In the New Year, many people feel fatigued and sluggish following several weeks of over-indulging in festive treats and late-night parties. The beginning of January is the perfect time of year to focus on our health, reassess our self care goals for 2016 and implement some new year’s health resolutions.
Psychologists believe that goals such as New Year’s Health Resolutions are easier to achieve if they’re broken down into smaller sub-goals which are specific, measurable and time-based.
Here are some self care goals and tips to inspire you to achieve a healthier lifestyle in 2016.
Drink More Water
Adults should aim to drink between 6-8 glasses of water per day. If this seems like a lot, start by drinking just one extra glass a day, then increase it to two extra glasses. If you find the flavour to be boring, chop up some fresh fruit such as a slice of watermelon and add it to the drink.
There’s an app for everything nowadays and this is no exception. iPhone apps such as Daily Water allow you to keep track of how much water you have drunk each day and will even send you reminders that you need to drink another glass!
Eat More Fruit And Veg
Heard of the 5-A-Day campaign? This is an ideal New Year’s Health Resolution and it aims to encourage children and adults to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables per day. The easiest way to achieve this is by ensuring that fruit, vegetables or a salad is served with each meal. You can start each morning with a breakfast smoothie, or chop some bananas and raisins into your porridge. Have a salad with your lunch and some grilled vegetables with your dinner. Snacks are also a great opportunity to add another piece of fruit or veg into your diet. Grab an apple, or chop a carrot into some sticks for an easy, healthy snack. You’ll find that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less your body craves sugary treats.
Become More Active
Exercise doesn’t always mean joining an expensive gym. So if the cost of exercise has been putting you off committing to becoming more active, then think again. There are plenty of ways to move more for free. You can do an exercise DVD or even follow a Youtube exercise channel in the comfort of your own home. If you prefer the great outdoors then grab an old pair of running shoes and go for a jog around Richmond Park. Even a long walk along the river will allow you to move more and get the blood flowing.
Drink Less Alcohol
Many Londoners give up alcohol for at least one month in January. There’s now an even greater reason to do this than simply improving your own health – to raise money for Cancer Research by participating in their Dryathlon. Once you have told all your friends that you’re doing this, you’ll feel obliged to stick with it so sign up today.
If you’re wondering how to drink less alcohol once February comes around, consider alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks on nights out and also keep a drinks diary to show you how many units you consume on a regular basis. Women should have no more than 2-3 units of alcohol per day and men should have a maximum of 3-4 units per day.
This is probably the most important New Year’s Health Resolution a smoker should make.The idea of giving up smoking overnight can be a daunting one, so break it down into manageable steps. Begin by talking the idea through with your friends, family and your GP. Consider joining an NHS Stop Smoking Service which has local advisors all over the country who you can meet in a group with other smokers or on a one-to-one basis.
Find an alternative activity to keep you occupied when you feel the urge to smoke. A hobby that involves your hands such as drawing, sewing or Sudoku would be perfect. If you have problems with cravings, then consider the use of nicotine gum or patches.
The more time you spend investing in your own self care in 2016, the better your chances are of preventing ill health. Whatever your New Year’s Health Resolutions are for 2016 be sure to start think about them now so you can really plan them out and consider how you’re going to achieve them come 1st January. Write your goals down, talk to your friends about them and get prepared to carry out some serious lifestyle changes.