Editorial: Turn Resolutions Into Results

Editorial: Turn Resolutions Into Results

It has arrived — the season for resolutions.

The turning of the calendar means a focus on what can or should be improved in the coming 12 months. When the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1 of each year, it’s as if our own timer is reset to zero. All that came before is the past and the future is ours to be shaped as we see fit.

Many resolutions are unique to the person making them. You may be seeking to reconcile with a loved one, or perhaps you’re planning on 2023 being the year you visit that longtime friend who, up until now, has existed only in text chats, phone calls, and video conferencing meet-ups. But there are obviously some rather generic resolutions many make this time of year, the most obvious being weight loss.

A survey conducting by the National Health and Nutrition Examination from 2017 through 2020 found that approximately 42% of Americans are considered obese. While being overweight isn’t the only indicator of one’s health, it is a major factor in determining whether someone is more at-risk of serious illness. 

But obesity is just one of the health issues facing Americans. Mental Health America (MHA) determined that, between 2019 and 2020, 20.78% of Americans were experiencing mental illness of some kind. That would equate to approximately 50 million Americans struggling with some form of depression or anxiety. MHA also found that approximately 16% of Americans reported having some form of substance abuse problem, and a staggering 93% of those individuals were not receiving or seeking any aide for their problems.

Of course, we are just beginning to understand how the pandemic of 2020-2021 impacted all these physical and mental health issues. With so many activities canceled and isolation demanded to stop the spread of the virus, obesity levels certainly increased, and recent reports have shown that the mental health and substance abuse crises have only gotten worse.

That’s why this year, when making your resolutions, it’s imperative not to treat a commitment to a healthier lifestyle as something to be thrown away mid-February, once the glow of the holidays has worn off.

Perhaps you started even before the December parties commenced and stuck with the better eating habits through the last several weeks. Maybe you have already improved your sleep habits, or made it a point to seek help for serious bouts of depression or anxiety. Hopefully, you’re already striving to end an addiction that’s been plaguing you for months or years.

If so, keep going. Stay committed. Stay focused. Seek help from friends and family, or from the community at large.

For those who haven’t yet begun to address their health, whether physical or mental, now is the time. Make this the year you truly do lose the weight that’s clung to you for too long. Being healthy isn’t about looking good in a swim suit come July. It’s about making sure you have many more decades of life left to live.

For those mired in mental-health muck, reach out. There is plenty of assistance out there for anyone seeking it.

Don’t let addiction win. It can be beaten, no matter how hard, how impossible it may seem. It starts with admitting the problem and then working to find a way out of the darkness.

We live in the most technologically and medically-advanced society in human history. There are more tools available to physicians now than ever before. Illnesses that just a few decades ago would have been potentially fatal can be treated and cured. We can and should be living longer and healthier than ever before.

But modern medicine can only do so much. We are still responsibility for our own health. So get out, get active, get working on yourself.


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