New year traditions mean that we all feel a bit of pressure to make some changes in the New Year, start the year how we mean to carry on and all that good stuff.
I often think that it’s not so much about resolutions as just getting halfway through December and realising that you have no time with Christmas shopping and it being so dark that you just don’t have time to look after yourself. You set your eyes on a date after the festivities when you’ll start feeling good about yourself.
Going to the gym or getting out for a run is almost a bit embarrassing in the first month of the year, it’s like you saw the bandwagon and took a running jump on to it, but really, It’s going to be different this year, I’m going to keep it going.
But what if, instead of signing up for unattainable achievements, we just promised ourselves we’d do more to be good to ourselves. Most of us aren’t going to run an Ultra Marathon in 2018, most of us just need to refresh ourselves and be a bit more conscious of what we’re doing to our bodies and our minds.
To celebrate the coming of 2018, we’ve got some suggestions of “Be good to yourself” resolutions that you’ll want to keep doing all year, not leave by the wayside in February.
1/. EAT ONE EXTRA PORTION OF FRUIT AND/OR VEG EVERY DAY.
In the UK we’re told to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, but that is a recommended minimum, not a maximum. Research by Imperial college suggests that, although 5 is ok, 10 is better. Eating up to 800g of fruit and vegetables – equivalent to 10 portions and double the recommended amount in the UK – was associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduction in premature deaths.
That might be too big a change right out of the starting gates but, how about you just add one more (potatoes don’t count mind)?
2/. REDUCE YOUR PROCESSED SUGAR INTAKE
Now, notice we say reduce! Cutting out processed sugar entirely is very admirable but, if we’re honest, it’s not sustainable. A post-exercise cake is just too tempting! But you could stop putting sugar in your coffee, or change your post-work snack to some fruit rather than a choccy bar.
It means when you settle in for that giant piece of gorgeous cake, you’ll feel like you deserve it more, you won’t feel the highs and lows of sugar dependency so much and well, you might feel better.
3/. CUT DOWN ON SINGLE-USE PLASTICS.
This is a “be good to the planet” resolution but, it’ll also make you feel better about yourself. There is so much in the news and online about single-use plastics at the moment and if we could all make a small change, that would be a great start.
Carrying a reusable bottle with you will make such a difference and save you spending money on water – I mean water – it’s almost free!!
4/. TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF ME TIME
It might sound selfish and it might sound impossible. Maybe it is but, if you just think about putting some time aside for yourself to relax and chill out, you might just find it, even if it’s only 10 minutes. De-stressing and thinking about yourself might help you be more tolerant with the kids, more creative at work and a better friend to someone that needs you.
Time for yourself can be a peaceful run or a hot bath or anything in between. Put on some music and feel the good vibes wash over your soul.