New Year, New You
Small changes that will make a big difference to mind, body and soul
Changes for Life
Some 80% of New Year resolutions fail by the second week of February. So rather than make a raft of punishing promises, how about making a series of small changes that you can stick to and will make a major difference to your health and wellbeing…
There is no need to go all out with radical diets and exercise regimes that you’ll find hard to stick to. “Motivation comes and goes but to see changes in our lives, we need to set small goals that keep the drive and desire going,” says Kristel Klein, a personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Raynes Park. “This could be, for example, exercising 10-20 minutes per day or eating a different vegetable every day.” The more small goals we manage to complete, the more we feel that we are accomplishing something and the more health benefits we start noticing.
Adds Kristel: “The best health change is likely to last a lifetime and it is about finding balance in between good and bad.“ Don’t see a healthy diet as depriving yourself. “Think of a human body as a machine, feed it with good high-quality ‘fuel’ and expect excellent and long-lasting performance.”
The idea that spending recreational time in natural settings is good for our health and wellbeing is hardly new knowledge, so why do we not embrace it as much as we should? Jo Foat, from Surrey Wildlife Trust, says, “Think mind, body and soul before the excuses stop you from venturing outside. Nature has a balancing effect, clears your mind and brings equilibrium, like a walking meditation. Witnessing the ever-changing weather patterns, colours and wildlife is mysteriously grounding as you become aware of something more constant – yourself.”
We know that sleep is vital for our physical and mental wellbeing but many of us are not getting enough shut-eye. Tosh Brittan, The Reconnection Coach, near Guilford says, “Having a clear bedtime routine is a great way to signal to our mind and body that it’s time to wind down. Spending a few moments sitting quietly and focusing on our breath before going to bed can have a positive impact on the quality of our sleep.”
Clear your Mind
Today’s life is full of stress, which further influences on our day to day activities, but meditation can help. Isabelle Griffith, a mindfulness and emotional wellbeing coach in Kingston, says, “Meditation doesn’t need to involve sitting in a lotus pose for hours on end. It can be as long or as short as you want it to be and can be practiced in any position. Remember that meditation isn’t about emptying our mind of all thoughts, it’s about being present and noticing the thoughts.”
It’s All About You
We are all guilty of not making time for ourselves. Whether it’s a facial, a workout or just being quiet, this is ‘your time’ and it is a fantastic way to help refresh and re-energise you. Tosh says, “Making time is about reconnecting to yourself and relearning how you are feeling, what do you need more of and a time for stillness, just sitting or lying quietly somewhere.” Remember- you are kind to everyone else, so what about you? Isabelle says, “I always talk about self-care being self-commitment. It’s reminding yourself that you too, matter. It’s trusting that time spent with yourself allows you to give the best of you to those around you. Give yourself permission to press pause.”
The majority of us are glued to our phones, and we may be failing to realise its negative impacts. Tosh says, “Being on our phones can lead to lack of self-esteem, comparison and judgement. Start off with a few hours or a couple of nights a week detox and build up, that way there is less of a chance of failing and feeling the pressure.” Use your phone’s built-in-tools that help you track your personal usage, and turn your phone off an hour before bedtime.