In a busy world full of texts, voicemails and instant messaging, we can get distracted from the things that matter most. By finding ways to simplify our lives, we can help improve our physical, mental and spiritual health.

At AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, we focus on whole-person health through the faith-based CREATION Health principles. Each of those components—Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust in God, Interpersonal relationships, Outlook and Nutrition—help us stay mindful and focus on our health priorities in the new year.


Choosing to be mindful, or in the present moment, can help us stay calm. By focusing too much on the future or past, we start to feel anxious or depressed. “If we’re not living in the present moment, we’re missing out on life,” says Lisa Cummings, wellness manager at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. To stay mindful, think about what you’re experiencing in the moment. For example, when washing your hair, choose to focus on the feel of the warm water and suds, rather than worrying about that meeting later in the day.


We all know getting enough sleep is important for our health. One way to get better rest is to take a break from electronics. “The anticipation of dings on our phones is attached to that heightened sense of alertness, the fight-or-flight response,” says Cummings. Simplify your life by turning off your phone and unplugging your internet at night for a more restful sleep.


Take time to appreciate the beauty of the world around you—whether it’s the autumn leaves, the smell of the bakery, or the flowers you bought from the store. Focusing on our environment can help us stay mindful and calm in the present moment.


Exercising not only helps our physical health, but it helps us stay mindful while interacting with the world around us. Going for a walk, dancing to your favorite song or planting flowers in the garden can all boost your mood and focus your thoughts.

Trust in God

“Take time to reflect on God and how everything in the universe operates in an ordered system,” says Mark Stoddart, administrative director of Spiritual Wellness at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. “One Bible verse that’s helpful to reflect on is Isa. 26:3: ‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.’”

Interpersonal relationships

By taking a break from technology, we can reconnect with family and friends. “If everyone is sitting and looking at their phones at dinner, we might miss those moments with our family that we can’t get back,” says Cummings. Set aside quality time with family and friends so you can enjoy their company, stay in the present moment and focus on those relationships.


If you feel like your life is in disarray, reach out to people you trust. “Maybe you’ve suffered a loss, had some kind of spiritual break or lost hope,” says Stoddart. “Seeking help from a spiritual counselor, a pastor or a trusted friend can help you reground and find peace.”


Healthy eating is often a New Year’s resolution. However, in our busy lives, we often eat while distracted, causing us to make poor choices without realizing it. Try to focus on your food while eating. Put away distractions like your computer or phone and pay attention to the food’s texture, smell and taste. When we practice mindful eating, we tend to make better decisions about nutrition and pay attention to our hunger cues.

By finding ways to simplify our lives, we can focus on what’s important—our physical and mental health, our relationships and our spirituality—and maintain a healthy outlook for the new year.

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