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Happy mind, happy life: make a good start to the year

The new year is a great chance to restart, think fresh and bring about change for the good!

Every year many people make new year’s resolutions to help improve their lives, whether that is quitting smoking and drinking, starting to eat healthier and improving your fitness or making that move. The new year is often associated with new beginnings and everyone has different ideas of what they want to focus on and achieve. Here we focus on you.

Changing your appearance can often help build confidence, whether it’s just a fresh new haircut or something more drastic like shedding some pounds; wouldn’t we all like that to happen overnight? Eating healthier is something many people promise to do at this time of year, however it often fizzles out as we get the Christmas holiday blues. However, it’s important to eat a balanced, healthy diet, as it’s a great way to maintain good health and can really help you feel at your best.

According to the NHS you should aim to:

  • Eat your five a day
  • Base meals on starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice and pasta
  • Have some dairy or dairy alternatives
  • Include protein in your diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat these in small amounts

The NHS also advises that adults aged 19-64 should do two types of physical activity per week, that being aerobic and strength exercises. This could include 150 minutes of brisk walking per week and strength exercises on two or more days; working out all the major muscles.

Smoking is also a habit that many want to ditch every year; and doing so could save you a fair bit of money. Plus, it isn’t great for your health and can also impact those around you. You may have already tried to quit smoking before and failed, but it’s important to remember that it’s ok and you can try again! Ensure that you actually want to quit and remind yourself why, each day. Taking a more positive approach to this will encourage you to keep going whether you want to quit immediately or more naturally by cutting down on your usage.

There are plenty of different things you can do to help kick start your new year with a focus on positive energy. Taking up yoga can be a great way to find your zen and there are plenty of free tutorials online. Take in your surroundings by walking a little slower and appreciate what is going on around you rather than rushing through each day; it’s also great to explore more and get out of your comfort zone.

It doesn’t all have to be about changing habits but it can be about doing something new and trying different things. Take some time out, have some ‘me time’ or treat yourself to a date night once a month. Keep your life positive and try to be thankful for at least one thing every single day and you will soon find that your appreciation and happiness levels will begin to rise.

If you don’t want to commit to a new year’s resolution, you could try writing a list of things you want to accomplish throughout the year. These can range from a variety of unique and different things, from picking up a new instrument to donating blood.

If your 2017 wasn’t as great as you were hoping it to be, then look back, reflect and think why? You may find that 2018 could be a great time for a career change, starting a family, going on an adventure or even finding that dream home. It’s all about what will make you happy this year and how you can make the most of it!