5 well-being trends for the new year

If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past two years, it’s that we don’t want to take our health for granted.

If your goal is to prioritize your well-being in 2022, the University Health Center shares five easy and attainable health trends for the new year. Pick one or two and give them a try to live a healthier, richer lifestyle.

1. Sleep tracking

Improving your sleep begins with awareness of your sleep habits. Start taking note of what time you went to bed, when you woke up the next morning, the quality of sleep you had, etc. You can use a wearable smart device that automatically documents your sleep habits or simply journal about your observances.

If you notice your sleep isn’t very restful, take steps to boost your sleep hygiene, like using aromatherapy oils before bed, limiting late-night TikTok or social media scrolling, adding meditation to your bedtime routine, etc. Check out this resource page for more sleep tips.

2. Starting a mood diary

Get in tune with your emotions and improve your mental health by journaling about your mood. Take time daily – even if just a few minutes – to jot down how you feel and why. This habit can reduce your feelings of anxiety and depression and alert you to any lingering negative feelings that you might want to share with a loved one or a mental health professional, like those at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

If you need some inspiration to get started, select a notebook or journal with an inspiring design. Start small and slowly build on your observations over time. Challenge a friend to adopt this new habit with you; schedule a lunch or coffee date with them to discuss how the process is going for each of you and what you are learning about yourselves.

3. Improving gut health

Eating right can positively affect your mood, concentration, sleep habits, energy levels and much more. Avoid the trendy diets and instead focus on adjusting your nutrition to promote better gut health. Start by eating more whole foods like lean proteins, fresh fruits and veggies. When you can, limit or remove processed foods, which can disrupt healthy gut bacteria. Take a daily probiotic to strengthen your digestive system.

4. Improving your skin health

Wintertime is a great opportunity to perfect your skin care routine. The dry, cold air can wreak havoc on your skin, especially your face, hands and any other spots that are commonly exposed when you go outside.

Start by finding the right moisturizer for your skin. Build on that healthy habit by adding sunscreen into your daily routine, even when it’s cold and cloudy outside. Notice how what you eat affects your skin, especially if any breakouts begin to occur.

Learn more about healthy skin habits and the latest skin care trends by attending this 30-minute webinar hosted by Heather Eberspacher, MD, from the University Health Center on Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m.

5. Taking vitamins to boost your immune system

Although the best source of vitamins comes from eating whole foods, there are times when you may need to supplement to get certain vitamin levels where they need to be. For example, many people are deficient in iron, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B12 and often need to add one or more of these supplements to their diet. If you’re curious about what vitamins you need, talk to your doctor. They can discuss any symptoms you have that may indicate low vitamin levels and run tests if needed. Never add supplements to your diet without talking to a medical professional first.

Learn all about vitamins by watching this webinar recording featuring Sarah Wallingford, PA-C, from the University Health Center.