5 Sustainable New Year’s “Reset-Solutions” for a Lifetime of Better Health

by Dr. Susan Tanner, MD

New Year’s Resolutions have, in recent times, become less popular. In part, this may be because resolutions can be so hard to keep, and the guilt that ensues from what is perceived as a failure when they are not kept on only further undermines the efforts and good intentions of setting the resolution in the first place. Let’s face it, no one wants to begin a new year full of promise already feeling stressed out and two steps behind. This new year, I want to suggest that we start to think differently–especially anyone out there facing a health challenge or in the midst of a healing journey. I suggest that instead of “resolving” for a big change in behavior or overhaul in diet/exercise regimen, we should start thinking in terms of a new year’s “reset”.

Why a reset over a resolution? The past two years have been hard.  Isolation, fear, illness, dissent, and loss have been in the headlines for many months now. It is understandable that frustration and depression may pervade. Social isolation may lead not only to less than healthy lifestyles, diets, and lack of motivation but may also compound an underlying health problem. Thus, I believe that shaping this new year with reset goals will help you to navigate the weeks or months ahead in a much healthier mindset than holding yourself hostage to any resolution ever could.

5 Sustainable New Year’s “Reset-Solutions” for a Lifetime of Better Health

1. Focus on Indoor Air Quality.  This is #1 on my reset list because if you are still isolated at home and working from home, an indoor air quality problem could be wreaking havoc on your health. Reset here comes from assessing just how clean and clear your indoor air is.  Have there been water intrusions in basements and crawl spaces or roof leaks?  Are there musty smells? Is your indoor air heavy or humid? Do you find that you feel better when you are NOT at home? If so, there are air quality issues that need to be addressed quickly and thoroughly to avoid mold overgrowth and unhealthy air inside your home.

Here in the south, the widely fluctuating temperatures have subsequently allowed big shifts in humidity as well.  An inexpensive humidity monitor can help you monitor and identify if dehumidifiers need to be used. I also recommend having your HVAC unit checked and serviced.  The installation of a central air filtration unit may also ensure that particles carrying mold spores and dust are greatly reduced.  If not a central unit, the use of a HEPA air filter in the bedroom may keep the air you breathe while sleeping as clean as possible.

Another piece of this reset is to avoid the use of scented products in your home!  This includes those holiday sprays and plug-ins.  Just because the smell is pleasant and festive does not mean that it is good for your airways or your body! If you must use candles, EC3 Air Purification Candles keep things festive while not introducing toxins and VOCs into the indoor environment.

Additionally, if you use a gas cooktop, keep the vent fan running while cooking.  This reduces the levels of natural gas in the home.

I also advise my patients to periodically test their homes with mold plates to monitor for elevated spore counts as well as to tap test their clothing.  Washer/dryers, particularly if you have front loaders, should also be monitored to be sure the seals are not moldy and thus putting spores into your clean clothes!  The use of EC3 Laundry Additive can help take down any suspected spore increases in anything that can be washed in a washing machine.

2. Give your diet a reset.  Do I hear a collective groan here? Holiday foods are typically not the healthiest choices one may make and the tendency to overindulge in sugars and treats, alcohol, and processed foods can bring back cravings and habits that were overcome previously.  This is where I recommend that a reset be a dedicated 2- to 4-week Detox program.  Established programs are easy to implement and adhere to and take a lot of the guesswork out of it. Set a date, begin, and stick to it.  Rather than viewing a diet reset as a time of deprivation, think in terms of the gift you are giving to yourself by reducing the load of toxic foods going into your body.  I can promise you that the reward in this reset is more abundant energy, better sleep, and overall improved functioning.  The bonus is that you can pick a program that is a length, goal, and ideology that is right for you. There are many detox programs on the market, I personally like the one by NuMedica; it is structured and straightforward.  (If you go to NuMedica.com, you can use my code 40568 to access products.)  Detox can also be supported by the use of MycoDetox, a Micro Balance product intended for assistance with mold and mycotoxin elimination but is a wonderful tonic for the liver in general.  Resetting your body can also recommit you to the process of reducing the total body load!  While we are on the subject of diet, may I also remind you that the words you say to yourself are part of that diet?  What thoughts are you feeding yourself?  Your language matters, and realizing that you are, indeed, worth all of these efforts may help maintain that resolve of the reset.

3. Drink up! I’m talking clean, purified water, of course!  I hope that even throughout the holidays you have been able to maintain your intake of clean and purified water; the general recommendation being half your body weight in ounces per day. There is a lot of info out there about hydration and staying hydrated, but the quality of your water matters just as much, if not more, than how much you are drinking. You want to make sure you are hydrating your body with purified or spring water without fluoride, chlorine, or any contaminants that could increase your toxic load. The reset here may be to substitute water for any other beverage you are consuming, be it coffee, juice, tea, soda, or alcohol. Water that is pure and full of minerals hydrates the cells, assists both liver and kidneys with the elimination of toxins, and may even satiate hunger pangs. A simple way to begin this reset is to fill a large container with the water needed for the day when you first get up and drink it throughout the day with the intention of finishing it before dinner.

4. Perform a sensory clean-up. No matter what the source, the bombardment of television news, advertising, and the internet keeps our minds and senses in a state of vigilance.  Resetting how we approach our consumption of all media may start with putting specific time limits on these activities, substituting screen time with music, or with quiet time.  Reading, meditation, prayer, and singing can all bring solace to the soul.  Learn something new.  Keep your neurons elastic and plastic by exercising them with crosswords, sudoku, and learning new skills.

5. Reset your physicality by moving. Try to be outside in nature if possible, but experiment with a new fitness regimen that works for you.  Baby steps are fine, such as standing rather than sitting when you can, walking where and whenever possible instead of driving, and using stairs instead of elevators. Even taking laps around your yard or home is better than staying sedentary all day. You would be surprised how just a little conscious exercise each day energizes and creates a desire for more movement inside of you.

I hope these ideas of a New Year’s Reset inspire and encourage you. As we reset entering into 2022, we wish you the best with a renewal of mind, body, and spirit!

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