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'Mental health is arguably the most important ingredient in healthy living'

The end of the holidays can always seem a little dim, as if all the hype and excitement is over. So, what’s next? This is the perfect time to reflect on all the highs, and even the lows, of the past year. Cue the nostalgia!

What worked for you this past year? What didn’t? What do you want to change, and how are you going to do it? Maybe you don’t want to change a thing – that is totally fine! With a New Year comes new aspirations, new hopes, new dreams, and new goals. The optimism of a fresh start is upon us, so what is going to make this year your best yet?

Living a healthy lifestyle is a common resolution. People strive to workout regularly, establish fitness goals, and eat healthy. But living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just made up of fitness and food – mental health is a huge aspect that we don’t necessarily talk about, even though we should. It is arguably the most important ingredient in the recipe of healthy living. A beautiful physique and good looks are highly desirable, but at the end of the day what we all truly want and deserve is happiness.

So how are you going to live a happier, healthier 2019? After evaluating my own life and experiences, one thing that I am completely aware of that I struggle with is stress. Stress has this magical ability to quickly consume me, but to be honest, this is something that a lot of people deal with every day.

However, stress for me is more than twitching my leg or feeling nervous. Living with inflammatory bowel disease, stress plays a huge role in my condition and can cause disease flares at the drop of a hat. Learning to not stress over the little things and to “go with the flow” may seem like small resolutions, but they will have a big impact on my health and wellbeing in 2019.

Happiness…what is the key? You may be the happiest person in the world, but we all occasionally fall victim to the blues. My second resolution for 2019 is to live in the moment. I’m a planner – I like to know what is going on and when. I’ll admit, sometimes I’m guilty of thinking weeks or months ahead rather than enjoying the moment in life that I am living right now. Happiness can come from small things, so embrace the moment you are in now instead of sacrificing memories as you strive for the future.

2019 is full of hope, optimism, new beginnings, and a fresh start. Consider evaluating not only your physical health, but also your mental health. I challenge you to reflect on yourself and establish a mental health goal to follow through with in 2019 – this time next year, you will be so happy that you did!

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