3 EASTERN MEDICINE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
You Might Actually Keep
How long does it usually take you to ditch your New Year’s resolutions?
While they’re made with good intentions, life gets in the way! We miss a kickboxing class because a meeting ran late, or we stay up late finishing a project and need that latte or risk being a zombie at work.
Often times, we set resolutions that are too strict, too harsh, or too annoying. So, if you want to make some New Year’s resolutions that you’ll actually stick to, try making broader ones that give you more options and flexibility. Instead of saying you’ll workout every day, say you want to focus on improving your overall health by trying new health recipes and finding fun ways to move your body. That way, you’re more likely to stick to your resolutions throughout the year!
But we know coming up with resolutions can be tough (especially if you hit the champagne too hard last night). So here are our suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 that are inspired by Eastern Medicine.
3 New Year’s Resolutions Inspired By Eastern Medicine
You probably hear all the time about how bad stress is for you. That’s because being under constant pressure and stress doesn’t only feel crappy. It can also manifest in a bunch of different mental and physical ways. Being too stressed out can give you headaches, lower your sex drive, mess with your sleep schedule, or make you overeat.
2020 was stressful, there’s no denying that. And who knows what 2021 holds! So if you want to come out the other end of this year with less stress, now is the time to start.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the Liver, which stores blood and regulates the flow of Qi, is connected to your stress levels. Stress can block up your Liver, which can slow down the flow of Qi.
Here are just a few ways to get your Qi flowing and lower your stress levels in 2021:
- Meditation–Countless studies have shown the stress reduction benefits of meditating. No wonder it’s been used in East Asian cultures for thousands of years! Practicing just 20 minutes a day can make you happier, less anxious, and smarter.
- Acupuncture–Acupuncture can improve your Qi circulation while stimulating chemical receptors in your body that release those feel-good molecules like serotonin and endorphins.
- Move your body–In TCM, playing sports or working out can help unblock your Qi and free your liver from all this extra stress and tension. Exercise can help counteract the stress hormone cortisol and replace it with endorphins. So when you’re feeling the stress of 2021 creep up, hit the gym, play a game of pick-up, or go for a walk.
In the Ayurvedic tradition, there are the five elements in nature: earth, water, fire, air, and space. To stay healthy and happy, we need to keep these elements balanced within us. Part of that means living in harmony with the natural world. The more time we spend in nature, the better we feel because nature can actually heal us by rebalancing our energy.
But it also just feels good to get outside every now and then! Fresh air can help you think more clearly, and it’s a good way to get away from the TV, computer, or phone screens. Plus, spending time outside can boost your immune system, creativity, productivity, and even can reduce seasonal depression during those long days without sun..
If you can, spend 15-30 minutes outside every day. Try going for a walk before dinner, biking to a friend’s house, or sipping your morning coffee on the porch. You can also practice yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi on your lawn or at a park. That way you get your fill of nature, move your body, and lower your stress. Talk about multi-tasking!
Catch Some Zzz’s
Who doesn’t want to get some more sleep? In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, it feels like there’s never enough time to rest. That means most of us end up feeling tired and groggy a lot of the time. So whether you’re trying to ditch your caffeine habit or just want to feel more well rested, trying to get some more sleep is a New Year’s resolution most of us can get behind.
Here are a few tips and tricks from Eastern Medicine to catch some more Z’s in 2021:
- Boost your yin–According to TCM, sleep problems are caused by too much yang and not enough yin. If you want to boost your yin, try eating more tofu, cucumber, and tomato. These are cooling foods that should rebalance your Qi.
- Meditation–If you’re having trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing, try meditating before you get into bed. In TCM, meditation can help deal with emotions like anger, frustration, and resentment that keep our wheels spinning into the early hours of the morning. Focusing on meditating and relaxing your muscles will release this energy, allowing you to sleep like a baby.
- Use essential oils–In the Ayurvedic tradition, oils like lavender, jasmine and rose can help you destress and wind down. Try using some in a warm bath right before bed, or use a diffuser on your night stand.
Do you usually have trouble keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions? Then try these 3 resolutions and see if having more flexible goals helps you stay on track for success. By the end of 2021, you’ll be a happier, healthier version of you!