Did you spend most of 2020 feeling like you were trying to cling to the well-waxed wing of an in-flight airplane? One of the principal causes of anxiety is feeling like your life is spinning out of control, while you hold on for dear life.
Make 2021 the year you take back mastery of your trajectory. Here are five ways to take control of your life and health this year and sail, instead of drag, yourself into 2022.
1. Fix-Up Your Financial Outlook
2020 made many people realize how shaky their financial ground is. If you are among the many who felt insecure, why not do what you can now to improve your bottom line? Start investigating ways to establish passive income streams to keep some money coming in if future job losses leave you reeling.
What would happen to your family if you died? While you don’t want to dwell on morbid possibilities, a term life insurance policy costs little and provides peace of mind that your loved ones could stay in their home or pay their costs of living without your contributions.
Please don’t neglect health and disability coverage while you’re at it. While hospital bills for COVID-19-related issues are free, you could still get hit with a monster charge if they discover unrelated trouble like an undiagnosed heart condition. Plus, nearly half of Americans eventually develop a chronic illness, and if you wait to get disability coverage until you do, no insurer will touch you minus a rider disallowing the very condition likely to steal your working ability.
2. Improve Your Diet
Your health is your number one asset — especially in a nation with for-profit care. If you want to avoid costly future hospital bills, one of the best ways to do so is to improve your diet.
Start by expanding meatless Monday into one or two more days per week. Researchers led by Lorna Linda University scientists studied 73,000 people. Those who followed some vegetarian diet form — including those who ate eggs, dairy and fish — had a 12% lower death rate than those who ate meat.
Your next step is to expand your recipe collection to consume more plant-based foods in as close to their natural form as possible. Ultra-processed foods, like many convenience meals, are laden with sugar and salt, both of which can increase inflammation and adverse health effects.
Consider adding supplements for your specific health woes. If you have creaky knees, a combined glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM combo could help ease your pain. They work by decreasing inflammation and protecting the cartilage that lines your joints.
If you worry about heart health, an omega-3 supplement might help. It can decrease your triglyceride levels and slightly lower your blood pressure to cut your risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. Find Movement That You Love
Exercise is vital to longevity and well-being. It also gives you a confidence boost when you look and feel your best.
The trick to finding a program you stick to is finding something that you love. If running makes you miserable because of back or knee pain, why not take your workout in the water? Walking laps in a pool incorporates water resistance to work your muscles more vigorously, and you don’t break a sweat.
Resolve to try one of the many fitness apps now available if you returning to the gym gives you pause due to lingering COVID-19 concerns. From Zumba to yoga, you can find one custom-fit for your interest for much less than the cost of your average membership.
4. Tend to Mental Matters
Your mind and body work in tandem, and trouble with one can spell disaster for the other. Scientists in Australia recently found evidence supporting the theory that chronic stress can rewire your brain to keep your blood pressure high, increasing heart disease risk.
If you suspect you have a mental illness, please seek help from a qualified therapist. If you don’t have insurance coverage, you can now find apps that give you unlimited texting with a professional, and some include live Zoom-style 1-on-1 support. Most cost less than traditional counseling.
5. Celebrate Your Spirit
Finally, you weren’t born to eat, pay bills and die. Spend some time in 2021 pursuing those things that make your heart beat faster and spirit soar.
Have you always wanted to write about your life’s most harrowing experience? Invest in a pretty journal and schedule time in your planner to sit down and pen your magnum opus. Have you dreamed of traveling the world? Find out what you have to do to get your vaccine passport once you get your shots and take advantage of the travel deals sure to abound once things open again.
Take Control of Your Life and Health This Year With These Tips
If you want to make 2021 better than 2020, you need to rid yourself of as much uncertainty as possible. Take control of your life this year with the five tips above.