2021 is around the corner, and not a moment too soon. It’s been a tumultuous year for many of us, so New Year's resolutions probably haven’t even crossed your mind. Big changes and new challenges may be a little too much to take on after the year that we’ve had, but there are plenty of small changes you can make that will help bring you a little more joy in the year to come. Here’s our list of small changes to make for a happier 2021.
Many of us would have spent more time than ever this year watching shows or movies at home. However, a good way to change up this activity to a more productive one is to switch out just 10-15 minutes of your viewing time and dedicate it to reading a book. Reading is a good way to not only learn, or have a bit of escapism for a while, but it's also good to keep your brain sharp. Reading just a little each day can strengthen your brain connectivity - so give it a go, just for a few minutes.
Save a small amount of money every week
No matter what you earn - saving money can be hard for us all. Try to put away a small amount each week, and don’t touch it till the end of the year - when you can use it to treat yourself to something you wouldn’t usually be able to purchase. Saving a small amount can start a good habit of saving regularly, and you might find yourself being able to put away a little bit more each week.
Journal for 10 minutes a day
Writing down thoughts, feelings, stresses, and fears can be a great way to strengthen your mental health. Using a journal, even if it’s just a little bit every day, can help to offload any of the stressful thoughts that come into your mind throughout the day, and help you rest a little easier. If you suffer from anxiety, this is a tried and tested way to relieve some of the symptoms.
Move your body every day
We’re not about to tell you to run a marathon or work out for hours each day, but moving your body each day can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Even if it’s just taking a walk around the block, if that’s all you can manage, that’s great! Yoga is also a great way to keep your muscles flexible and strong and can be a great way to start your day right.
Learn to cook something new
You don’t have to be the next Michelin star chef, but having a few new recipes under your belt is a great way to boost your confidence and also a great way to impress friends and family. Choose something that you love to eat, and you’ll find enjoyment from learning how to cook, and not only will you have a tasty meal at the end of it, but you’ll have gained new skills you can share with others.
Drink more water
We all should probably drink more water, and dehydration can actually have a very adverse effect on our health. Water can not only keep your skin clear, but also helps to regulate your body temperature, and help keep your body moving. Try to drink 8 glasses of water daily, or to at least increase your water intake next year.
Reduce your screen time
Looking at your phone or other screens too often can impact your mental health and exacerbate anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that people who spend more than five hours on their phones everyday are more likely to be at risk from depression. Keep track of your screen time and try to reduce it day by day - try other activities such as sports, socialising and other hobbies.
Improve your sleep
The one resolution that is super simple, is to get more sleep! Mostar of us don’t get the right amount of shut eye, and sleep deprivation is a real and serious problem. Sleep deprivation can have lots of side effects including a weaker immune system, stress, and weight issues. Between seven to nine hours should be enough to avoid these side effects of sleep deprivation.
Speak more positively
A slightly harder resolution is to stop thinking and speaking negatively about others, yourself, and anything else. Try to reframe your language when you catch yourself speaking negatively about things, even when you talk to yourself. A positive attitude will make you feel immensely happier in the long run, and it's a hard habit to break. Try to replace just one negative thought or phrase with a positive one and see how it affects you each day.
Make your bed each morning
Making your bed each morning can be hard when you have a million and other things that you need to get on with and do, but just taking a couple of minutes to tidy your bed space and make your bed will make you feel more positive each morning. And actually, making your bed each morning will help you to improve your sleep quality.
Make time for yourself
Having some alone time and making sure you’re making time for yourself is essential for a happier and healthier mindset. Whether it's self-care, taking time for hobbies, or just doing something for yourself, time for yourself leads to less stress and a happier lift. Try to schedule time if you struggle to find time to yourself - and make sure you stick to it!
By Amy Cavill
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