There’s always a big emphasis on health once the Christmas celebrations are over and Big Ben has struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. Sometimes it feels like an onslaught from advertising moguls that our lives aren’t good enough how they are; we aren’t fit enough, we aren’t eating the right diet, we aren’t thin enough or that by summer we must have the ‘perfect body’.
It’s hard not to get sucked in to feeling like you need to make a drastic change but it’s worth considering that you, your body and your mind are amazing exactly how they are. You should celebrate entering a new year by making the kindest New Year’s resolutions to enhance your life, not to subject yourself to punishment.
From a personal perspective, I do find that a the new year is a good opportunity to start afresh and to sit down and assess how the previous year has gone and what my goals are for the coming 12 months. It doesn’t mean that I always follow my plan or achieve the goals I have set out but it is a good time to reflect no less. Health and wellbeing is always high on my agenda and I finally feel that in 2022, now that kids are getting a bit older and hopefully home schooling is out of the way (please please please!), this is a topic I can actually focus on and make a priority. So I am looking forward to sharing my top three New Year’s resolutions to boost health and wellbeing for 2022.
1. Self-care all the way!
Self-care is bandied about all the time at the moment, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make time for bubble baths and face packs. Self-care can be making time for your basic needs such as regularly flossing your teeth, a good skincare routine in the evening or making sure you take your medication. Try being mindful of what you are doing as you do it, feel the warm water on your face and the touch of your fingers as they rub the cleanser or moisturiser in.
Self-care can also be saying ‘no thank you’ to things that genuinely won’t be good for you or your wellbeing. Do you tend to over-commit to things? I know I do! I have a tendency to get excited about going to events or organising meet-ups with friends with the genuine intention of following through. However when the day actually arrives and I have tons of other things to do too, I will often force myself to go, even though I don’t want to. I think not committing to things in the first place is the key. Choose wisely, be selective and your future self will thank you for it.
2. Mental health matters….
I love discussing mental health. Even if you have a very balanced lifestyle there is always work to be done with your mental health. This covers everything from how critical or kind your inner voice is, to saying ‘no’ when an invitation feels like duty rather than something you actually want to do (see what I said above).
Whether you need help setting boundaries, dealing with trauma in childhood or you’re experiencing overwhelm, private psychiatry is worth exploring in 2022. I first had help with this after a traumatic pregnancy and subsequently baby-loss. I can’t emphasise how seeing a psychiatrist massively helped me to get through that time and to work through a lot of mental health issues that had been manifesting, most likely for years.
I have gone on to have therapy on and off since then and it really has been invaluable in helping to improve my mental wellbeing. We explored both the past, present and future and I realised there were certain things that had happened in my life that I had never actually dealt with. As a result, it really has helped me today and I wouldn’t hesitate going back again if needed.
3. Do what sparks joy
One of the best New Year’s resolutions is to give some thought to what actually makes you happy. I expect if you think back, you’ll remember something you used to enjoy doing that you find it hard to make time for now. We are all guilty of idle scrolling but instead of doing this we can try to put our time to better use and embrace the things that spark joy. Whether that is reading novels, baking, cycling or getting out in nature it’s the biggest mood boost to do something you love.
I rediscovered my love for singing and bought myself a karaoke microphone to use at home last Christmas. I have been blasting out the songs and loving it. I’m not sure if my family would agree that they love it too but it definitely sparks joy for me. I also really want to start playing the piano which I hope is something that will make me happy. But if I find I don’t enjoy it as much as I think I will, then I will shelve that idea and do something else.
It can also be something simple too – like sitting in a sunny room (even in winter) with a magazine and a cup of tea. A bar of chocolate wouldn’t go amiss either. Try to spend a little bit of time each day doing at least one thing that sparks joy and I really think it will help.
Do you resonate with any of the ideas I mentioned? Have you found anything that sparks joy for you? Please be kind to yourself and seek help if needed. You won’t regret it. 2022 is your year to shine! x