Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for MCAS
Have you ever tried making healthy new year’s resolutions, but struggle to keep them for the whole year? I have too.
I’ve especially struggled with being unrealistically strict with myself.
Like the time I committed to exercising 1 hour a day for 5 days a week. But then I had days I was too fatigued to make dinner, much less exercise.
It took me a while to learn how to make commitments to myself that I could keep. The key is to start with compassion, kindness, and gentleness for ourselves.
I want to encourage you with some tips on how to reframe your health resolutions in the coming year. This will help you be successful in the changes you want to make.
I want you to know that there is hope if you’re struggling with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or any other complex, chronic condition. You can get better.
But it takes some discipline to change last year’s habits. I know you can do it, though! I want to encourage you to make tinier new year’s resolutions this year.
A lot of my clients prioritize everyone else and have trouble prioritizing themselves. Think about how you start with just 5 minutes a day and add 1-2 minutes a week with any new habit.
Whether you want to eat better, optimize your detox, calm your immune system, or reclaim your health, these healthy new year’s resolutions tips are for you.
Healthy New Year Resolutions
I love thinking about the upcoming year as a fresh start for new habits.
However, I don’t want you to waste your energy on self care practices that may not have many health benefits.
I want you to think about your new year’s resolutions as a form of healthcare. How can you get the most out of your commitments for your overall health?
And how can you build a healthy lifestyle that will support your health for decades to come?
In this post, you’ll learn:
- Better mindsets for healthier new year’s resolutions
- Adding healthy new year resolutions instead of just subtracting
- The best healthy new year resolutions for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
As we approach New Year’s Eve, let’s start with the first better mindset for new year’s resolutions.
Make Tinier New Year Resolutions
Have you ever made a goal or new achievement that was too ambitious? But then you got overwhelmed and ended up not making much of a change?
I want you to consider how you can make tinier new years resolutions.
What is a microstep you can take?
If you aren’t familiar with microsteps, here’s what they are. Think about the big changes you want to make. Now break that down into smaller, more manageable steps.
Small changes are more sustainable long term than drastic big ones.
One of the most popular healthy new year’s resolutions is increasing physical activity and exercise. But if you are struggling with MCAS or chronic fatigue, any type of exercise can be very difficult.
When I was sick, I can’t tell you how many times I would push myself to make it through an Iyengar yoga class or 20 minutes of interval training. But I was completely exhausted for a week afterwards.
I was worse off than when I started.
An Example of a Tinier New Year’s Resolution
One client, who I will call “Samantha,” struggled with severe oxalate joint pain. She wanted to exercise to maintain muscle mass as she aged.
But doing even 5 reps wasn’t a realistic goal when it felt like she had shards of glass in her joints.
I encouraged Samantha to make a list of all her physical therapists recommended exercises. Then just tackle one of those exercises a week.
And with that one exercise, start with just 1 rep.
Samantha started week 1 with 1 leg raise per leg.
Yes, only 1 raise per leg.
But doing only 1 rep of 1 exercise meant she was able to finish the day at work. She simply marked what date she did the leg raise.
The next week, she did just 1 ankle lift.
The following week, she did her toe lift.
After 3 months, Samantha had done 1 exercise per week. It was the first time she had been able to complete a workout in over 5 years without it causing her to miss work.
She was so proud!
What are some small, measurable exercises you can do? And how can you make it more simple? Consider the tiniest exercise routine to set yourself up for success.
More Tinier New Resolutions Ideas
Some tiny and healthy new year’s resolutions for exercises are:
- Extending your arms above your head once a week
- Getting upside down once a week like legs up the wall
- Gently bouncing on a rebounder or trampoline for 10 seconds and working up slowly
I’ll share more ideas for smaller new year’s resolutions down below.
Next, I want you to reduce restrictive new year’s resolutions.
Let’s look at that next.
It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner. Before you change your diet on your own, please make sure you’re working with a healthcare practitioner or dietician who can help you with this.
Reduce Restrictive New Year’s Resolutions
It breaks my heart when I see my clients stuck in a cycle of eliminating food after food. I was once down to less than 10 foods not including seasonings.
Never reduce foods if you don’t have to.
Perhaps you try one new (to you) food a month from my low histamine foods list and figure out how to prepare it your favorite way.
