Making Mindfulness a Priority in 2022

By Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County, [email protected]

At the start of a new year, many people re-examine their lives and make resolutions intended to improve health and wellness.  Basics such as eating right, exercising and getting adequate sleep are often included.  Those are important, but are often not achieved.

Most people know the basics of maintaining their physical health, including physical activity and well-balanced nutrition, but there are other aspects of life to consider.  You may be eating well, but are you fostering meaningful social connections?  Are you maintaining adequate boundaries between your job and the rest of your life? 

It is important to pay attention to how one dimension of your well-being impacts the other dimensions.  An example is when worrying about a financial situation, it can cause emotional distress that may also lead to a medical problem or trouble at work. 

According to Miquela Smith, AgriLife Extension Specialist in Health, balance includes work, recreation, interacting with family and friends, community engagement, being physically and spiritually active, and relaxing.  Balance differs based on the stage or season of life we are living.  For example, a new mother and father might not have the time or energy to participate in their favorite hobbies or activities during the first few months with their baby.  That is ok – there is no such thing as perfect balance because life is always changing.

Smith suggests being aware of habits or behaviors that influence your health and wellness and being able to identify which of them are working and which are not.  Being present in the moment has become a bit of a cliché for good reason.  People tend to spend a lot of time worrying about the future and reliving the past.  This prevents us from engaging with the most important moment of all:  the moment in which we are currently living.

If you are not sure what may work for you, there are some things you might try, including:

  • Becoming involved in social or community activities that have a purpose
  • Keeping a calendar to help remember what, when or how often you need to get things done
  • Repeating a desired positive behavior until it become a habit
  • Taking breaks from scrolling social media
  • Taking breaks from watching the news
  • Try a new hobby such as working puzzles, reading, cooking
  • Going on walks and paying attention to the sounds of nature and the rhythmic sensation of feet hitting the pavement

Make 2022 the year to not stress over breaking new year’s resolutions, but to engage in being mindful of things that make a difference in your life.

Upcoming Events

Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes is a 5-lesson series focusing on nutrition, self-care, managing sick days, understanding medications, and avoid complications.  I continually hear from individuals who have taken the series and how it positively impacted their health.  If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, take note of the details and make plans to attend:

  • When: Mondays and Thursdays, Feb. 14, 17, 21, 24, and 28
  • Time:  1:30 p.m.
  • Where: Hopkins County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – 1200 West Houston St., Sulphur Springs
  • Cost: $20, payable at the first session (no charge for spouses or support individuals accompanying someone)
  • Call: 903-885-3443 to sign up
  • Limited to first 16.

Twogether in Texas Marriage Education Workshop is designed for engaged couples, but also beneficial for seriously dating couples and married couples.  Topics covered in the workshop include: marriage expectations, communication, conflict resolution, money management, and goal setting.  Below are the details:

  • When:  Saturday, Feb. 19
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. to approximately 3:15 p.m. (lunch and refreshments provided)
  • Where: Hopkins County Extension Office, 1200 West Houston St., Sulphur Springs
  • Cost: no charge
  • Call: 903-885-3443 to sign up

Engaged couples who attend will receive a certificate to save $60 upon applying for a marriage license. 

Closing Thought

Goals are dreams with deadlines – Diana Scharf Hunt

Contact Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent for Hopkins County at P.O. Box 518, 1200-B West Houston St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75483; 903-885-3443; or [email protected]

Author: Faith Huffman

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