Disclaimer: Information in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Before you make any changes, you should speak with your provider.
We just welcomed in a new year. And with the new year, plenty of people are thinking and talking about their goals and ambitions for this year. While we're huge advocates of making changes throughout the year, we also believe there's a lot of power in starting fresh with a new year.
Balance your nutrition
Balancing nutrition comes in many forms, and it tends to be a longer process for some than others. We suggest starting with one nutritional change each month for the first few months of the new year as a great way to make progress without overwhelming yourself! Here are a few of our top tips for nutrition changes:
Swap out your refined sugars for natural ones. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but toss out those refined sugar and use honey, real syrup, or even fruits as your sweeteners!
- Eat enough but not too much. How much is enough but not too much? That depends on your body and activity level. In general, you need to consume at least 1400 calories each day in order to support ovulation.
- Eat foods to encourage your metabolism. Start adding bone broth, collagen, gelatin, and other nutritious foods to your regular diet, either through cooking with them or even drinking them!
- Test your vitamin levels and supplement what's low. It's incredibly important to test before you start to supplement so you know how much of what you should supplement. However, many women are lower in things like zinc, magnesium, and even vitamin D which can all help your overall health.
- Consume enough carbs to support healthy ovulation. And make sure they're good quality carbs, such as vegetables, whole grains, and small servings of fruits.
Like we said - the goal is better long term habits, so if it means making these changes slowly over time (and using up what you already have at your home), then that's okay! We're all about making realistic changes a little at a time in order to benefit your hormones.
Chart your hormone health
The first question we often hear when we're talking about charting is, "What exactly is charting your cycle?" Well, it's a relatively easy way to keep track of your reproductive health status for family planning and/or making health changes. You can find a longer intro to fertility awareness in this article or in our free guide.
Charting your cycle does a few things for you:
- It helps you know if and when you're ovulating (important as ovulation is a sign over overall health!).
- It lets you know if you have potential cycle problems like a short luteal phase.
- It can help you succeed in your family planning intentions, and support you as your intentions change.
- It may indicate if you have a hormonal imbalance.
In short, charting your fertility (AKA fertility awareness, cycle charting, fertility charting) is a way you can empower yourself by understanding what your body is telling you. The Tempdrop device makes it easy to track your basal body temperature, and the Tempdrop app (Android/iOS) is a great, easy place to input all of your charting information.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep
Most of us have heard the guideline: adults need at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night. But how many of us abide by it each night? It can be hard, especially when you're balancing it with social life, children and pets, family, household responsibilities, school, and/or work. But getting enough sleep will help to set you up for success in your other goals!
When you have enough sleep, your body will be more in balance, you will feel more energized, and you'll be more productive. The "right" amount of sleep for any given adult is 7-9 hours, and the right amount for your specific body will depend on a lot of other factors such as coexisting health issues, energy expended during the day, and caffeine intake.
If one of your goals this year is to optimize your sleep, you're in the right place! Here are a few tips to start getting a higher quality of sleep each night:
- Minimize light and sound in your sleeping environment.
- Don't use screens for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. If you can't avoid them, turn off blue light.
- Keep your sleep schedule the same every day, or as close as possible.
- Practice a bedtime routine (such as some gentle yoga).
- Decrease caffeine and alcohol intake in the hours before going to bed.
Tempdrop has a sleep feature in the app, fueled by the data it received from your device each night. It helps you track how long you actually spent asleep throughout the night versus the amount of time you spent in bed, how many interruptions you had, and when you fell asleep and woke up. In the end, it gives you a sleep score - the higher the score, the better quality sleep you had the night before.
Prioritize your emotional health
While it may seem like a minor thing, your emotional health is actually incredibly important to your overall health! Poor emotional health can lead to stress, poor sleep quality, and so much more. So paying a little more attention to your emotional health can help balance out the rest of your health - including your cycle and hormones.
- Set up a plan for communicating with those closest to you if it's something you/they struggle with.
- Get enough rest. This doesn't just mean sleep - although sleep is important! Getting enough rest also means making sure you give yourself time to recharge and focus on yourself in a calm environment.
- Say "Thank you" rather than "It's okay." When somebody says sorry to you and they did something that hurt you - emotionally or physically - try thanking them for their apology. When we say things like, "It's okay," it tends to (subconsciously) indicate to ourselves that we don't matter as much as those around us.
- Think before you act or speak. This will help both your own emotional health and the emotional health of those around you. You'll find yourself calmer, happier, and more empathetic.
The Tempdrop app is actually a great tool to help you track this goal! One of the symptoms you can track is mood, so if you're consistent about noting it in the app, you can see what sort of impact the changes you're making are having.
Incorporate gentle exercise
If you have a fitness goal this new year, you're not alone! It's one of the most common new year resolutions out there. But the statistics about the success of people with fitness resolutions can be a bit depressing - we've seen estimates between 50% and 80% of people with this goal drop it within 5 months!
We, of course, want to help you succeed in your goals, so we're here to help you set up some fitness goals you'll be able to keep and build on in future years! Here are some suggestions to start with:
- outdoor walks
- walk instead of drive to your destination
- play with your kids/pets outdoors
If you feel like you've got the easy things down, you can try going a little further:
- strength training
- interval training
Setting yourself up with someone to be accountable to - or even to be accountable with - will drastically increase your likelihood of success in any fitness goal you make. So find an accountability partner!
One thing we know to be incredibly important as you incorporate more activity into your daily life is that scheduling your exercise to go with where you are in your cycle can really set you up for success! If you want to learn more about optimizing your exercise routine to your cycle, check out this article.
So what are you waiting for? Set up those goals and get started! We'd love to hear about your goals and how Tempdrop will be a part of them over on our Instagram.