So, here we are, in 2020 — a new year, a fresh page on the calendar, and all sorts of pressure to be better, look better and do better. Slow down, take a deep breath and let’s take a look at some real, approachable ways to transition into the new year gently, and with our best interests in mind.
1. Take time for yourself
Stop complaining that you never have time for yourself, and do something about it. Make a daily appointment with yourself to meditate, go for a walk or sit quietly and read. We all need time to go within and clear our thoughts. I sometimes just sit in my car listening to my favorite rock station—it’s as simple as hanging out with yourself for half an hour a day, doing nothing at all.
2. Be more gentle and patient
When stressed, do you snap and swear at yourself or others? Are you prone to bursts of rage and impatience? Examine your behavior, and be willing to listen to those around you. If you stop and listen to your partner, friends, and loved ones, you’ll become more present and will be equipped to handle adversity calmly and with ease. Be gentle with yourself and those around you—it pays dividends (and by the way, meditation can fix this problem almost immediately!).
3. Put your health first
Have you been pushing yourself too hard to get things done? You’ve got to stop piling up projects and commitments to the point of exhaustion. Make a conscious effort to take better care of you, starting right now. It’s as simple as saying “no” to a party invitation, going for a walk every day, finding a yoga video on YouTube, or signing up at your local gym. Increase your circulation, shake off sadness, and make yourself a priority.
4. Limit toxic interactions
You know who causes you stress and anxiety—so stop interacting with them as much (or at all), and see how you feel. We all have people in our lives who leave us feeling drained, empty or just plain terrible. Take stock of who lifts you up and who brings you down, then proceed from there.
5. Clean up your space
Start small by cleaning your wallet, desk, or one closet—you’ll feel better after tidying up just one bit of chaos. Clear a space on your messy desk and get rid of clutter; doing so will create space for new projects. Untidy work areas are a breeding ground for depression and a lack of inspiration.
6. Unplug frequently
Put your phone down, often. As in, many times a day. You can do it—I’ve been setting mine aside or switching to “airplane mode” a few hours daily, and it’s freeing up time and energy to read more books, meditate, and get more work done. If I were looking at social media right now, this article wouldn’t be writing itself!
7. Revamp your menus
Add homemade granola bars, over-the-top green smoothies and spiralized zucchini to your routine. Try your hand at making multigrain bread, your own chai blend or old-school soups. Getting out of tired, old kitchen routines is fun, and it introduces new nutrients and tastes to stimulate and nourish you.
Set attainable goals, and proceed with compassion and self-love. As always, it is my wish to be of service as a yoga instructor and wellness blogger. I’m sending you love and light as you gently make your way transition into a new year.