As we say goodbye (and good riddance!) to 2020 and ring in the New Year, it’s likely that many of you will be feeling a little uncertain.
There’s no denying that things haven’t quite gone to plan. Christmas wasn’t quite what we’re used to and all our hopes of “everything will be alright in next year” have been a little dashed.
If you’re feeling anxious, unhappy or just a little unsettled you’re certainly not alone. The good news is that there is a simple solution.
I can’t give you a way to click your fingers and make life go back to normal, but I can offer a simple strategy that will give you a little control over how you’re feeling. To help you feel calm in the chaos of these next few weeks or months.
I know mindfulness has a bit of a bad rap. Some people think it’s a bit woo-woo or airy-fairy. But it’s actually a hugely powerful technique that will help you to control your emotions and choose how you experience whatever life will bring. The theory is pretty simple.
Mindfulness is a practice of choosing to focus on the present. Choosing to guide your mind away from your past memories and your future worries, so you can stay fully present in whatever you’re experiencing at that exact moment.
Similar to meditation, it’s a good idea to set aside some time every day to “train your brain” to stay present. Just find a comfortable seat, close your eyes and focus wholly on what you can feel, hear and experience right now.
Then, any time you feel yourself spiralling or find your emotions getting back in control, take a few deep breaths and bring your mind back to now. What can you see, what can you hear, what can you smell…
It might sound simple, but it can have a very powerful effect. And I’m sure that if you’ll try it you’ll find it gives you a little calm in the chaos of 2021.
Dr. Sian Sayward
Let’s be honest, most people will be more than happy to wave goodbye to 2020. It has, without a doubt, been the toughest year many of today’s generations have seen.
As the clock tolls midnight and we ring in the new year, it’s the perfect time to look ahead to the future and start to create some more positive habits.
Exercise is one of the most powerful things you can do to create both good physical and mental health. But new years resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. So what can you do to set yourself up for success?
Get Clarity On Your Goals
The first thing you need to do is get some clarity on what it is you are trying to achieve Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? Strengthen and tone? Or perhaps increase your flexibility? Each of these fitness goals requires a different strategy if you want to achieve it, so it’s essential that you know what you’re aiming for before you get started.
Empty The Cupboards
Christmas is a time of indulgence. Before you start your new, healthy exercise regime, it’s a good idea to set yourself up to succeed. Empty your cupboards of all the unhealthy, sugary or junky foods that built up over the holidays. If they’re there when you’re hungry then you’re much more likely to cave in and eat them!
Fill Up The Cupboards
Building muscle and feeling full of energy does require fuel, so make sure you restock the
cupboards with lots of healthy snacks. Nuts, seeds and nut butters can help give you the calories you need and create that satisfied feeling. Dried fruit can help curb the sugar cravings and give you a quick energy boost before you workout.
A good exercise regime might need a little planning. Once you’ve decided on your goals, think about the types of exercise you’ll need to do to get where you want to go.
For flexibility, you might want to consider yoga. For strength, maybe pilates could work for you. For weight loss, think about cardio like running or a HIIT class. And for muscle gain, weight training is your fastest way to success.
Plan what, when and how you will exercise to set yourself up for the best chance of success.
Whether you’re a regular exerciser or someone that’s new to the active lifestyle, it’s important to ensure that your body is in alignment. Even small problems in your alignment can have a significant impact on your body when you work out. You might find that exercising is uncomfortable, with additional strain placed on your muscles and joints. You could experience pain and you could be putting yourself at risk of injuries too!
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020, it’s that life will throw things at you that you can’t control. So what can you do if you’re feeling overwhelmed, fed up and frustrated? How can you create a little stability in your life and develop a positive mindset in the face of all adversity?
Personal development is a lifelong process. There’s lots of ways to strengthen and improve your mindset, but a great place to start is your morning routine.
Hal Elrod, author of the best selling book “The Miracle Morning” claims that his simple 6 step morning routine has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Giving them more energy, focus and motivation. Ideal if you’re looking to boost your mental health and make 2021 a positive and productive year for you.
But what does a miracle morning look like?
Start your day with meditation to calm your mind and reduce stress.
Use simple, positive affirmations to change your thinking patterns and create new behaviours.
Play your perfect day through in your mind, to prepare yourself for the day and stay focused on your goals.
Stimulate your mind, get your joints moving and boost your happy hormones with a short exercise routine that gets the blood flowing.
Feed your mind and fast-track your personal development by reading 10 pages of a self-help book each day.
Journal, write your plans or practice your gratitude to keep your mind focused on the positives and process your emotions from the previous day.
Not a morning person? No problem. Elroy has a solution for that too. He claims that even the sleepiest of night owls can train their body and mind to wake up early, feel refreshed and have a more positive and productive day.
So what does your morning routine look like? Is it a carefully planned process designed to help you get the best out of your life? Or a “grab a coffee and hope for the best” approach?
If you want to learn more about how to have a miracle morning then I highly recommend you read the book. It could be the best thing you do this year.
› 1 lb noodles or linguine pasta
› 1/2 – 1 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
› 2 tbsp olive oil
› 1/3 – 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
› 1 1/2 tsp chilli paste
› 6 tbsp soy sauce
› 3 tbsp honey
› Spring onions, carrots, peanuts, coriander, Sriracha and sesame seeds to garnish
Chop the garnishes and set aside until you’re ready to serve.
Boil the noodles or pasta, draining before it goes gloopy. While the noodles are boiling, heat both oils in a large skillet with the red pepper flakes.
Once the oil is hot, strain the pepper flakes, reserving the oil in a bowl.
Add the reserved oil back into the skillet and add the chilli paste.
Whisk in the soy sauce and honey.
Toss the noodles in the skillet with the sauce.
Serve hot, at room temperature or even cold. Top with the garnishes to taste and enjoy!