Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome into this week’s edition of AFMC TV. We’re glad you’re joining us. Well here we are again, a New Year. 2023. So how do we make this year different? Joining us to answer that question is Dr. Chad Rodgers. Hello.

Dr. Chad Rodgers: Happy new!

MR: I feel like we need a popper and have, you know, confetti and everything. 2023.

CR: I know, can you believe it?

MR: Wow. No, I can’t. So uh, the million-dollar question, how do we make this year different because we were all here just 365 days ago going, I’m hitting the gym. I’m only eating kale, I’m not drinking. I mean like.

CR: Don’t you feel like we have to make 2023 different. I mean it’s like you keep thinking you can’t get any worse and maybe this year will be an upswing for everybody.

MR: Yeah, we’ve kind of been jipped since like 2019, the end of 2019.

CR: We all have a role in making things better though.

MR: That’s right, that’s right. So how can we start off just making this year different and maybe it’s a mindset, maybe we start with our mind, right?

CR: Right. Totally. So mental health is probably the number one thing to start to address. And I think, you know, we have mental health awareness month coming up, so that’s January and that’s an important reason because that’s a year time of the year. People are feeling super lonely and they’re feeling super depressed. It’s also a time when people have sort of neglected a lot of things throughout the year and they finally decide, you know, in 2023 I want to get healthy, but I want to get mentally healthy. So I want to get work on some mental health things, but then everybody’s like area is trying to get to the gym, they’re trying to get into a counselor or they’re trying to get into some sort of group that kind of helps them. So, a lot of people are doing that. You can feel easily defeated when you’re kind of feeling low. But I think kind of finding something to kind of get into that kind of helps your mental health and maybe just, you know, setting some small goals for yourself. I’m going to try to read a book this year, I’m going to try to learn a new hobby this year. I’m going to try to do something outside of my comfort zone. that’s going to help me grow a little bit. So I think everybody’s got to look at something. I mean, we all sat at home for the last two years and thought about when this is over. I’m going to ABC, well at least try to do a in 2023 or pick from that list. Don’t do D all of the above. But try to pick up one of those things that you sort of identified were important things in your life that you want to get back to.

MR: You know, I kind of think of the spokes on the wheel and those spokes being mental health, fiscally, you know, having your finances, having good financial health, Having good physical health, having good spiritual health. I mean those are all things that we can begin to. think, ok, these are things I’m going to start to put into practice this year and that would make 23 different than 22.

CR: Much different. And so, I think to, I think we tend to kind of, maybe it’s the champagne on New Year’s Eve, we all get a little excited about what we can do next year, but set some realistic goals for yourself, not everybody’s going to run a marathon in March.

MR: But you can.

CR: But you can and if you start training now you can do it. But you know, say I’m going to start walking 20 or 30 minutes a day or you know, I’m going to start to garden this year. So I need to start thinking about what I’m going to do for a garden. You know, start thinking about some attainable goals and set some realistic goals for yourself. You know, don’t have to go, I’m going to lose £100 next year. That’s probably not a realistic goal. But losing 10 to £20 is so, you know, it’s kind of setting, small, realistic goals, setting up a plan to reevaluate those goals and then not feeling defeated when you don’t meet your goals, because that’s when we tend to give up. And just because it didn’t work the first time doesn’t mean it’s not going to work; you might just need to think about how you would need to do it differently to reach those same goals.

MR: You know, I’m reading a book right now that is talking about not only setting goals, but the importance of writing them down.  And the importance of just kind of seeing that vision Even if you put the visual, like on a vision board or something or on a Pinterest board for the females who are watching. And the males talk about just there is power in writing those goals down, but, but as you said, not, I want to lose £100 before December 31st, but being specific in that, I want to lose ten pounds a month or I want to lose ten pounds this first quarter, I mean, talk about just that importance of writing it out on paper.

CR: I think there’s a lot of power in writing it down and I think it’s something that I haven’t even realized until recently how important it is to put pen to paper, just like you described because we all have the comfort of our phone and putting things in our phone. Of course, if we lose our phone, we’ve lost our mind but writing it down and having it in front of you, because once we put it in something and put it away, we mean mentally put it away. I think sometimes putting it out in somewhere where it’s kind of a reminder every day about what you’re going to do. Maybe even setting up, you know, a little graph of what you’re going to, what your goals are and giving yourself some little, you know, we’re not too beyond gold stars as adults, putting some gold stars on the calendar when we reach those goals and then when we have reached those goals, I mean, I think the other thing is think about how you’re going to reward yourself, you know, if I do this, then I’m going to give myself this. So those are things that kind of keep us going throughout the year.