For example, maybe you’ve never bought radishes before. You can try them:
- Sliced in half and roasted
- Julienned on a salad
- Diced in a stir fry
Then, it becomes part of your low histamine meal plans.
This applies to areas other than healthy eating too!
The best lifestyle changes are when you add healthy habits.
It is easy to slide into negative thinking where you obsess about what you want to avoid.
Instead, I want you to think about what you can add to your life in the coming year.
Think about what you can add to enrich your life, instead of just cutting what’s inflammatory or bad for you.
With healthy food, I want you to think about how you eat as more than weight loss or weight gain.
Think about how you can nourish your body with the most nutrient packed healthy diet.
Think about filling your plate with a high-quality diet, full of whole foods like veggies and clean protein.
Related Post: Avoid These High Histamine Meat Handling Mistakes!
One of my clients shared with me that her past new year’s resolution was to eat a fresh herb once a day.
What a tiny, yet doable idea! Herbs are so nutrient dense and can support mast cells!
Aside from food, I want to share some ideas about what else you can add to your routines for a healthier lifestyle. These are realistic goals and are targeted to help those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
But before that, I want to talk about cravings.
A Side Note on Cravings
Many people with MCAS struggle with strong cravings. In many cases, these are legitimate cravings for nutrients that they are missing. For example, protein and magnesium are common ones.
The best solution for this is working with a healthcare provider who can do individualized testing for you to find out what you might be missing.
Hopefully, they can help you get as much nutritional variety as possible and address your root causes.
Now that we’ve talked about not making restrictive new year’s resolutions, let’s look at other mindset shifts.
Healthy New Year’s Resolutions to Add
This upcoming year, I want you to think about what foods and other habits you can add to enrich your health.
And the smaller the resolution, the better!
My hope in sharing these ideas is for you to pick 1 or 2 new year’s resolution ideas to start. Please do not try to do all of these at once.
Even though I share about how I am doing these, I am not doing every single one every day.
I practice nervous system work every day. My practices shift, but I get it in daily.
If it starts to feel like a burden, you may be trying to do too much.
Remember, the smaller new year’s resolutions may be more sustainable for you in the long term.
I encourage you to pick 1 of these to start, with just 5 minutes, a couple times a week.
And then, build slowly by adding 1-2 minutes a week.
Let’s start with some of my favorite health goals that are good for your mental health and nervous system.
I want to encourage you to get outside. There are so many benefits like getting vitamin D and boosting your mood. One of my favorite ways to do this is Forest Bathing.
Learn all about the benefits of forest bathing here.
It’s an easy way to get started and it’s free!
If you’re in a colder climate, here are some tips on getting morning sunlight.
While being in nature is best, it’s still good to get outside every day, even if it’s in your neighborhood.
Perhaps this year, your healthy new year’s resolution is to get outside for 30 seconds a day in the sun.
This free practice is about slowing down your breathing to reduce stress.
You inhale and exhale for the same slow length of time.
And you breathe at what’s known as the resonance breathing frequency. That’s around 5-6 breaths per minute. You may need to start with 8-10 breaths per minute, and that’s okay too.
You don’t need any special equipment or training to do this breathing technique. And you can do it anywhere.
Learn all about how to do resonant breathing here.
If you want to take your healthy new year’s resolutions to the next level, here are some tools that can aid you.
Epsom Salt Baths
You might be ready for Epsom salt baths if you have done nervous system stabilization and are on mast cell supports.
This is not a starter step.
Epsom salt is a form of magnesium bound to sulfate. Sulfation is a major part of Phase 2 detox in your liver. When you soak your feet or take a bath with magnesium sulfate, you absorb it through your skin.
If you haven’t taken an Epsom salt bath before, you may need to start with a few granules and build slowly.
I made the mistake of starting with a couple teaspoons and it sent me into an oxalate flare.
You must also check the ingredients to ensure that it is only magnesium sulfate. Beware of added fragrances or other fillers.
I like to buy these bags of Epsom salt in bulk.
The Gupta Program is an online guided program of exercises designed to help calm your nervous system.
It’s a collection of brain retraining techniques that target the fight or flight parts of your brain.
It may feel similar to meditations or breath work you’ve done.
But it’s specifically designed to help your brain shift from the stressful sympathetic mode to parasympathetic.
