With the beginning of another year comes the ever-present need to better ourselves. Here are some simple, easy ways we can do just that!
As we head into a new year, it’s common to think about the positive changes you could make to your life to improve your overall wellbeing. If we take the steps to instil positive changes at the start of the year, then we set ourselves up for the long term. So, take a step back and think about what you could do to help yourself work towards the best version of yourself!
We’re not talking weight loss, weight gain, burning of the Christmas party food, or giving up alcohol. That’s not what we’re about. Instead, we’re here to talk about positive, simple changes that we can make in our day-to-day lives.
5 Positive changes to boost your life 2022.
1. Create a routine and stick to it.
It might seem simple and meaningless, but a routine can make or break your mental health. Whether it’s setting a regular waking time, bedtime, or consistent breaks throughout the day, having a routine adds structure. It doesn’t have to follow any specific guidelines, just as long as it works for you and your lifestyle.
Everyone works differently, so here’s an example of a fairly basic daily routine. From there, you can adapt the structure to suit your lifestyle.
- Get up at 7am, drink a glass of water and have breakfast.
- 30 minutes of yoga before showering, brushing teeth and getting ready for work.
- Go to work for 9am.
- Drink water throughout the morning.
- Lunch at 1pm.
- Continue to drink water throughout the afternoon until it’s ready to go home.
- Prepare dinner for the evening.
- Spend time with the family, friends or family animal.
- Prepare uniform or lunch for tomorrow.
- Prepare for bed at 10pm by switching off, reading a book etc.
- Aim for sleep by 11/11.30pm.
You can adapt this and switch it up as needed. This is an example of a routine best suited for an office worker or someone who works from home (minus the commute). If you’re a shift worker it can be more difficult to create a routine that you can stick to. Therefore I suggest having multiple routines to choose from depending on your working time or the day.
2. Think about what makes you happy.
What sets your soul on fire? Is there anything that makes your heart sing? By finding and spending time doing the things that we love, we help our brain produce endorphins. And what happens when our endorphins are raised? We feel happy!
It can be hard to find that special thing in our lives, but once you do you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. A perfect example of this is my husband who after seven years of doing nothing but working has finally found balance with his artwork. While he still works to pay the bills he also creates and paints beautiful canvases in his spare time. He simply left his fifty hours a week job and downgraded to a job with fewer hours and, ironically, better pay! While I understand that he’s one of the lucky ones, there are other ways to find your passion without having to give up paying the rent.
If you enjoy writing, why not start a blog? Or if you’re an avid artist, set aside time to draw and illustrate in the evenings. Invest your time in yourself and your passions. You never know where it might lead.
3. Get outdoors more.
First and foremost, spending time outdoors is a great way to improve our uptake of vitamin D which is essential for mental health. Vitamin D is commonly known as the sunshine vitamin. It’s essential for building strong bones, boosting the immune system, and low levels are often associated with mood disorders. While you might be able to get this vitamin in capsule form, nothing beats the real deal!
As if this weren’t enough, nature in general acts as a natural antidepressant. Getting out and into the wilds is thought to reduce feelings of anger, aggression, stress, anxiety, and even fear. The tranquillity of a forest or mountain range replaces these with pleasant feelings. Even if you have no green spaces within walking distance, spending time in your garden or even the local park can have the same effect.
As for walking and running, well, rhythmic exercise has a calming effect on our bodies. They’re known to reduce blood pressure, increase our heart rate and reduce the overall levels of cortisol in our bodies. Combine that with a walk around the block or park and you have any number of benefits to choose from. If you make even a few small positive changes in the new year, make going outside one of them.
4. Reduce time spent on social media.
Social media has a lasting effect on our mental health and studies have shown that those who are always online are at a greater risk of issues such as depression and anxiety. Looking at the news of today, it’s no wonder that so many of us are choosing to step away from Twitter and Facebook on a more regular basis. All platforms, news websites, emails etc play a huge part in creating and sustaining our own insecurities, anxieties, and inner struggles. By taking time away from social media, we’re better able to separate ourselves from those and the things we constantly see online.
5. Celebrate all your accomplishments!
Too often we can get caught up in the big accomplishments. Graduating, getting a job, buying a house, getting married, having a baby, or even starting your own business. While all these things are wonderful, they aren’t the be and end-all. You can and should take the time to celebrate your small accomplishments too. Like that time you got out of bed when you really didn’t want to. Or walking to a cafe when you could easily have eaten crisps for lunch. We accomplish so many small things every day that we simply let pass.
