It’s the start of a brand new year, and a brand new decade. We’re back into the Roaring Twenties – but it can feel rather difficult to roar in the middle of winter! The nights are still so long, the days are cold and dreary, and we’ve still got the memory of those festive days of indulgence. It can feel like quite a task to break out the super foods, and start a new exercise regime. This is the voice of experience – I’ve done it many times!
So I’ve found the best thing to do is to start small. Make a few changes that are easy to manage, and don’t feel like too much change at once – because then you’re much more likely to stick with them. Here are some of my top tips for starting small, with big benefits.
It may be the middle of winter, but you still need plenty of water. Your skin can be dried out by central heating, and the sudden changes of temperature from indoors to outdoors. Being properly hydrated can help in all sorts of ways, from maximising your brain power, to skin, nail and hair health, and healthy weight management. So have a bottle near you all day, for regular sips.
Diet and Excercise
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself; just make sure you’re eating a good balance of healthy food. Treats don’t have to be literally off the table – just not every day. Plenty of fruit and veg, and equal amounts of protein and carbs is perfect. There are some great apps out there to help, too – I use one called MyFitnessPal, which allows you to scan the barcode of the food you eat, and log the nutritional information to keep track of it all. You can also use the app to log the activity and exercise you do – even if it’s just a 10 minute walk every day. There’s another app called MapMyWalk for that’s great, as well. And remember it takes time for new habits to have an effect on your body – don’t expect instant results.
Don’t underestimate this one! Sleep is massively important for all aspects of your physical and mental health – and this is a great time of year to be getting plenty. You are more inclined to sleep longer during longer hours of darkness, so take advantage of it and get in a few early nights! Remember to get plenty of sunlight too – see my previous blog post on the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and how to counteract them.
Making a few small changes like this can help you feel heaps better. Major lifestyle changes are hard to stick to without some serious motivation, so take it easy on yourself, and see what a difference it can make.