MR: And those rewards could even be speaking from my perspective, a new bottle of nail polish, you know, or spending that extra money on that coffee drink at a local shop. They don’t have to be I’m going to build a pool, you know, they don’t have to be these big grandiose rewards, but just little treats here and there, that the gold star, hey, I, I did this, come on, look at what I did, that’s right. Monthly goals, you know, I mean, I guess we could, we could have big yearly goals, but then start to break them down to quarter, monthly, weekly. I think that really helps a lot because we’re like on January when I’m going to do all this stuff and so think about and like I think I might mention gardening earlier. So that’s not something you can do in January and February, but you can do it in March and April. So, you know, beginning to think about those things, put it on the calendar throughout the year, in June, I want to go to the beach, so I want to have my beach body in the spring, I want My garden in the fall, I want to be able to, you know, uh, do something else. So, I want to be able to, to make sure, like I want to go hiking on a hiking trip in, in the fall. So, I want to make sure that I can walk 10 or 20 miles a day. So, I need to be working on those goals, but putting those out in front of you and kind of along the calendar and having, and, and just because I think you do, you make that New Year’s resolution and then you’re like, oh well, I got to wait till 2024 now. No, no, no. There are 12 months. You get 12 tries in the month of 20, to, to do those resolutions. So don’t think about the resolution is just that New Year’s Eve is something that you kind of make it. So, you might, you might even want to put a date on your calendar in those recurring things. on your phone. A lot of people do this with like sobriety or other things where they put a date on the calendar and it comes up on their phone and it’s like, oh, I’ve done that for a month. Oh, I’ve done that for two months. That’s a really, another kind of easy, positive reward and a good way to monitor progress.

MR: I love to in talking about the garden and wanting to do that for the spring, use this time now to do your research, whether it’s on gardening or whether it’s on hiking or whatever, but you can start working towards that goal right now. What plants or vegetables do you do in your climate? What can we do for our mental health right now, in January to kind of set a good foundation for the rest of the year?

CR: Right. So I think we had to think about how we’re going to make ourselves healthier, we all have habits or we all have things in our life that we feel like we need to work on, and this is the time to sort of, to kind of take those on, to kind of really start to address our mental health, and that may be working with a mental health professional, but it may be with a life coach or maybe just having a friend that you reached out to. I think that connectiveness is real important, January and February is a time to get really depressed if you’re feeling depressed. Your neighbor probably is too, so reach out to people don’t sit at home, work on doing that connectiveness and having sort of some accountability to say, you know, I really would like to work on you know, reading a book or can we read this book together or? And you could those are things you can even still do virtually, you don’t even have to get out of the house, you know, but you know, kind of having some things that you are going to work on, create an accountability partner and then kind of make a plan for how you’re going to get there because I think that we all have things in our life and it may just be, I’m going to meditate every day or I’m going to pray for 15 minutes or I’m going to just walk for 12 or 15 minutes, so you know, just a little bit of things in our life, that kind of are just kind of baby steps, you know, because once you get those behind you and they become a hard routine then you can think about what the next step is going to be and that’s a way to good personal growth.

MR: You mentioned that January is mental health awareness month. Let’s briefly touch on Those individuals who are so low. You know, and we see on social media a lot of times where if you’re having a hard time just reach out, but there are those individuals who are so rock bottom, they can’t reach out. And so how what is the advice if you, for someone to reach out to their friend, who is, sitting there saying I’m trying to scream for help, but I am so underwater, you can’t even hear me scream. What is that?

CR: I think we have to think about mental health, like we do any other disease. So, if you had a friend that was at home having a heart attack, so you had a home friend that was at home feeling suicidal, that’s in a medical emergency, you got to reach out, you got to go drastic. But if you have someone at home you know that has diabetes and you know that they’re not eating well and they’re not doing their exercising their diabetes. So, they they’re seeing him you’re going to kind of try to reach out to them and do some growth, but you have to do that with some empathy without judgment. With encouragement, but there’s a lot of times that, you know, taking the shame out of that because I think that the one thing, I hear from people so much when they’re at that low is that they just felt alone and you’re not alone, you feel that way and everything tells you that it’s that way. But it but especially if people are not reaching out to you you feel really alone. So, so I think again connectiveness is really important. I think getting out of yourself a little bit too, I actually would encourage people to turn off social media because there’s nothing worse when you get to that point to open it up and saying so and so is at the beach so and so is on a European vacation, so and so is having dinner with their family doesn’t help. So sometimes you to turn off social media Yeah. But kind of get out, get outside yourself and sometimes just helping others with their own problems kind of gets you outside of your own problem and maybe that thing that kind of starts to elevate you. But if you are really feeling super low suicidal homicidal, those are really, that’s like having a heart attack, you need, someone needs to cut down 911, someone needs to get you to a health care professional. So, I think take it very seriously.

MR: And don’t mix alcohol when you’re feeling that low. Dry January helps too.

CR: Right, for the for the first couple of minutes you feel good and then it can take you much slower and that’s when people tend to make really bad decisions. So yeah, and so reach out if you can’t do it yourself, there are organizations that can help you do that.

MR: All right, Dr. Chad, is there anything else you’d like to add?

CR: The one thing again, if people feel connected, think about something, you feel passionate about, whether it’s your church or your community or if it’s helping people with homelessness or with food insecurity, people do a whole lot during the holiday seasons, January February, it falls off. Identify something you feel passionate about, find an organization that does that go volunteer, join us. School group, join a book club, do something that keeps you connected to people, take food to your next-door neighbor, you know, do something that’s beyond yourself to help somebody else. I think it’s going to make for a better 2023.

MR: Doing something for someone else gives you such a great feeling it can’t help but lift you up.

CR: Yeah.

MR: Yeah. All right, here we go. Here we go. Dr. Rodgers, thank you so much for joining us and thank you for joining us, we hope you have a great week and we’ll see you back here next time for more a f Mc Tv