Some very important benchmarks you have mentioned in this article. I will join a yoga and gym and follow a routine too
Thanks for reading Cristina!
These are all amazing tips! Still trying hard to have a routine and stick to it, but working on it! I think was I loved more is when yous aid if you have a passion, keep doing and invest your time on it, couldn’t agree more! x
I agree with you on all points. Getting some sunshine and celebrating your little accomplishments are great ways to boost yourself.
Agree and I can totally get outdoor more, especially we all are facing lockdown and quarantine in the past! – kncyx journeying
This surely sounds worth it, will surely try all the tips. Thanks for sharing!
Fab tips! I feel having a routine can help to feel more in control of everything and help us to make room for all that’s important.
I am honestly yet to fully master the art of getting in my bed and sleeping, beginning at 11:30PM sharp. It’s just so hard for me.
Sticking to a routine is so essential! Also, did you notice that you have a lot of spam (numerical?) comments? I wasn’t sure if you were aware. Anyway, this is great advice!!
I love this! Going outside more and limiting social media just gives you such an energy boost. Celebrating all wins and writing them down is amazing because at the end of the year you can see what you’ve accomplished big or small throughout the year.
I agree with all of these, especially in creating a routine.
Having a routine and sticking to it really helps me a lot to become more productive and focus on all the things that I do.
These are all good changes that are easy to do. I do create a routine, but sometimes, there are unexpected “events” that throw me off track. I will have to find ways to tweak that.
I especially agree with creating a routine. By creating a routine, you take away the stress of guessing what to eat or what to wear. Nothing like planning ahead.
Excellent actions for every day!
I really like your tips! Definitely, I need to add some workouts to my daily routine and reduce time on social media. Thank you for ideas.
I do have to work better on setting a specific wake up time and go to bed time. I usually get carried away and stay up late at night making it impossible to wake up early to have breakfast and excersise. Taking time off social media is also really important. I do love all your ideas but I only mentioned those I struggle to adopt. Thank you for this wonderful reminder 🙂
Indeed such a good read and reminder for me. I will try my very best to keep up my best this year. A lot changed and happened but of course we need to adapt to it.
This is amazing! So helpful, thank you for sharing.
This year, I will do more gym sessions. Maybe more tennis matches too? I need more physical activities!
I am all about making changes that really help my life so this is great timing!
I am so definitely taking at least 2 hours a day, outside this year! You have no idea the good it has done me, in these past few weeks!
One of my biggest lessons from last year is to focus on the things that make me happy. I also learned that saying No to people makes me feel so much better
These are g\all great lifestyle changes to improve our lives this year. learning new things and building good habits are great too.
I think it is great to get outside more. THese are good ways to make changes in the new year.
I love these! I am trying to do more of what makes me happy too!
It’s great to start the year as you mean to go on and I thinking being accountable is one of the first things to start with
I had a goal to drink every water after I woke up but I stopped. I need to work on it again.
Although I do like to switch things up every now and again, I find when my routine is disrupted, my mental health is all over the place. I always feel better when I do my exercise and walk in the morning x
Thanks for sharing! I tend to BE with ones that make me happy, and that is my family. But I definitely need to go out more and just walk or run. I read somewhere that fast walking is more beneficial to our body than actual running.
I have been starting this ritual since the New Year has begun. I have reduce my time spent to Social Media unless it’s for my blog, instead I love to go out more outdoors.
I love these suggestions. I think we often get so caught up in the big goals for the year that we don’t take into account the little steps we can take to live a more positive life. I Love a good morning routine as it gets your day started off on the right foot. Thanks so much for sharing!
It’s important for us all to look at making positive changes. I’m all about routine. It really does help me achieve much more.
These are absolutely wonderful tips. A lot of us do things “for fun”, but we don’t really stop and think about what will really, truly make us happy in our soul.
I am trying to get into a better routine in the morning and to reduce my time/interactions on social media as I usually end up doom scrolling which makes me so miserable. I love that you mentioned getting out more, I’m struggling with this but it really does make a huge difference to my day when I do. Thanks for sharing these tips — they are so encouraging!
I’m putting a big focus on routines the year so I can maximise my time and fit everything I want in.
Limiting time on social media is SO helpful. That’s been my biggest lesson from 2021