Wellness Tips for January
Many of us fall into the same trap year after year: we set ourselves goals of reaching a certain point by a certain time and enter January with all the right intentions and optimism. But very quickly, good habits slip, our goal seems a lot harder to achieve than we originally thought, motivation is lost, life gets busy, and before we know it we’ve completely lost sight of what we were originally headed for. Our goals need to be realistic and measurable if we are to make any progress at this. Instead of setting goals for points far off in the future, start small. Measure it by the week.
There’s a wealth of scientific and social evidence that music affects our mood, and this also extends to the everyday as well as those times when our emotions are heightened. Listening to something new instead of having the same 20 songs on repeat again and again can be incredibly refreshing and symbolic – even if those 20 are dynamic and special.
Many people will roll their eyes when they hear this advice, as it sounds like a deplorable, pointless exercise. But it isn’t. It’s been proven that thankful people are happier people.
Make your bed. Smile at a stranger. Eat breakfast. Buy someone a coffee. Draw the curtains. Text a friend to ask how they are. Clean your car. Pick up a piece of litter. There’s joy in the small but purposeful things that help us to think a little wider than ourselves.
If self-care is a struggle for you, it should be a top priority this time of year. Self-care includes giving your body what it needs (physically and mentally), even if you don’t feel like doing so. Eating well, keeping mobile, resting, setting a rigid bedtime routine, taking a hot shower. It also includes doing nice things for yourself – do a face mask, paint your nails, go for a walk, take a bath, read a good book. Even if self-care isn’t usually a struggle for you, it can be so easy to let these daily things slip without recognizing. Make a conscious effort to include self-care in your routine.
In mid-January, when Christmas feels long gone and summer feels a long time away, it can feel as though we are gliding through life aimlessly without anything to look forward to. Put things in your diary that you can look forward to in order to keep the everyday morale just that little bit higher. Plan a holiday. Arrange to see a friend. Book a spa day. Whatever does it for you.