The start of a new year offers a chance for a new beginning. It's like a new book with 365 pages waiting for you to create your own best story in. After the indulgencies of Christmas, New Year is a natural opportunity to form new health and wellbeing habits such as eating better, exercising more, or reducing stress levels. I know as a yoga teacher that January is usually a busy time in my classes as new students start yoga or familiar faces return home to it after a break.
But the thing is that while these intentions are very worthy, it takes a lot of effort and willpower to commit to forming new habits. While the year may be new we are not. Our thoughts are not new. Our behavioural grooves are not new. We still have the same jobs, the same lives, the same stresses, and triggers. This year we even have the familiarity of a pandemic accompanying us into this new year too. And this makes it extra hard for us to sustain changes we might like.
So how to make the most of this fresh start for 2021? How to support your own wellbeing during this current lockdown? Let’s go back to the very basics of what does good health and wellbeing mean. Well in its simplest form I believe it is this: -
- Right hydration
- Right nourishment
- Right movement
- Right sleep
I daresay that this list does not come as a surprise. Having all of these in the right amount and type will help you to stay well both physically and mentally. But as we are all individuals, with different circumstances, with different lifestyles. what is right for one person may not be right for another. In fact, it can be very situational.
For me, the key question I ask myself is: -
Does this replenish me, or does it deplete me?
For example, lying on the sofa at 10.00 pm watching mindless TV, too tired to go too bed. Does this replenish me, or does it deplete me? Easy to answer. It depletes me. Therefore, I know the sooner I take myself to bed the better.
Does staying inside all day replenish me or deplete me? It depletes me, so I make sure that I go outside everyday whatever the weather even if it is only for 10 minutes.
Then of course it gets interesting. Does eating chocolate replenish or deplete me? Well, it depends. Eating a box of chocolates will most certainly deplete me by making me feel heavy and sickly. Eating one chocolate however may easily replenish me as I take pleasure in the indulgence and allow it to lift my mood.
Do you see how it works? This one simple question can guide you towards better choices throughout your day.
You can try it out; from what you eat for breakfast, to how long you spend sitting at your laptop, to drinking a glass of wine. Does this replenish me, or does this deplete me?
So, as you take yourself with you into this New Year and new lockdown remember that you always have the option to choose replenishment over depletion. The choice is there to take in each day and in each moment. No matter how small or insignificant your choice feels your effort will not be wasted. It might even help you to form a new habit or two.
If starting a regular yoga practice is one of those good habits you want to start then I am currently offering live online yoga classes for general health and relaxation. You can find out more about my regular classes and courses here.
* Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
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