Not surprisingly, New Year’s resolutions often focus on making changes to improve health and fitness. To help you give your patients some food for thought about their health goals for the year ahead, we’ve created a shareable list of 5 New Year’s resolutions for a healthier 2024.
Schedule Your Screenings
Health check-ups and screenings are critical for preventative care. It’s a fact: finding and treating health issues early can improve your chances to live a longer, healthier life. Now’s the perfect time to make sure all your screenings are on your 2024 calendar. Start with scheduling check-ups with your primary care physician and your dentist, plus any other specialists you see on a regular basis. Your doctor can help you determine which additional screenings are recommended for you based on your age and other factors, or you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website to learn more about recommended screenings, which include a mammogram for breast cancer, a colonoscopy for colon cancer, and more.
Improve Your Sleep
It’s not just a hot health trend making headlines, sleep has a real impact on everything from your heart health and blood pressure to your mental health and your metabolism. First, talk to your doctor if you have concerns you may have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, so it can be assessed and properly treated. Second, strive to get the recommended amount of sleep for optimal health: 7-8 hours for adults. Strategies like a cooler, darker bedroom and limiting screen usage before bedtime can also make a difference.
For more sleep strategies, check out this Healthline article: “17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night.” If you need help, ask your doctor or consult a sleep specialist.
Focus on Mental Health
Better mental health is one of the top 3 New Year’s resolutions in the U.S. for 2024, according to a YouGov poll. Mental health is a broad category that includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health concerns can range from handling stress, to anxiety and depression, to mental illness like PTSD and schizophrenia.
It’s important to note your mental health can change over time, depending on things like your physical health and life events. You may not have thought your mental health needed addressing in 2023, but that could change in 2024. Talk to your doctor about ways you can improve your mental health, including at-home strategies, medication, counseling, and seeking an official diagnosis so you can get the treatment and support you need.
Make Self-Care a Priority
Make a commitment to yourself in 2024 by focusing on improving your self-care. Self-care has benefits for your mental health as well as your physical health, including: reduced stress, improved immunity, better sleep, better mood, improved productivity, and more. Self-care is two-fold. First, it’s doing things that prioritize your mental and physical health. That could be as simple as walking, drinking more water, or practicing gratitude. Second, self-care is doing things you enjoy, to boost your mood and positivity. Self-care activities include making more time for hobbies or spending time with people you love.
Self-care is different for everyone, and it’s accessible for everyone — it doesn’t require investments like expensive fitness memberships, massage appointments, or vacations. (Though those can be nice, too, if they’re in your budget.) Get started with GoodRx’s article with “99 Self-Care Ideas You Can Try Right Now.”
Get Your Vaccinations
Part of being healthy is staying healthy, and vaccinations can help you prevent illness or reduce its seriousness — which will also help you avoid complications if you do get sick. First up for adults are annual vaccinations for flu and COVID-19. Your doctor can help you determine which additional vaccinations are recommended for you based on your age and other factors, or you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website to view the adult immunization schedule by age, which includes RSV, shingles, tetanus, and more.
Here’s to a healthier 2024!