Starting “anew” or “over again,” or at least thinking about it, on the first day of the New Year, is a habit I’ve practiced for a long time. I used to be a fan of making resolutions for the New Year. Having the chance to start over, to erase the bad habits, to “make up for lost time”, comes at the stroke of midnight on December 31st, exactly on time and I personally love it!
You know I like lists; to list things, places, tasks, actions, thought, even quotes, from which I can feel accomplished, complete, and whole. I grew up with lists and, the older I get, the more I need to list things down. You’d be surprised at what I forget now, at the ripe old age of 64, when I don’t write it down!
So, for 2018, here’s my top ten list for starting over or for personal “new trends,” that can be the building blocks to a new YOU!
1. Get a full 6 to 8 hours of restful, deep sleep: This, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise is a basic recipe for health. As a Social Worker, I would add healthy relationships to the recipe. As a Priest, I would add a healthy relationship with God, as the “spice and seasoning.”
2. “‘Rise and Shine’ and eat breakfast”: Of course, don’t forget to say your thanks to God for allowing you to wake up. More is being researched and written about how good breakfast helps to set one’s metabolism that will last the whole day, until restful, deep sleep kicks in.
3. Wash your hands: Wash them often, with warm water and soap and cover your mouth when coughing. I belong to the Hawai’i Public Health Association (HPHA) and a popular tagline for the members is “Public Health is Everything”. Consider this personal habit as showing respect for others and for yourself.
4. Know your family health history: The information you can get from this history, will say a lot about your own health and the health history you are adding the whole picture of health for you and your family.
5. Eat Mindfully: Starting with #2’s “eat breakfast”, always focus on your eating, and never in front of a TV. Sit at a table to savor and smell the food, enjoy its taste and texture. Have a relationship with your food that mirrors your relationship with your health. You will not only feel satisfied but find yourself eating less.
6. Add variety to your diet: consider 5 or 7 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. This will not only add color to your plate, but help, as # 5 cites, in your “eating mindfully”. Ah, the occasional glass of red wine (some would advocate for the daily glass of red wine) and dark chocolate, both of which contain antioxidants that benefit the heart, is a part of this “variety”. If you don’t know what antioxidants are, Google it right now. While you’re at it, Google red wine too!
7. Volunteer: Try helping yourself by helping others. “Give back” to the community you live in. This will help develop your “sense of belonging.” Who knows, someone else will be volunteering for you, in some capacity, in 2018.
8. Maintain Strong Family Ties and Social Networks: Did you know that Maui’s suicide rate is rather high? Maintaining one’s personal connections to loved ones and others in the community is good for all of us. Socially, having a support system and a good network of friends and personal companions are important components of a heathy life. Don’t forget to pray for your family and friends. Why not pray for them, nightly, before going to bed!
9. Take Time Out: Once a day, take 10 deep breaths. You can take more if you like. Also, make sure you get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, at least 5 days a week. Physical activity, exercise, is an important component of “taking time out.” My favorite time out time is early in the morning and early in the evening.
10. Drink water and drink lots of it: We are blessed with an abundance of good, clean, even “sweet” water. “Drink up” and prevent dehydration and/or constipation. Water helps to flush out toxins from the body. Google “The health benefits of clean water” and you will be surprised at that you’ll learn!
So, for your personal “New Trends,” consider this List. I consider it to be my Top 10 for “starting over,” for “starting anew” in the New Year! Have you composed your own New Trends List?
Have an idea or a comment or even a question, contact me at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, take care!
John A. Hau’oli Tomoso† is a Social Worker and Episcopal Priest. He is a Priest Associate at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Wailuku and an on-call Chaplain at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Tomoso was graduated from St. Anthony Jr./Sr. High School, the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology) and Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (Masters of Social Work). In 2008, he retired from the civil service as the Maui County Executive on Aging. Tomoso is currently the Executive Director of the non-profit Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. His wife Susan is a 7th grade Language Arts Teacher at Maui Waena Intermediate School.