Making Your Well-Being A Priority in 2022
Small Habits With A Lasting Impact
New Year, New Me—at least that’s what we always say. We make BIG goals, expect BIG changes, and dream of the kind of total personal transformation that—if we’re being totally honest with ourselves—only really exists in the movies (or a makeover-themed reality show). Sadly, when we think too broadly (hyperbolically, even), we often find ourselves making compromises to our plans—or even letting them fizzle entirely—by around mid-February.
But, here at Otis, we’re not about giving up on personal improvement—in fact, our goal for 2022 is to help you become the healthiest, happiest version of you the world’s ever seen. The way in? Focus on your mental well-being, and think practically. Here are some simple, easy-to-incorporate habits we think can really be a boon to your mental health, and a kickstart to becoming the new you you’ve always wanted to be.
This one doesn’t require a gym membership or expensive subscription. All you need to do is take a moment in your day to consciously focus on something for which you’re grateful, like a nice memory, a person you enjoy spending time with, or even a melody you find brings you joy. Be mindful of how thinking about this thing makes your body feel, and focus on where in your body you feel it. Doing this shifts our experience from something cognitive to something physical—literally feeling gratitude has a calming effect on our brains, allowing us to better handle stress.
Try this. Look in the mirror, and say the following out loud:
You’re doing your best, and I love you. Repeat. Keep repeating until you’re able to shed any judgment you might have about the ritual—it’s easy to feel self-conscious, or deem something corny, even when you’re by yourself—and allow yourself to believe what you’re saying. At the end of the day, the only person who can truly validate you is you. It might surprise you how much practice self-validation can take. So just try it once. Then another time. Before long, you’ll learn to give yourself the love you deserve.
Don’t be quick to hit the “Duh” button on this one (there’s that pesky judgement again!)—being deliberate about your breath can do more for your well-being than just about anything else. This intentional approach to breathing can put your mind at ease, because you’re taking something cognitive, and turning it into something physical—grounding you in the present, and keeping you from feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts. As you breathe in, hold for a beat, exhale and repeat, see if you can pinpoint where in your body you might be feeling tension. Send your next deep breath to that part of your body, and keep doing so until you’ve felt the tension dissolve. As with gratitude and affirmation, this might take some getting used to, but the outcome is nothing short of miraculous.
There you have it! Three simple, positive exercises that require nothing more than a moment—because, after all, living a healthy, happy life means living in the moment, and when you practice mindfulness in one of these three ways, the moment is nothing short of sublime.