It’s safe to say that most of us will be glad to see the back of 2020. After months of doom, gloom and lockdown, there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. The introduction of Covid-19 vaccinations last week brought joy and hope for a brighter new year. So, there’s no better time than now, to set positive intentions for the Year of 2021.
Resolutions need to be realistic, achievable and of course, enjoyable. Think Snowdon rather than Everest. It’s all about small steps. If you’re lacking inspiration, don’t panic. We’ve done the hard work already!
New Year’s Resolutions 2021
1. Create a self-care routine
It’s the buzz phrase of 2020. Self-care means deliberately doing activities that support your emotional, mental and physical health. It's also the key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. Focus on the following:
- A good night sleep
- A healthy diet
- Boundaries for technology
- Regular exercise
- Regular relaxation (e.g. yoga, meditation, bath or a good book/movie)
- ‘Quality’ time with friends or family.
2. Write a journal
Research has shown that journaling is a fantastic tool to help clear the mind, organise thoughts and promote well-being. It can also help you to release negative thoughts, or spot negative thought patterns, so actively helps reduce stress and anxiety. Be sure to include a gratitude diary, happy moments and daily goals. We’d recommend the Happyself journal for kids and the Bestself journal for the grown-ups!
3. Create a bucket list
It’s a given that we need something to work towards. This year make it less about KPIs and more about fun. Add the stuff you’ve always dreamed about, even if it’s a bit leftfield. Pick one and get organising. Whether that’s making a booking, researching it, or setting up a regular standing order to save up for it. You’ll get greater personal fulfilment from realising dreams than you’ll ever get from finishing a marketing presentation!
4. Say no
It’s the word that flutters on our lips, yet we find ourselves committing to things we’d rather not do. Make a list of things that you definitely don’t want to do. Whether it’s not taking on more hours at work, to reducing the amount of WhatsApp groups on your phone. Listen to your inner voice when it tells you not to agree. You can still be polite and say no!
5. Commit to at least 10 minutes of exercise a day
10 minutes should be the bare minimum. If you can’t do more, start small. 10 minutes is better than nothing and can make a difference. It could be a brisk walk, a ride to the village shop, a morning yoga sun salutation routine or some quick HIIT exercises. As you get more into the exercise habit, you could try to add another 5 minutes every few weeks.
6. Keep the phone out of the bedroom
Put the phone charger somewhere that isn’t beside the bed. Like any addiction, it's near impossible to resist looking at it otherwise. Then, before you know it, you’re scrolling through social media, or even worse, answering work-emails. All this and it’s not even daylight. Phone alarms also increase cortisol and make us feel stressed. Alternatively, buy a gradual sunrise alarm clock to wake up feeling fully refreshed.
7. Create a relaxing bed-time routine
Create a bed-time ritual which signals to your brain that it’s time to unwind. You might include an aromatherapy candle, a soothing bath, a chamomile tea, lavender pillow mist, turning devices off an hour before bedtime, and reading or journaling before lights out. Whatever you decide to do, ensure that you get into a consistent habit to strengthen the sleep association.
8. Take up yoga
It’s a practise that unifies the body and mind, improves posture and increases strength and flexibility. The good news is that it’s very accessible, you can find a class to join or even do it from the comfort of your home. Use a non-slip mat to prevent slipping or sliding, improve focus and balance and support joints. Try our Paws natural rubber, extreme grip mat, available in black, green, blue, red or grey for confident yoga.
9. Reduce alcohol
You don’t need to be a doctor to know that habitual drinking isn’t healthy. We’re not even talking about alcoholism here. It’s the regular evening drink to relax. Problem is that it feels so good. Ultimately alcohol causes sallow, dehydrated skin, poor sleep, digestive issues and foggy headedness for starters. Try and limit it, at least in the week to allow your body rest and recovery time.
10. Make your bed when you get up
Let’s be honest, how many of us think, we’ll come back to that later. And then don’t. From now on, set the duvet straight, throw the cushions on and lay blankets back in place. It’s like an immediate declutter and tidy-up. Minor changes like this clear your mind, set the right tone for the day and keep you organised.