7 Ways to Start 2022 Off Right

A woman holding a box.
January 6, 2022
by Abbie Wilson

The new year is always an opportunity to refresh and reset our routines, habits and goals. Amidst the pandemic, this year’s resolutions may look a little different than in years past, with a special focus on staying healthy and connected to others. 

1. Declutter your space 

Did you know a cluttered home can impact your brain’s ability to process information? Organizing your space can make a huge difference in your mood, as well as levels of anxiety. Give your home a fresh start this new year by going through your things and sorting out unwanted clothes, toys, electronics, etc. And, with so many of us spending more time at home because of the pandemic, refreshing your space can be a welcome change. Donate your unneeded items to help a family in need, recycle old magazines and reduce clutter.   

2. Try a new hobby 

The new year is a fantastic time to find a new hobby or develop a new skill. From a free trial for gym memberships to deals on virtual cooking classes, there are plenty of opportunities to try your hand at a new hobby with little risk or long-term commitments. Consider making volunteering at your local food bank or pantry your newest hobby as a way to meet new friends and give back to your community. Don't know where to start? Learn what food bank volunteers do and then find your local food bank to sign up!

3. Join a club 

With so much of our lives being socially distanced over the last year and a half, many are feeling isolated and are craving connection. Joining a club based on shared interests or hobbies can help folks feel connected to a community you might not otherwise interact with. There are clubs for just about everything these days, operating both in-person and virtually. Whether you are an avid DIYer or a sci-fi reader, there’s a community out there just waiting to connect with you.  

4. Take family time outside 

This year, swap family movie night for time spent in the great outdoors. Whether you choose to go on an adventurous camping trip, or simply a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll feel great knowing that your family is staying active and spending quality time together. 

5. Make sleep a priority 

In our fast-paced world, it may come as no surprise that an estimated 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived. While it may seem tough to fit in 8 hours of shut-eye a night, sleep is vital to physical and mental wellness. This new year, commit to making sleep a priority, and you’ll see your mood improve, productivity increase, and a lowered risk for heart disease.  

6. Buy produce that isn’t perfect  

Did you know that over one-third of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten? Although it’s tempting to always pick the flawless fruits and veggies at the supermarket, our tendency to overlook perfectly edible produce contributes to food waste. Purchasing the misshapen potato is perfectly healthy to eat, it just might take an extra minute to peel!  

7. Change the way you talk to yourself 

Many of us are feeling burnt out as the pandemic continues into 2022, and you may find yourself being your toughest critic. But, being mindful about your inner monologue can lead to some serious health benefits. Positive thinking helps the brain manage stress, which reduces the risk of depression, betters cardiovascular health, and lengthens life expectancy. This year, commit to speaking kinder to yourself and watch how your mindset shifts.