Let’s be kind to ourselves this January.
It’s that time again when we see articles in magazines and on social media, encouraging us to ‘embrace a new you.’ A new year symbolises renewal: the opportunity to create resolutions, adopt new habits, and to feel revitalised after Christmas indulgence.
But it all feels a bit different this year, doesn’t it?
It’s a January like no other we’ve experienced. We’re back in lockdown, once again obliged to stay apart from friends, family and colleagues.
Some of us feel the pressure of juggling our responsibilities; others a sense of isolation that now seems all too familiar.
Self-improvement may be the farthest thing from our minds right now, but in many ways, it’s more important than ever.
Nurturing our health, both physical and mental, is vital as we begin 2021.
Here are a few easy tips:
- Get some exercise. It’s amazing the difference a brisk walk can make to your mood: even just 10 minutes will increase your heart rate and blow away the cobwebs. It may be cold outside at the moment but winter scenery can be stunning, and a walk in nature – even just your local park – will lift the spirits. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a bike ride or run instead. Apps like ‘Couch to 5K’ are great for novice runners. And don’t forget you can exercise with a friend according to government guidelines, as long as you’re outdoors in a public space.
- Cook some delicious, warming food. At this time of year, hearty soups and stews come into their own. If you own a slow cooker, making a dish using seasonal ingredients is so easy and will fill your home with a delicious aroma well before supper. Winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and chard are bursting with vitamins – perfect for soups or roasts.
- Take a tip from the Danes and embrace ‘hygge’. What does it mean? ‘A feeling of cosiness and comfort that engenders feelings of contentment and well-being.’ We’re spending most of our time at home, so make sure yours is a place that feels warm and welcoming. Light a candle, use rugs and cushions, play soft music…. and relax!
- Give yourself a break from the news and social media. In our modern world, 24/7 connectivity can deplete our energy and sometimes be overwhelming. Try putting your phone down for a few hours each day, or turn it off in the early evening and read a book before bed.
- Finally, be kind to yourself! If you don’t get through all the items on your to-do list or stick to the resolutions you’ve made, don’t beat yourself up. Remind yourself you’re doing great under the circumstances. Treat yourself to a bath or an episode of your favourite TV series, and let yourself unwind!
If you enjoyed this, you might be interested in learning about mindfulness, a technique to help manage day-to-day stress. Read our post about it here.