PPMW | 2023 Healthy Habits
Healthy Habits 2023 is the subject of this week's joint article with Inspire Wellbeing.
The festive period can be a really busy time, with work and family life becoming particularly hectic.
Fortunately, the New Year offers a perfect opportunity to move on from the past 12 months and set a fresh course. Yes, January may seem like a long, dreary month but there’s hope there, too. It gives you a chance for a new start and a more positive mind-set.
Implementing healthier habits doesn’t need to be complicated or overwhelming. You could aim to work on your physical and mental wellbeing by exercising more, spending quality time with family and friends, being more aware of self-care or dedicating time to volunteering.
New starts and healthy habits will often result in long-lasting benefits. For tips on how to stay well in 2023 read on
Feel better in mind and body
Physical health and mental health are inextricably linked. There are, therefore, lots of ways to improve your mental health by making positive changes in your day-to-day life. Regular exercise, for example, is a quick and easy step to take.
That doesn’t need to mean running marathons, paying out for gym memberships or lifting heavy weights. Getting out for a walk in the evening, or during your lunch hour, is a great way of clearing your mind. Being active generates endorphins, which boost your mood and sense of wellbeing.
Remember that mood and sleep are closely connected. Getting good sleep keeps you on top form, improving your focus, concentration and immune system – particularly vital during a period when viruses are more prevalent.
Seize the moment
Lots of people dislike January. It’s cold and the nights are dark. They’re back to work after the holidays and the next payday is a long way off. Maybe they’re getting into projects they put off before the holidays or are dealing with issues that developed over the break. In addition, there are new deadlines to be met and competing demands on family and professional lives.
However, making positive moves to get the most out of January can really set the tone for the rest of the year. Instead of staying indoors and waiting for February to come, you can give your mental health a head start by seizing the moment. Look for ways to get out into the world sooner rather than later. You could disconnect from social media and join a book club, gardening group or sports club.
There are volunteering opportunities, too, from food banks to befriending services. Not only will this get you out of the house and tackle the dreaded January blues but you’ll build new connections in your community, increasing your confidence and providing you with a focus all year round.
Be good to yourself
It’s easy to be self-critical and hard on yourself. Done to excess, this will have a negative impact on your self-esteem and levels of resilience. Instead, you should hit the pause button on your self-criticism and try to re-frame your negative thoughts. Make them helpful, not hurtful, and conducive to positive mental health.
Self-care is also an excellent way of looking after yourself. People are conditioned to focus on others, often at the expense of their own needs. Reserving just a small amount of time for yourself, however, can be hugely beneficial to your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Even doing small things that you enjoy – such as going for a walk, watching a movie, reading a book or listening to your favourite music – can enable you to recharge. By building an understanding of the places, people and activities that make you happy, you can get well and stay well. Set aside time for regular self-care and you’ll have something to look forward to, which is especially important in January.
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