The New Year is the perfect time for a fresh start! Whereas a resolution is predicated on giving something up or incorporating an extreme healthy lifestyle change for 30 days, the notion of starting fresh presents us with endless opportunities to incorporate healthier, positive behaviors into our routines. Whether it’s starting a 10 minute a day meditation practice, adding more veggies to our plates or going to bed an hour earlier, these small lifestyle adjustments amount to significant, healthy change that can be sustained over time.
Here are some ideas to support your fresh start this year:
- Start your day with journaling - we may think of “writing in our diaries” as an activity that we left in our adolescence, but stream of consciousness journaling is proven to help us process trauma and cope with stress. As a result, writing a few pages each day supports improved mood, better sleep, enhanced immunity, and even quicker recovery from physical injuries! Aim to start your day by writing 3 pages by hand. Don’t worry about the content, just keep showing up and you’ll begin to experience the benefits of your morning pages.
- Incorporate daily 10 minute meditations - Similar to journaling, meditation is proven to increase mindfulness, boost mood, improve sleep and strengthen immunity. Headspace is a great tool to help you get started: they offer daily meditation reminders, live group sessions, and specialized series that help you work through particular challenges (such as ‘self-esteem’, ‘workplace stress’ and ‘mindful eating’).
- Turn off your devices an hour before bedtime - The blue light emitted from our devices (phone, computer, TV, you name it!) inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Using our devices just before - or in - bed increases alertness and therefore makes it harder to fall asleep. Aim to disconnect an hour before bedtime to prepare for a healthy night’s sleep.
- Take midday walks to break up digital meetings - For those of us working from home, there are no longer natural breaks - such as daily subway commutes or walking to conference rooms - between meetings. This means we can find ourselves going from one appointment to the next with no physical movement. Make an effort to take a 15 minute walk during your lunch break each day. This will help you physically mark the transition from morning to afternoon -- as well as boost your focus, productivity and mood!
We’re wishing you all a fresh, healthy start in 2021!
- Team Sustainable Snacks