A New Year | Four things you should do this January



Image: Trevor Manteranch 


First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and didn’t overindulge in all the lovely, delicious goodies. Now that 2011 is upon us, it gives us all a chance to “start afresh”.


Resolutions to change.


Those of you who know me may remember I suggested September to be a better time to make resolutions. I don’t really find January conducive to healthy resolution making, no matter how well meaning they may be. After the drama and building throughout December and leading up to the New Year, it seems just so stressful and exhausting to promise our minds and bodies new exciting challenges. Add grey, cold weather into the mix, and it almost seems like we should admit defeat before we’ve even started.


Crisp and fresh.


However, this year I sense a change. Perhaps it has to do with the fact we had a lovely (almost) white Christmas or that the skies (for the most part) have been nice and blue, and the weather crisp rather than wet, but this January does seem to beckon a new beginning more than in other years.


Some people thrive on resolutions, while others see it as a cliché and almost certainly only have the resolution to never make resolutions. Whatever the case, take this opportunity to add one or all of these elements into your day:


1.  Walk.

I say it often but this is the easiest form of motion we have. Whether you live in the city or out in the country, walking can be easily incorporated into our daily routines.

Why do I never mention cycling or running? Because I don’t believe that they are easily performed by everyone. Running when you’re not fit is very defeating and not everyone is confident enough to cycle on busy roads. Bar any disability, almost everyone can walk; be it a leisurely stroll after dinner or a fast commute on legs.

2.  Smile.

I don’t mean just a smile to the cashier at the supermarket (although that would be wonderful as well), but more a reminder to take care of your mind.

I find that often in January, when we are still in deep winter and the end still seems quite far away before spring, it is very easy for people to feel a little lost. It’s that sense of having just held a spectacularly fun party but now all the guests have gone, and the house is feeling just a tad empty. So be aware of yourself and don’t neglect your mind.


3.  Don’t forget the elderly.

While you’re taking care of your body and mind, remember others. Speak to your older friends and family on the phone or send them photos of the festivities you just celebrated.

The cold weather may aggravate their arthritis or they may not be able to get about as much. Or they can get about but should be careful of slips and falls. In any case, just a little human contact occasionally is a nice gentle reminder that you are there for them.


4.  Bring a plant into your home.

I’m not a gardener, and there are other more green-fingered people out there with better advice, but I think January is an excellent time to get an indoor plant. There’s just something very satisfying about nurturing a plant and seeing its leaves flourish. There have been reports of cancer patients who get to see a garden or plants doing better than others who only have a wall to stare at. I recommend getting a peace lily, which appear to be virtually indestructible.


What else do you do to welcome in the New Year? Let me know.


Again, I would like to wish everyone good health and a fulfilling 2011! 


Other posts you may be interested in:

New Year Resolutions part two

What has the recent snowfall taught us about preparing our bodies?




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