It’s that time of the year again people, when we tell ourselves we’re going to change the way we live, only to become totally overwhelmed at the sheer job of it. New Years Resolution time.
This year, we want to encourage you to do something different with your New Years life changes. We want you to stop focusing on these all-encompassing, fad-laden, celebrity endorsed life changes, and just do something small. If you’re feeling really optimistic, you can even do more than one small thing… or even five. These five:
1. Drink More Water
Drinking more water is probably the easiest thing you can do to feel better in the new year. With busy lives and a reliance on convenience beverages that do more to dehydrate us, making a pledge to drink more water can make a big difference. Not only does being properly hydrated help with energy levels, it also makes the skin healthier, improves natural appetite (i.e. stops phantom hunger), and ensures nasty toxins aren’t building up in your body. Recommendations for water intake vary, but about 2.5L or more for women is average, and this increases if you live in a hot climate, or are very active.
2. Go To Bed Earlier
We know that parents are often strapped for time in their lives, and often the area where sacrifices are made is sleep. After all, who has time to waste 8 hours doing nothing every night? Well, you should. Making an effort to set an earlier bedtime, and keep to it, for next year can have really far-reaching beneficial effects. Insufficient sleep has been linked to poor heart health and diabetes, and people who don’t get enough sleep often struggle with appetite cues. Getting more sleep has been found to improve sex life, mood, mental clarity, memory and even immunity. So, tuck yourselves in earlier next year, even if you have to set those bedtimes for your entire family!
3. Eat Less Processed Foods
As a society, we eat more processed foods now than ever before in human history. These convenience foods are everywhere, but there are lots of reasons you should think twice before eating them. The fact is that in most cases (there are exceptions) processed foods simply are not as good as whole foods. Minimally processed goods like yoghurt and cheese aren’t doing any damage in moderation, but packaged sauces, ready meals, junk foods and convenient snacks are not doing you or your family any favours. So, try and opt for more natural foods in the new year, and make more things yourself from scratch.
4. Move Every Day
It can be difficult for people to fit exercise into their day when they have other commitments like work, childcare and so on. So, instead of trying to exercise more, we’d like you to have a go at just moving more. Being someone who moves more, meaning does more incidental exercise, can have a positive effect on your life. This isn’t taking an hour to sweat it out at the gym. We’re talking about walking to the shops, taking the stairs, choosing movement activities over stationary ones, spending less time sitting… You get the idea.
5. Be More Present
This is a hard one in the modern world, where it seems like screens, social networks and general life one-upmanship overwhelms us. Yes, some people are living very glamorous lives, and when you’re in the ditches of parenting that can be difficult to deal with. But getting into a habit of not being present in your own life because you’re always looking at your phone or being distracted means you aren’t getting a chance to find the magic in your own life. Parenting isn’t always the world’s best thing, but when it is that feeling is overwhelming. Not to mention that working to be more present in your life could have other benefits for your health, like more mindful eating and better moods. Something to think about.