New Year New You?
If you’re reading this, you probably have one of two thoughts swimming in your head. The fact that I have no idea how difficult 2020 was for you and I’m crazy for suggesting we look forward so soon, or the thought that it’s refreshing to have ‘permission’ to rinse your hands clean of this year and take the steps to start fresh now.
My hope is that you are ready to forge ahead! Let’s not wait! It’s time to focus on beautiful, fresh days that are within our reach.
But how on earth do we do it? It’s all too overwhelming, right? Actually, it’s not! Here are some basic practices for you to make part of your routine as you approach the new year:
- The Daily Brain Dump
Take a moment and write down all the things buzzing around in your head. Your worries. Your ‘what ifs.’ Your fears. Now cross off the ones that are completely out of your control. The items left are the (probably very few) things you actually do have control of and can start working on today. I’m guessing your list is much smaller and not nearly as scary as it was while floating around in your head. Feeling worried daily? Practice your Dump & Cross each day and enjoy watching your list diminish.
- Fuel Your Body and Starve the Bullies
Anxiety and stress are the playground bullies in the body. They can rob you of your thick hair, your peace of mind and your good quality sleep. They can make you sick, lower your immunity to nasty invaders and cause you to eat more of the wrong foods without feeling the effects of doing so. And yes, they cause your clothes to shrink too. Eating the wrong foods – the junk food, alcohol, starchy carbs, bad fats and sugar – has proven to impede your ability to make sound decisions.
Also, use your breath. Two count inhale and then seven count exhale. Do that five times. It will switch you from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest” and allow your body to stay strong while fighting off the bad guys.
Remember, protein, good fats, veggies and WATER are your friends and they’re tired of being benched!
- Move. Your. Body.
I just can’t say this enough. You were meant to move. Walk, jog, dance, play, swim, ski, do yoga, stretch, practice mobility… there are a million ways to exert energy! Movement elevates your endorphins, your mood, your energy, your joy, your thoughts and ideas and your blood flow! It is healing. It is addictive in SUCH a great way. And it is an amplifier of your magnet to attract others. People want to be around happy, healthy people!
- Practice Mindfulness
Do you have Monkey Brain like I do? Your thoughts are swinging from branch to branch, you’re trying to focus on one thing, but something else demands attention and you just can’t help but look? It’s more prevalent than ever right now, but there’s a way to harness that monkey!
It’s so easy! Ready for it? Here it is…. just be still and be in the moment. (Insert eyeroll here) I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the hardest task ever to me. My brain loves flying all over. But I don’t like feeling scattered and unfocused, losing my thought mid-sentence.
A few things will actually help us get to that calmer state on a more regular basis. Things like less screen time, mindful meditation, reading books and engaging in games that sharpen the mind. And even more importantly is practicing loving, positive thoughts about ourselves. That’s a biggy.
I would have to say that if you took ONE thing from this article to tackle starting today it would be to practice positive self-talk. We don’t do it enough and those bullies from #2 are constantly feeding our minds with negativity. You have the power to reroute those thoughts and flip them to the positive. Start THAT today.
I know it sounds like a lot to take on if you’re still reeling from this year. Have some grace with yourself and just try one thing. Then another when you’re ready. Why bother? Because I guarantee there are people in your world that believe YOU MATTER. Yes you. And because you matter, you are worth the effort to live a better and happier life.
Happy holidays to all of you!
May tomorrow morning greet you with a fresh, new outlook on life!