As we embark into another unknown year full of uncertainty, there is one way we can take positive control and that’s to focus on our own mind and body fitness as much as possible.
We may have developed as a country from previous crises in the sense that we have gone from scarcity to a country of excess, but people are no happier with too much than they were with too little.
We have used gadgets, materialism and stockpiling to put a plaster over issues in our lives which may feel out of control but now is the time to start to adjust how we live and to go back to basics, hence why we have seen an increased awareness of the power of mindfulness, alternative therapies and living simply.
But it can be harder than it sounds to let go of our negative coping mechanisms no matter how damaging they may be for our wellbeing.
The good news is that by starting with a few small steps, we can begin to transform our minds and bodies rather than going from bingeing to purging and an all or nothing mindset like I naturally have, we can actually set up ourselves to win because it’s the rituals that equal results.
As nutritionist Lizzi Owiredu explains: “Make small changes that are right for you.
“That might be trying to drink more water, taking time to find movement that you enjoy or figure out how you can maximise the nutrients in the foods you’re eating.
“Being mindful of what your body is telling you throughout your day is a really practical way to start this, like eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full.”
The same goes for sleep which is a real cornerstone to our health and is often at the bottom of our priority list alongside rests and breaks.
When we get a good rest, we have more energy to exercise and move more too.
I know for me, dancing, lifting weights and just a brisk jog is one of my favourite therapies when I can’t make sense of my worries.
Parenting blogger Carla Lett, who has been using the couch to 5k app, agrees: “I must admit that exercise has never been something that excites me but all of a sudden that has changed, the better I am getting the more excited I am to how far I could go.
“As someone who suffers with health anxiety this has changed my life, my mindset and I am finally anxiety free.”
Once you’ve decided what you intend to do I am a big believer in making a plan to break down your intentions into daily actions that will sustain you all year round.
Even journaling itself can be a powerful tool to track your progress, express your feelings and transform your mindset by adopting a gratitude attitude.
“By taking just a few minutes each day to write down what you are grateful for, it can make a huge difference to your outlook on life,” says Yorkshire blogger Shelley Whittaker.
Once you’ve managed to plan and reflect your own goals, then take a look at the other influences in your life as relationships can have a profound impact on how we behave, think and feel.
Protecting your vibes and spending time with the right people is beneficial to our mental and physical health, explains personal trainer Mike Green who specialises in body transformations.
He said: “When we talk about consumption, it is much more than what we eat and drink, it is also to do with the people we allow into our lives.
“Our relationships and even what type of music we listen to and the TV we may watch can impact our motivation.
“Spending time with positive people can be so powerful for your overall wellbeing and achieving your goals.”
Practice self-care daily. Do something that makes you feel good each day.
Organise a space in your home, your bag or declutter. Use this time to reflect and restore.
Did you know?
Decluttering is good for your mental and physical health. It can help you sleep more in a clutter-free space, help you feel more in control and cleaning itself is great exercise.
Close grip push ups x10, reverse lunges x10 (each leg), reverse crunches x10. Repeat as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes.
Banded bent-over rows x10, banded squat to press x10, shoulder taps x10 (each shoulder). Repeat as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes.