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8 tips for a Happy New Year

Written by on December 29, 2021

New Year is such a great opportunity to feel like we’ve gotten ourselves a fresh start – so here are 8 ways you can start living the life you want.

Rays of sun
  1. “Edit” your life

Time and energy are too valuable to waste on emotional vampires so:

Look carefully at your current relationships. Ask yourself:

– Which ones are reciprocal?

– Which ones bring me joy?

– Which ones encourage honesty?

– Which ones can I rely on?

and most importantly

– Which ones are with people I respect for their own values and actions? (Which ones does I actively want to choose?)

Then actively choose to spend time with those people (and the others can, quite legitimately be told – “I’m sorry, already booked up!”)

  • Schedule yourself in 

Timetable yourself in every day – making that commitment to yourself as important as your commitments to others – and stick to it, whether you are working on your goals, undertaking formal learning, going to bed early, or simply having a cup of tea while it’s hot!  This reminds you that you are worth making time for.

  • Remember that “no” is a complete sentence

But, if you’re not comfortable with that try:

“I’ll tell you later” (buying time to decide if you want to do it, or think of a reason not to)

“I can’t but x can” (signposting is still helping)

“I can, but only between x and y” (set limits on your time – remember it’s a commodity)

  • Work out what you love and know what you need

Recognise when you are enjoying something and identify if it energises you or relaxes you.  Then when you feel anxious, pick from your list of relaxing things; if you need a lift, go to the energisers.  Having something ready that you know works means the mind doesn’t need extra energy to think about how to boost your mood.

  • Give your future self a rest

You can do this by doing things now that will better prepare you tomorrow – simple things like making lunch, or setting out your clothes means that if you need a little bit more rest the next day – you can take it!

  • Remember emotions are simply an indicator light

Embrace your emotions because they are things you can learn from – they indicate when there is something right or wrong, sometimes before you even think about it.  Don’t try and suppress them, just try to read them, and choose your actions from there.

  • Unpick emotions

Being able to identify which emotion you are feeling can help when it comes to planning your next steps.  Ask yourself…what am I really feeling.  Sometimes what is anger may actually be guilt, or fear, or pain…and requires a very different solution.

  • Do something for others

While not giving more than you can afford, research has shown that the mere act of seeing kindness makes us feel good, and doing something kind can give us an even greater boost.  Whether that’s simply offering a smile, having a chat, or something more planned, instead of a “random act of kindness”, try a deliberate act of support.

For more mental health and fitness, Dr Audrey Tang hosts The Wellbeing Lounge, Tuesday night 9pm.

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