BRITT | A healthier body, mind and spirit are goals many of us strive to reach. However, the pressures of daily life can make it difficult for many people to achieve these aims.

Trying to do it all – maintain a successful career, sustain stable relationships, raise children, care for aging parents – can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health.

Therefore, it's important that you take the time and make the effort to focus on yourself without feelings of guilt. Hancock County Health System (HCHS) would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to take the necessary steps to jumpstart positive lifestyle changes in the New Year by taking better care of all aspects of your well-being.

Lifestyle modification can consist of a variety of strategies such as healthier eating, exercise and physical activity, getting adequate sleep, reducing stress and spiritual fulfillment. However, it's important to remember that no two people are the same and you should tailor whatever strategies you use to your own life and goals.

Ensuring that you get enough physical activity will go a long way toward improving your overall quality of life. Although the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes, you should still start gradually and perform the types of physical activity that are appropriate for your current fitness level.

Busy schedules can sometimes make it difficult to eat correctly. Proper nutrition is a key component of any strategy to live healthier

Poll results of all adults have shown women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep and to experience more daytime sleepiness at least a few nights/days a week. Additionally, new research shows that when women lose sleep they're at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Making changes to improve the physical aspects of your well-being are great. But what can women do to enhance their mental and spiritual health? Physical, mental and spiritual health are deeply intertwined and have a profound effect on one another. Even though it may seem hard to find ways to de-stress with all the things you have to do, it's important to find those ways.

Last but not least, your lifestyle improvement program should always include getting annual physicals and tests from your primary care physician (PCP).