As 2023 came to a close, you couldn’t scroll through Instagram or TikTok without seeing one (or 10, for that matter) “ins” and “outs” list for 2024, and I loved it. To me, the idea of these lists is not to set hard and fast resolutions or to check off unattainable goals. Instead, they are about calling in positive energy and ditching what is no longer serving you. I admit I love lists, so I had to jump on the trend and write down my own personal ins and outs… it came as no surprise to me that most of mine were wellness-related.
As a registered dietitian, nutrition and wellness often come as second nature to me. But when I reflected on my overall health in 2023, I realized that there were habits I wanted to improve, new ones that I wanted to implement, and others that I would categorize as “just for fun.” While I firmly believe you can start working on your health goals at any time of the year, keep reading for my wellness “ins” for 2024.
1. Dry brushing
When my work bestie told me she was getting into her wellness girl era, I couldn’t wait for us to compare notes. After hearing her rave about the benefits of dry brushing, I decided to try it for myself. Not only is it relaxing to do before jumping in the shower, but it also offers benefits such as exfoliation (goodbye, dry winter skin) and lymphatic drainage (read: detoxifying your body of damaged cells, bacteria, or toxins). And why would I shy away from anything that makes my evening routine feel more like a spa day?
2. Eating high-protein breakfasts
In 2023, the benefits of eating more protein—from building muscle to balancing hormones—became a hot topic. Especially as a nutritionist, I’m all about an abundance mindset and considering what you can add to your meals, not what you should take away. While everyone’s protein needs vary, I notice a huge difference in how I feel when I start my mornings off with a high-protein breakfast that includes 20-30 grams of protein. I stay satisfied longer and am more focused and energized during my workday. Translation: High-protein breakfasts are staying on my “ins” list indefinitely.
3. Using the “Do Not Disturb” function on my phone
To continue to prioritize my mental health, setting my phone on “do not disturb” was an immediate “in” for me. In 2024, I’m reminding myself that I do not need to be available to everyone at all times. By keeping my phone notifications off, I’m setting a precedent to focus on what’s important off-screen, like spending quality time with friends, self-care, and trying new experiences (3-2-8 Method, anyone?).
4. Using a silk pillowcase
This habit is by no means revolutionary, but I’m committed to better hair health this year, which means my silk pillowcase has earned a spot on my “ins” list. Since receiving one as a gift over the holidays, I’ve truly noticed a difference in my hair when I wake up in the mornings. And by difference, I mean my bedhead is basically non-existent. What’s more, because I use richer skincare products before going to bed, my silk pillowcase has been a game-changer in preventing them from just absorbing into the pillowcase. The best part? My skin stays hydrated throughout the night.
I love to read, but the past few months have been chaotic in the “it’s-the-end-of-the-year” kind of way, which means I’ve been on my phone more than I’d like to admit. Putting reading on my “ins” list was a no-brainer because I knew it would serve as a reminder to check myself every time I scroll Instagram by default instead of picking up the book I have right in front of me. Did I mention there are some serious health benefits to reading? Promoting critical thinking skills, reducing stress, and improving sleep are just to name a few.
6. Drinking electrolytes
Anyone who personally knows me knows how much water I drink. While staying hydrated is a no-brainer for me, prioritizing electrolytes hasn’t been something I’ve considered until now. For context, electrolytes are essential minerals. They keep your body functioning as it should, namely maintaining proper hydration and nervous system and muscle function, as well as regulating the body’s internal pH levels. Although many people get enough electrolytes from a well-rounded diet, they can become depleted with high-intensity exercise (sweating), vomiting, diarrhea, outside temperature, and certain medical conditions—and some people do not get enough from diet. Coconut water, electrolyte tablets or powders, and kombucha offer electrolytes in addition to packing in flavor.
Variety pack includes four flavors (nine flavors available overall)
7. Incorporating strength-based workouts
Like every year, 2023 brought a myriad of new fitness trends. And while I consider myself a Pilates/yoga/hot girl walk gal, this year, I’m going back to the basics by including more strength-based workouts like weight lifting and incorporating light weights in my Pilates practice in my wellness routine. From boosting confidence to feeling more toned to reducing the risk of injury, the health benefits of strength training don’t disappoint, so in 2024, I’m choosing to focus on my long-term health by using weights while still incorporating my tried-and-true forms of exercise that I love.