And there is very little body movement required. It’s great for those struggling with fatigue or pain.
Another one of my favorite tools is BrainTap.
BrainTap is an audio program package for nervous system support. BrainTap has both guided meditations and relaxing frequencies without words.
And the best part is that you can try it at no cost.
Be sure to use headphones with it. It plays sounds in each ear to stimulate different parts of the brain.
I like these air tubes from Shield Your Body to reduce my EMF exposure.
If you find that BrainTap works for you, I highly recommend adding the BrainTap headset.
It takes the program to the next level with lights around your eyes and ears. The lights stimulate healthy vagal nerve signaling.
TIP: For those with light sensitivities, the visor with the lights for the eyes can be flipped up and just the lights for the ears used.
Better Sleep Hygiene
One of the best things you can do for your health is improve your sleep hygiene.
So many people with MCAS struggle with insomnia. I know I did.
One of the best ways to increase your hours of sleep is to go to sleep earlier. This is harder than it sounds though.
And as you move your bedtime up, here are some better ways to decompress.
Replace Screen Time
Some may encourage you to limit your screen time after the sun goes down.
I want you to think about how you can replace your screen time with a better habit. What can you add in?
Remember, you want to reduce restrictive resolutions and focus on what you want to add instead.
If you want to quit doing screen time before bed, use one of these healthier habits to wind down for the day:
- Read a book (or listen to an audiobook)
- Gupta Program getting to sleep exercises
- BrainTap sleep meditations
- Resonant Breathing
- Epsom Salt Bath
- Drink Low Histamine Tea like chamomile
- Note: Avoid for salicylate intolerance
- Diffuse and inhale soothing essential oils (here are the best ones for MCAS)
- Enjoy a new hobby on paper like a sudoku puzzle or wordsearch
And if you are still struggling to find quality sleep, you may want to make sure you are using a non-toxic mattress and pillow.
Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for MCAS
Remember to pick just one or two things from the above ideas to try in the new year.
Can you imagine if you added 1 new healthy habit a month what your health would be like in 1 year?
That may seem like a lot, but if you break it into microsteps, it can be very doable. Think of these as tinier new year’s resolutions.
Also, when we share our New Year’s resolutions with others, it helps us hold ourselves accountable.
My Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
I’ll start. I want to share with you that I’ve been overworking the past few years. For the past 4 years, I’ve been consistently working 50-60 hours per week.
I know this is probably not a surprise to you if you’ve followed me for long. But I really need to change my overworking habit.
It’s been affecting my physical and mental health. I’m not exercising enough, and I’ve been eating dinner at 10p or later as well – not good for my digestion. Ugh!
I recently read a review study of how overwork significantly increasing risk of Type II Diabetes, stroke, and heart failure. This got me to commit to my resolution.
I’m sharing this because I wanted you to know I’m not perfect. I do get in my supplements every day, work on my nervous system daily, and eat very cleanly.
I’m still figuring out work-life balance, though, now that my health is better.
My New Year’s Resolution is that I’m going to take more downtime to take care of myself. I can’t start this all at once though and expect myself to succeed.
I need to break this into a few steps over the next few months. Here’s how I’m going to do this:
- January – Work 3-4 less hours per week. For those hours, I’m going to do more self care and spend more time with my family. I’m also going to stop every hour while working and take 4 deep, cleansing breaths to reset my nervous system during the day.
- February – Work 8 less hours per week. I’ll incorporate more exercise and eat earlier in the evening. I’ll also start getting up to stretch and move every 1-2 hours while working.
- March – Go down to a normal 40-45 hour work week. Use the extra time to incorporate some fun activities into my life.
- April – Re-evaluate how it’s going and make some decisions about what I need next.
I’ve actually put these resolutions on my calendar to help me stick to them.
And I’m sharing this with you so I can hold myself accountable.
I also want you to know where I am with my health. Sharing my personal journey has always been an important part of how I connect with you.
I know what it’s like to not have anyone understand what you are going through. And I know the joy of finding out that there is hope!
This is why I share so many of my personal health struggles with you. I want you to know you aren’t alone.
And even though I’ve come so far, I still need help, too, sometimes.
I’d also love to hear from you about what you’re committing to in the upcoming year, too.
Will you please share in the comments below what your healthy new year’s resolution will be to help get your health back on track? I can’t wait to hear from you.
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