So the new year has been ushered in. A fresh start, a new beginning. Every year, as January comes around again, we are given a sense of being able to wipe the slate of the previous year clean and approach the new one with a clear head. You may be one of the many, many people who, come each 1st of January, write up a list of goals that you hope to achieve in the year ahead. Or you might be someone who prefers to just plough ahead and throw yourself into any new challenge that comes your way. Whatever your attitude towards beginning a new year, it can be easy to quickly lose sight of your goals or your lifted spirits as the cold of the winter sets in and you find yourself back at the hard slog of work.
First of all, give yourself some positive encouragement. One of my personal favourite ways to include positive affirmation in day to day life is to actively reflective on good things in life. Get yourself a special notebook, at the end of every day take five minutes to stop and reflect on the day, and then write yourself a list of three positive things from that day. Just spending a little time thinking positively and thankfully each day can make an amazing difference to your attitude. If this tip isn’t to your taste then find your own way to think positively and reflectively about your life, you may be pleasantly surprised at the difference something so small can make.
Even if none of your goals relate to physical activity it is important to make sure that you are staying active. When the weather outside is cold and wet, sometimes all you want to do is curl up in a blanket and hibernate inside, however being active has a huge impact on your mental health. Try getting yourself outside for a brisk walk somewhere beautiful, or, if you really cannot stand the cold, do some simple exercises indoors. Just making sure you are exercising your body and staying in shape will help ensure you stay fit both in body and in spirits.
I don’t know about anyone else but when the temperatures dip towards freezing I start to crave comfort food. Many people have probably found themselves overindulging around the festive period and are trying not to eat too much in the months following, however we all deserve some comforting at this time of year, especially with being back at work! Make yourself warm dishes, full of nutritional benefits, but also full of enjoyment. Myself, when I’m feeling a little worse for wear and I can’t get the chill out of my bones, I like a good pasta bake. Rather than make myself an unhealthy version with white pasta and too much cheese, I like to use whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce, chicken, spinach, mozzarella and pesto. It warms and comforts me but it also gives me the nutrition I need to stay strong and avoid the pesky winter bugs going around.
So make sure that now, even though the festivities are over for another year, you don’t let yourself start to feel a bit low. Yes we are back to the daily grind, but that doesn’t mean we should lose our good spirits! Keep positive and look after yourself, before you know it the warmer weather will be back and we’ll be looking forward to our summer holidays.