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New Year, New You: Find Balance in 2017

We all want to start a new year on the right foot, but the same-old resolutions can be daunting and easily dismissed by the end of the month. After all, it can be tough to wake up at five in the morning to go to the gym while it’s still dark and icy outside.

At Bethesda Senior Living Communities, we fully support eating well, exercise and all the other traditional New Year’s resolutions, but we also believe there is a better way to get the end results of healthy living without asking you to make radical changes to your day-to-day routine. The answer is “balance.”

We often say we are here to promote the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our residents. These components must be in balance to achieve holistic health. Healthy eating and exercise are part of a balanced life, but so are taking care of your emotional and spiritual well-being. And taking care of your emotional and spiritual health might even feed back to your physical health.

With balance in mind, here are three resolutions for 2017:

1. Cultivate compassion to improve your emotional health.

Emotional well-being is about energy. It’s about how you approach the world and how you frame your life within it. One way to achieve a healthier emotional balance is to cultivate compassion for other people. The jerk who cut you off on the highway might genuinely not have seen you, or they might be distracted because they’re worried about a sick parent. Taking a moment to think about what might be happening in the lives of people around us can give us more emotional balance in our lives.

2. Re-connect with your faith to boost your spiritual health.

Whatever your spiritual background is, it’s easy to get in a rut and lose the sense of balance that faith can bring to our lives. Re-connecting with your faith doesn’t have to be a major under-taking. If it’s been a while since you’ve attended a worship service, try making a commitment to go once a month to start getting in the habit. Or if you go weekly, mix it up by sitting in a different pew across the church. Or consider visiting your local library and browsing the religion shelves for an inspirational book. Faith is a year-round concern, but the new year is a great time to try to restore balance.

3. Exercise daily to maintain your physical health.

Finally, physical health is about eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and finding time to exercise every day. Exercise doesn’t have to be a hard-hitting trip to the gym, but rather can be thought of as staying more active in our daily lives. One way to get in a little exercise is to take the stairs rather than the elevator. If you work on the 15th floor, that might not be feasible, but walking up two or three flights of stairs is one small way to promote physical health and keep you mindful of the importance of daily exercise. Taking small steps consistently throughout the year is more beneficial in the long run than exercising rigorously for a week in January and then slacking off until the next New Year.

With these thoughts in mind, we want to wish you a healthy 2017. Here’s to a great—and balanced—year.