by Diya Kurien

For most of us, 2020 has been a life-changing, chaotic, and stressful year filled with fear and uncertainty. Sadly, this has led to an unprecedented rise in both physical & mental health issues across the world. But perhaps, with small steps, we can try and renew our confidence and reduce our fears by stepping into the next year (and decade) on a different note. Get a head start into 2021 with these simple lifestyle choices and discover a healthier, happier YOU!

1. Find Your Magic In Movement

Choose any physical activity which gives you joy, fun,  and freedom and stick to it. Some great options are Yoga – which can be a low-intensity exercise or you can opt for a more challenging Vinyasa based class which will make you work up a serious sweat! Yoga not only builds flexibility, strength, and mobility in the body, it also gives one a wonderful sense of peace and calm… something we all need in these times of uncertainty. 

The earliest Japanese architecture was seen in prehistoric times in simple pit-houses and stores that were not adapted to a hunter-gatherer population.

2. Nourish Within And Without

Eating smart. Someone once told me to eat the rainbow and it’s true! Red, yellow, green, and purple colored foods are all packed with antioxidants and other good stuff which adds to the body’s immunity and get all your body’s organs functioning at their top efficacy. So load up your plate with lots of fruits and veggies and get that gorgeous glowing skin to go with it! Think red peppers, apples, broccoli, yellow peppers, carrots, and pomegranates to get started, and try and add these into all three meals of the day!

3. Brain food

Basically finding a hobby (outside of work) which gives you creative inspiration. I personally love my coloring which I use the most lovely adult coloring book for. Another “hobby” I’ve picked up over the last few years is focused meditation, something which grounds me as well as teaches me to look at my daily challenges differently. For others, it could be finding a musical instrument to learn (Piano lessons anyone?) For those who love the outdoors gardening is a great way to get productive and enjoy the literal fruits of your labor! Other hobbies could include things like learning a new language or even taking cooking lessons to connect with your inner Nigella. This is the stuff which adds that’s something special into your day, letting your mind move outside of its usual boundaries. Find your special something and start today! 

4. Rest And Repeat

The importance of sleep. Not enough can be said about making sure you catch those zzzs every night. Most of us need an average of 7 to 8 hours of rest to ensure that we are able to work (and play) to our best abilities the next day. Lack of sleep can literally derail the best-made plans in terms of poor concentration, irritability, and generally feeling not too bright. There are also direct links between poor sleep and less than ideal food habits and weight gain. So if you are looking to start 2021 strong and smoothly, make sure you are getting some sound sleep into your Mondays to Fridays! 

5. Find Your Flow

Repetition and the value of creating a schedule/discipline in your life which brings balance to both mind and body. Keep this simple. Wake up at the same time every day and try and get into bed at the same time as well. Set yourself an easy wind-down routine by shutting down screens and social media at least an hour before you sleep. Keep mealtimes pre-planned and scheduled for the same time.