Five Steps To A Happier And Healthier New Year

Its that time of the year when we reflect on the year past and decide whether it has been a good one or not. This year its a little different in that the arrival of a new year also brings with it the start of a new decade. No longer will be living in the ‘teens’!

Like most people you start a new year off with intentions to do all the right things and make life even better. Old habits die hard though and before to long most people are back with their old ways because it is what you are used to.

If you would like to see some positive changes happen in your life, start small with manageable steps that wont ‘rock your boat’ too much and then stive for bigger things as you see success.

Drink more water – this is an oldie but a real goodie. Swap out as many beverages as you can with water. Not only will you flush out toxins, your skin will look plumper, you will have more energy and you could save a ton of calories! If you only set one goal for 2020 start with this one as the benefits are huge.

Cut back on sugar – this additive is in just about everything because it makes things taste better. It is the number one cause of inflammation in the body and can lead to pain and disease. Sugar is highly addictive and trying to cut it out completely overnight can bring on withdrawals that are hard to cope with and chances of you sticking to eating this way is probably going to fail. Read the labels and where possible look for products that have no added sugar or at least reduced sugar content. Find some snacks that are not laden with sugar and make sure you keep those on hand. Slowly reduce your intake and your body will happily adjust and do your health a big favour.

Keep moving – every bit of exercise is good exercise. The more we move the happier we will feel and the better we will look. Find activities that you enjoy and do them regularly. Swimming is a great way to move that puts very little stress on your body and if you have a heated pool nearby you can swim 365 days of the year no matter what the weather is doing.

(Investing in a ‘Chlorine Proof’ swimsuit like this one from SUNMARIN will ensure your swimsuit lasts for seasons)

Me time – you must schedule in time just for you. Just like you diary gets full of all the things you have to do, making sure you regularly do something that brings you joy is just as important if not more. Make a list of all the things you love to do such as facials, massages, coffee dates, craft time, reading or watching a movie. Take that list and start to ‘book’ appointments/time slots that are not negotiable. Your wellbeing is vital and making time for you is a serious necessity.

Focus on the good things – our past is often filled with things that made us sad, stressed or even embarrassed. You don’t need to ignore all those things, but the mind is very good at focusing on the negative and it takes effort to retrain it to look for the good. Every time you feel yourself slipping into that negative mind frame, focus on something that you did well or brought you joy no matter how menial that achievement was. Practice this regularly and your brain will soon learn to search for things that bring you joy and this can go a long way to easing your stress levels especially over things that happened in the past.

Grab yourself a small diary or notebook and at the end of each day jot down all this little positive things you did for your health and wellbeing. Its a great way to remind yourself that you are taking steps in the right direction.

Wishing you all the best for a wonderful 2020!

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