Imagine believing a vibrating belt was the best way to tone your abs. (Hey, it was all the rage in the ’60s.) Or being told that Snackwell’s Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes were better for you than avocado toast because they were “fat free.” (A part of the ’90s that hopefully won’t have a revival.)
Fortunately, every year new scientific studies and facts improve the way people eat, sleep, and work out. And 2016 was no different, as seemingly every week there was even more wellness research being rolled out.
Ready to start the new year off with habits linked to good health, major happiness, and a longer life?
1. Eat more fat
No need to give up that avocado toast obsession. The headlines touted that filling up on healthy fats can add years to your life—which might explain the rise of ketogenic eating.
2. Find some way—any way—to journal
It used to be that when it came to journaling, there were two types of people: those who did it and those who didn’t. But now that the mental benefits are proven to be worth it, there’s no excuse not to. If the traditional “dear diary” format isn’t your thing, there’s gratitude journaling, the one-sentence-a-day format, and even ultra-buzzy bullet journaling.
3. Party sober
With the rise of the sober social scene, dry partying is no longer anxiety-inducing. (Yes, it’s even possible to date and flirt without liquid courage.) The key for throwing an epic party sans booze? Serving up beverages with alternative, adaptogenic ingredients made for getting your buzz on, like reishi mushroom and raw cacao. (These gut-friendly mocktail recipes would do the trick, too.)
4. Clean up your beauty routine once and for all
There are no longer whispers about the toxins in your makeup, hair, and skin-care products—there’s shouting. Thanks to 2016’s clean beauty revolution, there are more non-toxic, all-natural beauty products on the market than ever before. And really, why cake your face with chemicals when you could be coating it with superfoods?
5. Switch up your yoga flow
Until recently, the majority of yoga classes all looked pretty similar. But now you can go through your flow while listening to Drake, after a 30-minute boxing sesh—even with horses or goats. The takeaway here: stop saying yoga “isn’t for you,” and find a way that it is.
6. Go for a fruitless smoothie
It’s not exactly groundbreaking news that sugar is bad for you, and chances are you already limit processed food and soda. Ready to go next level? Familiarize yourself with the fruit pyramid—while fruit is full of vitamins A, B, and C, fructose still spikes blood sugar levels. And don’t be worried about your a.m. smoothie—there are loads of delicious veggie-based options.
7. Wash your face with honey
Sticky? A little. Worth it? Totally. One piece of Well+Good beauty advice that went viral in 2016: honey is a stellar acne fighting agent. (Bonus: it’s cheap, too.) What makes it so magical? It has antibacterial properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and it nurtures the skin. Case closed.
8. Quit suffering through your workout
Make 2017 the year you breakup with any fitness classes or moves that just don’t get you excited—or feel good. For so long, women have been encouraged to push their bodies to the limit with the hardest, most intense classes they can find. But now, recovery is taking priority. (And if you can’t quit those HIIT classes, here’s how to know when it’s time to take a breather.)
9. Own your mental health status
Bless Kristen Bell, Kristen Stewart, Adele, and Amanda Seyfried, among other celebrities, for banishing the stigma attached to having mental health “issues” like depression and anxiety. There is strength in being open, which in turn helps others secretly suffering feel less alone. And realize that your bubbly coworker or friend who just got engaged could have high-functioning depression and be too embarrassed to seek help.
10. Eat for better sleep
Americans have had having trouble sleeping for a long, long time. (Um, like forever?) And while instituting a digital detox before bed is tried-and-true advice, 2016 offered up another solution: change up your eating habits. Life happens and there will still be nights when you’re eating dinner past 9 p.m., but some superfoods are designed to help your sleep better. And everything from smoothies to hyper-functional beverages are now being crafted specifically to help you catch some zzz’s. Happy New Year—now let’s turn in.