As 2020 winds down we need to consider the top lessons we have learned from the year we would rather forget. There is no doubt that we have all been impacted by the pandemic, with some suffering more than others. It’s time to push it all aside, have some fun this Christmas and get ourselves back on track for 2021.
Don’t wait for those new year resolutions, get a head start now!
Christmas is just around the corner but there is still time to change your habits before we ring in the new year. So focus on my top 5 hacks to recharge your life and get your health back on track.
#1 MOVE YOUR BODY
Especially when movement is a priority for us. And it’s not just about our physical health and fitness, exercise is essential for our mental health too. The good news is you don’t have to go on a frenetic exercise program, just focus on getting some planned sessions in each week and also focus on an incidental activity every day.
#2 TWEAK YOUR NUTRITION
That old saying, “you are what you eat” is actually true. Take an honest look at your daily intake and see how often you are consuming natural, non-processed foods. Focus on macronutrients, carbs, protein and healthy fats. Despite carbohydrates having a bad reputation these days, they are essential for good health. Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, so don’t make the mistake of drastically reducing carb intake. Processed carbs are the enemy, not natural products like grains, seeds, fruit and veggies.
#3 DRINK UP!
Water that is, not the festive cocktails! We often overlook the fact that our bodies require a large amount of water to function at their best. Even minor dehydration will have you feeling lethargic and fuzzy, so reach for the water bottle before anything else. It’s also the key ingredient to keep our skin glowing and muscles toned, so if you want to defy the ageing process keep that water bottle at your fingertips.
#4 SLEEP WELL
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep has a major impact on our health. Hormone levels and stress will impact our sleep quality, so too will alcohol and poor nutrition. Fatigue is also a key excuse for not exercising but regular activity will actually help balance your sleep patterns. Think about your sleep hygiene as well. Keep the room cool, no screens for at least 30 minutes before bed and set a regular routine of bedtime and wake up. If you are still struggling with sleep ask your GP for help, but go for natural remedies, not pharmaceuticals.
#5 MENTAL HEALTH HABITS
This year has been really challenging for us all, even the most resilient have struggled. Our biggest lesson from 2020 is that we need to be mindful of our mental health. Stress comes in many forms and learning the skills to manage stress and anxiety are crucial for our long term health. Don’t ignore it when you are feeling anxious and vulnerable, and don’t look to food and alcohol to cope. Focus on learning the right skills to manage your mental health, seek professional help if you need it and keep the lines of communication open with family and friends.
Getting these basics right, and finding the right balance in your lifestyle will set you up for long term health and happiness.