New Beginning Series Part Two: Staying Healthy in the New Year

By Maisha Ahmed

healthy covid illustration

NY Project Hope is a crisis counseling program that provides support and resources to help people cope with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic

We have finally reached the end of our new beginning series and what better way to finish it off by addressing various ways we can stay healthy this year. In our previous blog, we talked about realistic resolutions for the new year in which staying healthy just happened to be the top of the priority list for many.  Of course, dieting and exercising will always be the top resolutions for many but with the on-going pandemic and the forthcoming of different variants, there should be extra precautions when it comes to staying healthy in 2022.

Tips on Staying Healthy During the New Year

  • Continue to protect yourself from covid and the flu: I know there are some who may be tired of having to socially isolate themselves or wear masks, but the benefits really outweigh the risk or in this case a minor inconvenience. First of all, the prognosis for flu has been relatively low thanks to everyone being more aware of hygienic-wellness, the usage of masks, and socially distancing self from others. In addition, wearing mask doesn’t only keep you safe but you’re potentially saving the lives of others especially those with a compromised immune system. You can further protect yourself taking the vaccination and booster shots.
  • Exercise regularly-It’s been proven time and time again that staying fit not only does wonders to you physically, but it helps reduce stress and improve mood as well. The daily recommendation is at least 30 minutes a day with a mixture of both cardio and strength training. But it is something that should be consistent to see the changes, which is a problem I seem to have. For me, taking the first step is always the hard. I dread having to drive to the gym so I tend to find any excuses not to go whether it’s because of work or just feeling tired. But after a good workout and a noticeable change in my stress level as well as seeing the changes on the scale, I realize it’s worth it.
  • Eat right-We all know how important fruits or vegetables are. It’s almost important to start off your morning with protein that will keep blood sugar and “hunger hormones” stable. Some examples are egg-white omelets, Greek yogurt, or even protein shakes. Having a diet that’s geared more towards plant- based choices will also be beneficial in which blood cholesterol levels as well as chronic diseases will be reduced.
  • Get enough sleep-I cannot emphasize on the importance of having a good amount of sleep enough. When I don’t sleep well, I notice that I tend to react more negatively towards others and my anxiety worsen. In addition, I become more cranky, less focused, and less productive with work. I can’t say I have a healthy sleep schedule right now but the way I am trying to fix it is before sleep time, I don’t consume any food high in sugar. I drink warm tea, put on a facial mask, and mediate for 10 minutes. I shut off my phone or put it far away and instead I read books to help me prepare to sleep. So far, it’s been working well!

As always, Project Hope is also here to help you! Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone you don’t know! Want to know more about how we can help? Give us a call at 845-762-2275. Talking to us is always free, anonymous, and confidential.

Maisha Ahmed is a crisis counselor from Independent Living, Inc. working on with the NY Project Hope program.