Disclaimer: Information in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Before you make any changes, you should speak with your provider.
As we enter the dawn of a new year, we feel like there is a canvas of endless possibilities unfolding before us. The air is filled with resolutions, ambitions and goals for 2024. 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.
We're providing you with 5 simple ways you can implement change this year to transform your well-being.
1. 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 our suggestions:
- Swap out your refined sugars for natural ones. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but toss out the refined sugar and use honey, maple 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. Remember to eat slower, so your body can easily recognize when it's full.
- Eat foods to encourage your metabolism. Start adding bone broth, collagen, 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 contribute to your overall health.
- Consume enough carbs to support healthy ovulation. And make sure they're good quality carbs, such as vegetables and whole grains.
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.
2. Track your hormone health
The first question we often hear when we're talking about tracking your cycle is, "What exactly is it?" Well, it's a relatively easy way of listening to your body signs to keep track of the progress of reproductive health 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.
Tracking your cycle does a few things for you:
- It helps you know if and when you're ovulating (important as ovulation is a sign of 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, tracking your cycle (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 information.
3. Get at least 7 hours of sleep
We've all heard the age-old advice: adults need a solid 6-8 hours of sleep each night. Yet, in the juggling act of work, parenting, social life, and more, it's a guideline that we often neglect. Finding the balance can be challenging, but here's the golden key – getting ample sleep is the cornerstone of your journey to success.
Your sweet spot depends on the intricate interplay of health factors, daily exertion, and yes, that extra cup of coffee. So, let's redefine success, starting with a good night's sleep."
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 a minimum of 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.
4. Prioritize your emotional 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.
5. Incorporate gentle exercise
A fitness goal is 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.