Happy New Year, Mounties! As we say goodbye to 2023 and welcome 2024, it is a time of reflection and rejuvenation. This transition offers a unique opportunity to pause and ponder one’s wellness journey. This column will explore various ways to reflect, set intentions, and embrace wellness in the new year.
Reflecting on the past year: Reflection is the first step towards growth. Take a moment to think back on the past year. What were your health triumphs and challenges? Perhaps you started a new fitness routine or needed help maintaining a balanced diet. Recognize these moments— successes and setbacks—as they form the foundation of your wellness journey. Make a list, if it helps, to visually acknowledge what you have been through and learned.
Setting realistic wellness goals for the new year: As you turn the page to a new chapter, setting realistic and achievable wellness goals is crucial. Broad resolutions like “get healthy” are often too vague and daunting. Instead, aim for specific, measurable objectives. For instance, commit to a 30-minute daily walk, incorporate more vegetables into your meals, or dedicate 10 minutes a day to mindfulness practices. Remember, the key is consistency, not intensity.
Building and maintaining healthy habits: Developing new, healthy habits is one thing; maintaining them is another. To ensure longevity in your wellness practices, embed them into your daily life. Set reminders for your workouts, meal prep for healthy eating, and schedule regular check-ins with yourself or a wellness buddy to stay on track. Tracking progress, whether through a journal or an app, can also be motivating and help you adjust your goals as needed.
Prioritizing mental health: Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical health. This year, make mental health a priority. Integrate meditation or journaling into your daily routine to manage stress and enhance self-awareness. Do not hesitate to seek professional help if you’re dealing with persistent anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Embracing a holistic approach to health: To support you in the new year, there is a wide variety of valuable resources available through the Wellness Centre, including primary health care, counselling, social work support, and sexual violence prevention services. Please note that counselling services are available by appointment only, with plans to introduce more flexible options later in the term. I encourage everyone to explore two excellent resources: The Garnet Guide for Students and The Navigate Student Wellness Hub. The Garnet Guide offers a comprehensive overview of mental health and wellness resources. At the same time, the Navigate Student Wellness Hub is an interactive platform featuring information on wellness-related events, workshops, and activities on campus. For more information about our services and to book appointments, please visit mta.ca/wellness or find us on Instagram at @mtawellnesscentre.
As we enter the new year, let us do so with optimism and a renewed commitment to wellness. Remember, wellness is not a destination but a journey of small, daily choices. By reflecting on the past, setting realistic goals, prioritizing mental health, embracing a holistic approach, and building sustainable habits, we pave the way for a healthier, happier year ahead.