Work Healthy Living Into New Year's Resolutions
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services encourages adding healthy and smart lifestyle choices to New Year’s resolutions for the coming year.
“The new year is a time to reflect on the positive changes we can make to improve our lives and the lives of our families, friends and neighbors,” said Danny Staley, director of DHHS’ Division of Public Health. “I encourage North Carolinians to explore healthy resolution ideas this season, whether you speak to your teen about underage drinking, walk or exercise for 30 minutes daily, or make better choices in eating habits. We can all make small changes to improve our quality of life.”
Here are some resources to help North Carolinians create healthy, practical and effective New Year’s resolutions.
For many people the holidays are a time of joy, socialization and celebration. However, for some, holidays can bring about feelings of anxiety, depression and grief. Following this holiday season and throughout the year, it’s important to practice self-care. Strategies like talking to a trusted family member or loved one, seeking or reconnecting with behavioral health services at the first sign of a change and setting positive goals are excellent ways to address these challenges quickly.
For information about behavioral health services and how to find a behavioral health provider, visit: www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/mhddsas.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
Eat Smart Move More NC encourages North Carolinians to make healthier food and beverage choices, and to increase physical activity. Individuals can strengthen their immune system and reduce the likelihood of weight gain by learning how to read nutrition labels, creating smaller servings of food and setting aside time each day to exercise.
For information on Eat Smart Move More NC, visit: www.myeatsmartmovemore.com.
QuitlineNC provides resources to those ready to quit smoking. This 24-hour service provides coaching and support over the phone to individuals trying to reduce their risk of health problems associated with smoking.
The benefits of quitting tobacco include:
- Risk of stroke is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after five to 15 years of not smoking
- Risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus are cut in half five years after quitting smoking
- Risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half one year after quitting and 15 years after quitting is nearly the same as someone who never smoked
- Risk of lung cancer drops by as much as half 10 years after quitting
For more information on quitting smoking, visit: www.quitlinenc.com.
Lend a Helping Hand
Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based curriculum that helps the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in youth and adults. Research has shown that those trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others and are more likely to advise people to seek professional help.
North Carolina is a leader in Mental Health First Aid with more than 30,000 trained and more than 450 instructors. To learn more or to register for a class visit www.ncdhhs.gov/mental-health-first-aid.
For more information on DHHS services and resources, visit: www.ncdhhs.gov.
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services manages the delivery of health- and human-related services for all North Carolinians, especially our most vulnerable citizens – children, elderly, disabled and low-income families. The Department works closely with health care professionals, community leaders and advocacy groups; local, state and federal entities; and many other stakeholders to make this happen. A $20-billion organization with more than 16,000 employees, DHHS protects the health and safety of North Carolina’s more than 10 million citizens.
NCDHHS also oversees 14 facilities including developmental centers, neuro-medical treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers and two residential programs for children.