New Year’s resolutions too often focus on what to avoid or stop doing, making them feel like punishments. No wonder only 9-12 percent of people feel like they successfully keep their resolutions throughout the year.1
Even though the year has already begun, it’s never too late to establish resolutions you’ll actually want to keep. From volunteering as a family to cooking more dinners at home, we’ve put together 10 healthy resolutions for all ages. These resolutions build on Brillia’s 5-Pillar holistic approach, which promotes healthy lifestyle habits to reduce symptoms associated with anxiety and ADHD and support mental health in 2023 and beyond.
How to Implement New Year’s Resolutions with the Entire Family
Making your resolutions a family affair has so many benefits: family members can hold each other accountable, the resolutions foster more family time, and they can help reduce chaos at home. You’ll notice that as you make strides in keeping your resolutions and recommitting if you slip, every family member will feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
1. Start a Weekly Routine
Whether it’s a family walk every Tuesday afternoon or movie night on Fridays, starting a weekly routine is at the top of our list. Not only will your routine provide more structure at home but it will give you and your kids something to look forward to every week.
You might even go as far as establishing a daily routine: waking up at the same time every morning, eating dinner at the same time, and following a relaxing bedtime routine. Daily routines are a great way to relieve stress at home and restore order, especially for those with ADHD or anxiety who thrive on predictability and structure.
2. Increase Your Daily Movement & Exercise Together
Hit the gym after work or head home to see the family? If you exercise as a family, you don’t have to choose between solo gym sessions and time with your kids. While your kids might be less interested in things like weightlifting or pilates, there are some fun ways to stay active that won’t even feel like exercise. These include going on family hikes, bike riding around the neighborhood, playing a sport like basketball or tennis, or maybe just throwing a dance party in your living room. Even a game of hide-and-seek can be a fun way to stay active and get your kids involved. For those with hyperactivity, exercise can provide much needed relief from restlessness and irritability. A structured game, sport, or workout creates an outlet for excess energy.
3. Volunteer as a Family
Volunteering as a family is a good way to teach your kids about your values and foster empathy. These days, there are so many volunteer opportunities to consider, from helping out at a soup kitchen to working with animals at the humane society. Maybe your child will want to volunteer in an area that is important to them, or maybe they’ll discover something new in the process. Performing acts of kindness has another benefit: building your kids’ self-esteem. This is important for any child, but especially one who struggles with anxiety or ADHD as their symptoms may negatively interfere with their overall sense of well-being.
4. Put Down Electronic Devices During Quality Time
Excessive screen use can cause sleep problems, impede learning in children, exacerbate anxiety issues, and even mimic ADHD symptoms. And when it comes to family time, screens can be a major distraction. Yet, many modern families don’t bat an eye if the T.V. has been on for hours or you can’t get through dinner without glancing at your phone. A good way for the family to unplug more often is to set some screen rules at home. This might be designating screen-free zones like the kitchen or dining area and having a cut-off time for devices so they don’t interfere with sleep. Whether you’re eating dinner or enjoying outdoor activities together, make sure devices are not in use so you could all be more present.
5. Practice Healthier Eating Habits
Consuming certain foods, ingredients, and additives can not only exacerbate symptoms of anxiety or ADHD in those already coping with them, but they can also mimic or cause symptoms in others. This includes having too much sugar or processed foods. It’s up to parents to decide what’s on the menu at home. Setting a healthy example for your kids can determine their eating habits as an adult. Achieving this doesn’t have to involve lavish three-course meals and only the most expensive activities. When it comes to eating healthy food as a family, simple is almost always better. Aim for as many whole foods as possible and fewer processed or packaged foods. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. If your home is well-stocked with healthy options, it’s easy to reach for something nutritious if that’s all you have.
Besides what you eat, how and where you eat are equally important. If possible, try to eat meals at the same time every day, sit down at the table to eat, and show your kids how to savor their meal instead of rushing through it.
6. Drink More Water
Studies show that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated.2 This can lead to a number of problems like upset stomach, headaches, skin issues, and fatigue. It can also exacerbate or lead to brain fog, a common symptom of anxiety and ADHD . Finding ways to keep your family hydrated can actually be fun if you think beyond plain water. For instance, you can make a family activity out of making healthy popsicles together by simply freezing fruit-flavored water. You can even let your child lead the way when it comes to picking which fresh fruits they want to pick this week for your flavored waters. Making sure everyone in the family has their own designated water bottle is another way to ensure hydration is always within reach.
7. Commit to Practicing Gratitude Together
Studies show there is a direct link between gratitude and mental health: the more you practice, the better you feel.3 Some ways to integrate gratitude into your family life include listing one thing for which you’re grateful before dinner or buying everyone their own gratitude journal. Another fun idea is to keep a gratitude jar. Whenever a family member feels thankful for something, they’ll write it down on a piece of paper and stick it in the jar. And then on a specified day of the week or month, you can read them aloud to reflect on the many positive things in your lives.
8. Start a Mindfulness Routine
Research shows that a mindfulness routine can help regulate emotions and manage symptoms of anxiety and ADHD.4 To start a mindfulness routine at home, you don’t have to build a meditation room or expect everyone to want to sit in silence for long stretches of time. Mindfulness is a broad term to describe any practice in which you are fully present in the moment. This might mean sitting in meditation for an hour (or a few mindful minutes) or it might even mean going for a nature walk in which you actively pay attention to your senses. Even using that gratitude journal we suggested above is a way to be mindful because it allows you and your children to tune into your thoughts and feelings.
If you find it difficult to add another routine to your day, try combining it with a routine you already have. For instance, spending a few minutes writing in a journal can be a great thing to do after brushing your teeth and before bed. Or you might go for a quiet, reflective walk every evening after dinner.
9. Cook More Dinners at Home
You already know the importance of eating healthy food, but actually cooking together is another special way to connect. Getting your kids involved in the cooking process can help take some of the load of your shoulders, while fostering their creativity and independence. Cooking more dinners at home is not only healthier if you’ve stocked your kitchen with nutritious items, but it’s also budget-friendly. According to research in Forbes, it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant than it is to cook at home.5 And, like volunteering, cooking with kids at home is yet another way to build their self-esteem.
10. Make Sure to Always Say Your Hello’s, Goodbye’s and I Love You’s
Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy lives that we take the ones closest to us for granted. Taking a moment to drop whatever you’re doing to greet your family member, say farewell, or send a message of love is a simple, effortless way to remind them that you care and you’re grateful to have them in your life.
According to a recent survey, 45 percent of U.S. adults noted an improvement in mental health as one of their top New Year’s resolutions.6 This number went up when looking at the proportion of younger respondents prioritizing their mental well-being. While the resolutions above can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health, you may find that you need more support if you or your children are struggling with issues like anxiety, irritability, or restlessness. Trying a homeopathic medication like Brillia can help reduce these symptoms without harsh, synthetic chemicals or harmful side effects. Using a unique holistic approach that combines antibody science with behavioral change, Brillia is a gentle and impactful alternative to prescription medication that is safe for both children and adults.