In my last blog, I talked about beginning your New Year on December 1st and the reasons why that would help you to have the best winter ever. Now let’s take a look at the five different areas of your life to consider when deciding on your goals and resolutions.
Here at Ascension Chiropractic, at first glance our main focus is to restore the physical health of our patients. By removing subluxations and structurally correcting the shape of the spine, we see incredible progress in improved function, quality of life, and overall well-being.
I am also passionate about ensuring that my patients live a well-balanced life. Every chance I get, I encourage healthy mental and spiritual habits as well. We are not only our physical bodies. We are so much more than that.
This area is the one most people focus on in the New Year. Choose one small step that you will take beginning December 1st so that you will go into the Christmas season feeling healthy and empowered. Here are some suggestions: walk more, no snacking after 7:00pm, ensure your chiropractic adjustments, and exercise times are non-negotiable.
Combat the winter blahs by embracing the opportunity we have to spend time indoors by stimulating your mind. Take advantage of all the musical concerts happening this time of year; pick up that musical instrument and practice or learn something new; try Duolingo and learn a language for free; find books on topics that inspire you; read or write poetry; do some research on your family tree. When you become engrossed in a mentally stimulating activity you enjoy, it is like a mini-vacation and you will feel refreshed and inspired.
This area can be a minefield for some families during the holiday season. Taking responsibility for how we choose to respond in certain situations will be the only thing that will change a negative dynamic. The only person you can control is yourself. What are the small steps you can decide to take in this area? Have a game plan. Increase your emotional margins by making time for yourself to recharge. Don’t let yourself become so worn down and stressed out that you fall prey to a knee-jerk reaction when Aunt Sally slurps her soup at the dinner table for the sixth time. Setting boundaries is critical as well. Frankly, there are some people and some situations that we can only handle for a set amount of time. Be honest with yourself and honor your feelings.
It is very easy to engage with people on a surface level with small talk (the weather, worn-out cliches, etc). Challenge yourself this winter to go deeper in your relationships. What are some simple ways to progress in this area? Find someone you would like to connect with and take a genuine interest in them. Call that one person you haven’t spoken to in awhile who just “gets you” and carve out time for a heart to heart conversation. (By the way, determining to use the heart emoji more frequently on Facebook does not qualify as a goal in this area.) Please do not underestimate the effect of meaningful social connections. Studies have shown they have a direct impact on the quality and longevity of our lives.
Some of you follow the beliefs of a specific religion and some of you do not. The point here is to recognize that we are more than our physical bodies. We all have a spiritual component about us that should not be ignored. Spend time this winter to reflect on your blessings. Write a gratitude list and review it daily. Read scriptures from your book of faith. Be inspired by nature and the universe and be in awe of a power greater than any of us.
I cannot stress enough that these five areas are interconnected. Your physical condition affects your mental state and your emotions. Your social connections are linked to your emotions, physical health, and ways of thinking. Feeling intellectually stimulated and engaged in life leads to better social connections. You get the idea.
It is my deepest desire that all of you have the best, well-balanced winter ever by remembering to choose goals and resolutions in each area of your life. Begin taking baby steps December 1st. Be inspired, be healthy…because there is so much more!
Dr. Derek Haughton