How have we got to the end of January already?? This month has flown by. It also gets me thinking about those New Year resolutions we make, and wonder how many people have actually stuck to theirs.
January is the season of deprivation. Everywhere I look someone has given up alcohol, or chocolate or heaven forbid, both! If you’re struggling with your resolutions, or haven’t made any goals or lists of what you would like to achieve this year, it really isn’t too late to start.
Think about making simple positive changes that will make you happy.
Here are 10 ideas to help you get started:
Life can be busy and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our lives that we forget to just be thankful for each new day. It’s incredible how much difference a little positivity can make to your mood and set the tone for the rest of the day. Make a conscious effort to start the day with a positive thought. It could be being thankful for all your blessings, or perhaps it’s just by watching a funny YouTube clip – anything to get you smiling and ready to begin your day.
2. Change the way you think about food
Too many of us have a complicated relationship with food but it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t look at food as being something to restrict, but as fuel to nourish you and provide you with energy, strength and vitality.
This ties in nicely with my point above. You don’t have to restrict your food intake to extremes or overeat to the point that you’re uncomfortable, nor do you have to exercise like a crazy person every day. Find a balance and as long you’re consistent with both you will see the results you’re after.
4. Switch off
We are so connected and available that most of us check our phone around 150 times day, and every 6 seconds in the evening! Unbelievable! I check my phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and I know it’s not good for me. Not only do the bright lights at night affect your sleep inducing hormones, but also the information overload from emails (or whatever it is you’re doing) keeps your brain alert and wired – NOT a good way to wind down before bed. So try to switch off from all gadgets, for at least an hour a day, preferably before bedtime.
5. Read for fun
There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. I love books, and I love reading, I just don’t do enough of it. Holidays are the only time where I seem to read consistently. If you don’t feel like you have the time follow rule 4 above and switch off from all gadgets (err, unless you’re reading on a kindle!) and dive into a good book before bed. It’s so important to continue learning and being creative which reading provides. It can also help you to switch off and unwind from the day, great to help promote a restful sleep.
At least 8 hours. Sleep earlier or wake up later, just do it. When we rest our bodies are busy repairing, detoxifying and consolidating our memories. Inadequate sleep can lead to poor memory function, fatigue, inability to recover, low immune system, increased appetite and ageing! Phew! Go to bed already!
7. Have more me time
Take a bath, go for a walk, get to a yoga class, whatever makes you happy. Work pressures and hectic social lives mean a constant demand on our time so we focus less on ourselves and the things we really enjoy doing. Don’t be afraid to say no to friends, to indulge yourself.
Yes life can be hard, we have responsibilities and pressures but doing it with a smile on your face makes it all the more worthwhile. Don’t forget the bigger picture – this is your life, it’s a not dress rehearsal.
9. Gain some perspective
Things are rarely as bad as they seem, and there are a lot more people out there in a worse-off situation. If you’re healthy, have a roof over your head, food on the table and clothes on your back, you’re doing good. Some people aren’t granted that privilege, so it’s always important to take stock and remember just how blessed you really are.
Everyone else’s lives always seem to be better. They are happier, healthier, shinier, have better relationships, jobs, etc, etc, etc. But remember, you’ll never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life, and constantly comparing yourself to a perceived reality is a recipe for making yourself feel completely inadequate. The storm of social media makes other people’s lives so accessible. But in reality it’s just a snap shot of a moment in time (plus a lot of Photoshop!). Live your life for you.