What to say about the New Year? I don’t know really. It is a strange time of year – full of short-lived expectations after a week of reminiscing.
I myself have not reminisced about the year past as the New Year approaches. Regular readers will know that I have not felt particularly festive and, for New Year itself, I was mostly wrapped up in bed. I’m not sure I saw the clock hands turn to midnight. If I did, I was probably too busy coughing to notice.
I have my usual post-Christmas virus. They usually come after a busy period of festivities – far too much port and not enough vegetables. I can’t say that of the Christmas just gone – there was little port and plenty of vegetables. There was fresh air in abundance and I didn’t become cheese from eating so much of the stuff. Yet here I am, tissues stuffed up my nose, to welcome in 2019. Great!
Here’s to a healthy start to 2019!
New Year (same old pressures)
At this time of year it is so easy to feel the pressure to detox. The pressure to start fad diets, take out expensive gym membership that you’ll use for two weeks. To spend a fortune of vitamin supplements and purifying teas. To pad your soups with fillers and to banish sugar to the food recycling bin. But really, being healthy is so much more than these things and, in reality, much of the so-called wellness movement can be damaging both physically & mentally.
I’m not saying don’t try to lose weight if that is what you really want to do, but I will encourage you to ask why you really want to lose weight and how it will really make your life better. I’m also asking you to consider; what does wellness and being healthy really mean to you?
Wellness for me
For me, wellness is about taking time for myself, to stretch in my body and mind. To create space. It is to eat intuitively and without restriction. To exercise when my body wants and needs it. It is about pushing myself physically but in a place that is safe. To get plenty of fresh air. Allowing myself to go out drinking and dancing but also to stay at home with a herbal tea and a good book. To live my life, without fear of gaining of a few pounds.
And so, this new year, I’m making a few promises to myself to ensure wellness and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
I promise to …
Only do exercise that I love and get more fresh air in the process
I will not feel the pressure to join a legs, bums or tums class just because a fitness trainer tells me to. Nor will I go for a run when the only result will be painful knees yet again. Instead, I will do the exercise that I love when I love.
I will take the dog for long walks on the beach or across Dartmoor. I’ll practice yoga and pilates – hopefully outside in the park or on Dartmoor, even if it means people seeing my bad form.
I will swim more and maybe even try some open water swimming – just as soon as I’ve found a wet suit to fit.
Take stock more, rather than diving straight in
I have made some rash decisions this year. Dived straight into things without really taking the time to consider what I want from life. I’m still not sure what that is, but I’ve learnt some valuable life lessons and in 2019 I promise to think a little more before acting.
This includes not overreaching.
I promise not to stretch my time to thinly by promising to do things I haven’t the time to do. Instead, I wish to spend my free time out of work doing the things I love. My yoga, my walking. To be more creative whether that be through art or photography or writing. They are each important to me, but slip through the net when things get tight.
Try new things. Visit new places. Cook new meals. Eat more intuitively – what does my body need and crave opposed to what is quick and easy. More variety is the spice of life, right? So I promise to experiment more and add something new and exciting regularly. I will say no to the things that bore me and yes to the things that intrigue and excitement me. I need to push aside the fears of not knowing and embrace that which I think is good for my mind and body.
These are not big changes to make but they are a step towards wellbeing and mindfulness. Now all that is left is to see where they take me!