Be Your Own New Year’s Resolution
As we clear the final leftovers from the fridge, our usual next step is to frantically decide on a new year’s resolution, likely centred around losing weight or going to the gym. Where most people fall short with lofty resolutions is in the planning, and many find their 1st January motivation waning by the 31st, leading to feelings of failure. The last thing we all need after the challenges of the last two years is to feel under sudden pressure to lose weight and get fit.
This year, why not try a more gentle approach? Here are three simple strategies to get you moving towards a healthier you, without excessive changes to your routine.
It’s the first thing we sacrifice in favour of working longer hours or watching more TV. We have been conditioned to view sleep as a waste of time, as opposed to the regenerative, mood boosting, mind-enhancing, muscle-repairing wonder that it is (yes, it really does all of these things).
The quality and quantity of your sleep directly dictates the productivity and energy for your day. Honour your body’s need for sleep; it is the single most effective thing you can do to look after yourself.
Tip: If you aren’t getting between 7-9 hours of sleep, start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each week until you reach at least 7 (ideally 8) hours. And switch all screens off an hour before bedtime.
Eat A Rainbow
We are all guilty of falling back on the same set of meals week in week out. But this means we aren’t regularly giving our bodies the diverse range of different nutrients it needs to perform at its best.
Simple swaps can be powerful; a red pepper has 1.5 times the Vitamin C and 11 times the Vitamin A of a green pepper. The key here is to focus on colour; the more colourful your shopping basket, the greater the range of nutrients you’ll be getting.
Tip: Choose one new type of fruit or vegetable every week and add it to your weekly shop.
Soak Up Some Nature
Daily, gentle exercise outdoors is one of the best things you can do for both your mind and body.
You’ll get a boost of serotonin (the “happy” hormone) from being outside, and spending time looking at fractals, repeating patterns such as those found in leaves, flowers and snowflakes, is scientifically proven to reduce stress levels.
Tip: Take regular breaks and aim to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors every day.