2021 is here and I’m pretty sure we all want it to be a better one than 2020, there are plenty of things going on in the world that are not in our control, but we are in control of what we do each and every day. By creating good healthy daily habits we can ensure that we are the very best that we can be, and ready to handle whatever 2021 brings.
It’s not so much a new year resolution as a daily mindful intention to make myself, my mind and my body better.
Our daily habits, what we do each day helps grow our mindset. If our daily habits aren’t healthy ones, we can get stuck in bad habits, and bad habits drain us of our positive energy.
Think about how a typical day goes for you… do you wake up feeling energised? Does the food you eat nourish you and give you energy? Do you take time to calm your mind or be mindful in what you do? Do you exercise or stretch you body to release tensions stored?
The problem most of us have is that we already know what to do, we just don’t do it. I am guilty of this too. But after the year we have just had, I thought it about time I put in the extra effort to change my bad habits into good ones, and make 2021 a year of good habits, happy days, and taking control of the things I can, I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
1. Drink more water.
Staying well hydrated has so many health benefits it’s surprising that so many of us forget or choose not to do it. If you’re anything like me I wait until I’m thirsty before I even think about drinking a glass of water, but we get thirsty because we are already de-hydrated. Benefits of drinking water include:
· Clearer skin - water flushes out the toxins and impurities
· Helps to maintain a healthy weight – drinking cold water speeds up your metabolism and drinking before a meal will fill you up quicker, lowering your need to overeat.
· More energy – if you are active and don’t hydrate your energy levels will deplete quickly.
· Mood booster – feeling dehydrated lowers your mood, which affects your productivity and your memory function.
· Helps with keeping you regular – dehydration can lead to constipation
My tip – as I don’t always enjoy drinking water on it’s own I like to put cucumber, lemon or some frozen berries in mine to add a bit of flavour and make it look a bit more interesting.
2. Get outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
Not only does getting out in the sunshine give you an instant mood booster by keeping your serotonin levels up but you also get to top up on your ‘sunshine vitamin’ - Vitamin D known for supporting good strong health bones.
Being out in nature has a positive effect on stress, anxiety and general wellbeing. It can feel calming to sit in the park, take a walk through the woods, or sit on the beach and listen to the waves gentle crash against the sand.
Take in all the sights, sound and natural scents that surround you and feel yourself unwind, relax and refocus.
Even if you can only take 10 minutes each day to watch the trees swaying in the breeze, feel the grass beneath your feet, watch the clouds change shape as they drift in the sky… take (make) the time to do so, the benefits may surprise you.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast
Eating breakfast before I start my day is not something I am very good at, despite knowing that its good for me. So this is definitely on my list of healthy habits to introduce in 2021.
Eating a good breakfast improves our energy levels and prevents us from snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day. Without it we lose the ability to fully concentrate and be alert. And just like drinking water it kick-starts our metabolism.
4. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables
Eating 2 servings of fruit and 5 of vegetables seems like a lot of food, but it is easier than you think. Whip up a smoothie and you can almost fill your daily quota. Some other ideas to add fruit and vegetables to your diet:
· Preparing vegetables to have as a snack during the day
· Preparing vegetables to have with a healthy dip over drinks with friends
· Stews and casseroles
· Home made pizza with vegetable toppings
Try adding a variety of coloured vegetables as similar colours contain similar nutrients, make your plate as colourful as you can.
Depending how much exercise you already do, you may be stretching out your body regularly, but if exercise seems like a foreign word to you the chances are you don’t stretch out your muscles either.
If you are sitting at a desk all day, then sitting in front of the tv in the evening, your muscles get tight, creating physical stress on the body, leading to aches and pains. Stretching out our legs, our back, shoulders, neck and arms can help to alleviate the stress.
Don’t stretch so much that you hurt yourself or give yourself a cramp, but just gently and slowly stretch your neck and shoulders and feel the tensions leave. Stretch your arms up in the air and feel your chest expand. Stretch your legs out in front of you… see you feel better already J
Physical exercise is something we all know we need to do to keep (or get) our bodies in shape, but did you know how much physical exercise has benefits for your mental health as well? Doing physical exercise stimulates the feel-good chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. Regular exercise can help with anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress.
Find the exercise that’s right for you, some prefer running, walking, taking up a team sport, going to the gym, taking a spin class etc. me? My favourite is yoga. I always feel great both physically and mentally after a good yoga session.
Once you get into the habit of doing regular exercise, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it years ago!
Mediation has been around for thousands of years, its benefits have been proven time and time again, but making time for it and reaping its benefits is something most of us just don’t do.
Meditation doesn’t have to be time consuming, spiritual, siting in the lotus position, sitting in silence or any of the other things you may associate with mediation. It can be short and sweet, done laying down, sitting up, or even walking. You can listen to your breathing, a guided meditation, calming music or just listen to the sounds of nature. Click on the links below to find out more ways you can introduce mediation to your life in 2021.
8. Organise and de-clutter
Staying on top of clutter and organisation is another daily habit that is good for our soul. Walking into a messy room can pull down our mood. Once you have had a good de-cluttering and found homes for things you want to keep, it’s important to maintain that level of tidiness and organisation by doing little and often.
Make it a habit to put things away when you have finished with them. Throw out worn out or damaged things. Keep a box in the garage for items ready to go to the charity shop, drop it off as soon as it’s full. Click on the links below to get your guide to de-cluttering.
9. Get a good nights sleep
Getting a good nights sleep is something that so many of fail to do night after night.
Stress, anxiety, overthinking, and worrying are just some of the things that stop us from having the sleep we need to function at our best. Some of the healthy habits above can help with getting the sleep we need, for instance, exercise, getting fresh air and meditation can all assist us in getting a good nights sleep. On the other-hand the things we tend to do, such as tv, social media, working too late, caffeine, bad diet etc. all have an effect on the amount and the quality of sleep we get.
A healthy regular bedtime routine that allows us to switch off from work and social activities will ensure that our sleep revives and re-energises us.
What healthy habits will you introduce to your daily routine in 2021?
Remember, you are better than you think you are x