The beginning of a new year is an opportunity to commit to healthier habits. However, making a list of high-demand new year’s resolutions is not ideal if you want to get longevity out of your goals. Instead, making small, healthy adjustments to the areas you want to improve on will be easier to maintain. In the long-term, consistency is key, so you can’t ask too much of yourself.

Here are some simple tips you can begin to incorporate into everyday life that will reap the most rewards.

Healthy eating

What we eat is one of the most common areas in which people try to make improvements in the new year. Fad diets misinform many people at this time of year, causing frustration when they inevitably don’t improve your wellness. Instead, try making small, healthy changes to your diet and you will see positive results. Nutritionist Laurann O’Reilly shares these two tips to improve your diet in the new year.

  • Stock up with healthy snacks. Having some pre-prepared healthy snacks when hunger strikes is key. This not only has such a positive impact on you but also on your whole family, as you in turn become a healthy role model. Healthy snacks could include pre-chopped vegetables and hummus, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, a nut and seed mix and yoghurts.
  • Up your water intake. We must not underestimate the importance of drinking enough water as it makes up almost 60% of our body as well as having some essential functions to our health. Aim for a minimum of 1.5 to 2 litres of water spread throughout the day. Laurann recommends purchasing a reusable bottle which you can keep topped and with you at all times, whether you’re working, walking, at the gym, relaxing or beside your bed.
  • Self-care

    Self-care might seem difficult to incorporate into our busy lives. However, taking a few minutes each day to recharge our batteries is important for our overall wellbeing. If you’d like to make time to feel good, try some of these tips from Irish mental health platform

  • Connect with nature. Getting outside in the fresh air is a great way to clear your head, even if it’s only for a few minutes. If you’re on a walk, try to be aware of nature around you. This will help to ground you in the moment. Gardening is also a great de-stressor.
  • Be creative. Even if you’re not an arty person, doodling is a form of mindfulness. Doodling and adult colouring books take your mind off other stresses.
  • Dress up. Putting aside time to dress nicely will make you feel more confident, even if it’s only for the shopping. Doing your hair, taking care of your skin and even applying makeup are all ways to make yourself a priority.
  • Sleep

    Sleep is a fundamental part of life, but many people don’t get enough of it, or good enough sleep quality. This can be down to many factors, but a few simple changes will promote better sleep habits.

  • Have a wind-down routine. After a long day it’s tempting to just hop into bed, but a night-time routine allows your body to prepare itself for sleep. Give yourself time to incorporate a skincare routine, a short meditation or a few pages of a light book to let your body know it’s time to drift off.
  • Cut the caffeine. Try to switch to de-caffeinated drinks in the evening so your body can relax.
  • Turn off the devices. The blue light emitted from screens can affect sleep. Keep screens out of the way during your night-time routine. To prevent mindless social media scrolling before bed, use an alarm clock instead of a phone to keep it out of reach.
  • Sustainable living

    Being more sustainable doesn’t mean overhauling your everyday life. Even by making a few eco-conscious changes, you are being kinder to the planet.

  • Shop local. The less air miles on your food products, the better it is for the environment. Try to shop for local produce as much as possible. This also helps local businesses.
  • Be clothes-conscious. The January sales may be tempting, but ask yourself if you really need a whole new wardrobe. Take a look at your existing wardrobe. Clothes that are not worn can go to the charity shop, and if something is really not fit to be worn again, take it to a clothes recycling centre. For new fashions, charity and vintage shops are havens for unique finds.
  • Reusables. You can cut down on waste by using reusable coffee cups, water bottles, and food containers.
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