Better Life Project | Jumpstart your wellness journey in the new year – Buffalo Rising

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After an incredibly difficult year that impacted many aspects of our individual and societal well-being, many of us look to 2021 with hopes of regaining our well-being. Doing this requires taking a personal inventory and considering areas where we may need extra attention and care as we move cautiously into the next year.

We know the physical component of wellness all too well, especially after being bombarded with worries and mandates to maintain our health and safety for a year. It’s also something that many of us struggle to maintain year after year. All too common are New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more often, get more sleep, and do other activities that will improve our physical health.

There is no doubt that when you feel better physically, it can enhance other aspects of your well-being. And working to stay physically healthy now will improve our health prospects in the future. However, this is also the element that seems to take an unfair percentage of our attention when it comes to overall wellness.

Physical health and emotional well-being are intrinsically linked. We have a responsibility to take care of our emotions just as much as our body. As we enter a new year after a period of great emotional upheaval, it is essential to take an assessment of our mental health and determine what steps we could take to strengthen it, understand our feelings, and develop more positive and positive ways. constructive ways of dealing with our emotions. And given the incredible emotional toll of the past year, seeking the support of mental health professionals is a great resource to explore.

The other mental component of well-being is our intellectual health. At the start of the New Year, we may seek to expand our knowledge in key areas of interest, learn new skills, and find out how we can share our knowledge with others. Withdrawing from traditional social obligations in person can be an opportunity to learn a new trade or skill. Cultivating a mindset of curiosity and intent for lifelong learning will sharpen our intellectual well-being and also help us serve others in the New Year.

With the assessment of our intellect and skills comes the assessment of our vocation. The widespread unemployment brought by the pandemic makes the quest for professional well-being a luxury for many. But for some, it may have sparked the motivation to break away from your current job and try something that you are truly passionate about. Does your job go beyond paying bills and actually enriching your life? Do the jobs we do reflect our goals and values? Do our jobs allow us to make the most of our talents and special skills to contribute to society? Since our working hours represent such a large percentage of our life, it is essential that we find meaningful work in order to maintain general well-being.

Along with vocation comes the financial component of our well-being. The start of a new year is usually when we’re looking to clean up debt from overspending over the holidays and building a roadmap to achieving our financial goals. For some, it’s about getting out of debt, saving for retirement, or buying a home. For others, it’s just about trying to overcome the financial hardships caused by a pandemic year and find a way to get back on their feet in the new year. We must remember that our financial situation and our well-being are unique to us and that obtaining the support of professionals can be useful in getting back on a solid footing.

The past year has tested our social and spiritual well-being in many ways, being forced into isolation by the pandemic and having to reinvent the way we engage with the people we love. and our spiritual community. Many of us have struggled with loneliness and felt the effects of not being able to see our loved ones or physically kiss them. We have also been removed from the places and activities where we practice our faith. The coming year calls on us to continue working to maintain our connection with our friendships, families and spiritual communities in every way possible – to improve our own well-being and that of others.

The last element that affects our well-being is our environment. 2020 has brought a lot of changes and limitations to our physical and social environments, requiring us to work, socialize, exercise, and simply exist in limited places. For some, it brought an appreciation for the security and stability of the home. For others, it was a struggle to maintain well-being after being restricted in and from the places and spaces in which we generally moved freely. Some of us have found a deeper appreciation for the natural environment as a place to escape, breathe deeply, play, and observe our human impact on the planet. In 2021, we seek to better understand how the environments we inhabit and visit affect our well-being and how we affect the health of the world around us.

After a year of continued trauma, loss, isolation and worry for the future, it is essential that we make a conscious effort to care for ourselves and those around us in 2021. While refining each component of well-being in a single year following a global pandemic is unlikely, we can pick the components of well-being that resonate the most and start there.


In difficult times, our efforts to maintain fitness, healthy eating, and personal well-being may be abandoned as we devote all of our energy to navigating our individual storm. Yet, in the face of what is happening in the world around us, it is essential to make room for personal care and experiences that enhance our physical and mental well-being.

Discover Project Best Life’s personal assessment tool. Get personalized health information and a cancer screening checklist by completing this health assessment. This questionnaire will only take you 10 to 15 minutes to complete.


Trying to handle a good job-life balance, saving for your future while paying all your bills, while maintaining strong relationships with your friends and family… We know that life can get quite stressful, and it’s easy to forget what is better for your physical and mental health. Project Better Life is here to help with our podcast: Happy and Healthy. We provide expert advice and share stories that will inspire you to live your better life, whatever that means to you. Listen now on Apple podcasts | Spotify

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Written by Sarah Maurer
Photograph by Devin Chavanne
Edited by Vincent Berbano
Produced by George Johnson and Jessica Marinelli

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