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And we’re off to a new year...

Dr. Steven Hedinger provides self improvement tips
Wellness Column by Dr. Steven Heidinger

I just finished reading a list of 50 ideas for your New Year’s resolutions. It was an exhaustive list which made me feel like I’ve got a bit of work to do. I didn’t realize there were so many ways to re-invent yourself. There were things to add to your life, things to subtract and things to just “change.” Here are my top five adds, my top five things to remove and my favourite “change” one can do to resolve to renew one’s self for the new year.

Add exercise. We all know it’s good for us, but there are so many chronic diseases that are linked to inactivity that gyms should be free, and we should get fined or pay more taxes for inactivity.

Add quality sleep. Eight hours is a great number for which to strive. Binge-watching your favourite Netflix show and a 6 a.m. wake-up call is not conducive to restorative sleep. 

Add friendships. Stop screening your calls because you don’t want to talk. Don’t default to a “no,” when you are asked to go out for coffee. As humans, we are social animals. Social interaction is a prescription for better mental and physical health. 

Add some culture. Listen to more music, take in a concert, a play, a musical. Learn an instrument or read about a different culture or start a new hobby. 

Add a healthy fat. Start taking a daily fish oil supplement. Start cooking with healthier oils, like avocado, olive or coconut oil. Better heart health, brain health, digestive health and a stronger immune system are some of the benefits of these fats. 

Remove sugar. Enough said about that one. 

Remove social media. Social media can make you feel inferior about your own life. Shut it off.

Remove toxic relationships. Real friends listen, are trustworthy, honest and loyal. If you are constantly making poor lifestyle decisions when around those you call friends, maybe it’s time to remove them from your contact list.

Remove procrastination. Apparently, chronically putting things off is bad for your health. Procrastination can lead to hypertension and heart disease. As the Nike commercial says, “Just Do It.” 

Remove clutter. Make your trash someone else’s treasure. Crack open a book about Feng Shui, paint your door red and clean up the financial corner of your house.

As far as a change that can be adopted by all that will make for a better you and a better world is adopting the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Words to start the new year by.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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