simply making time to share a cup of tea and a chat with your neighbours.