With the year coming to an end, we hear more and more people around us talking about changes they want to make in the year ahead. It may be the perfect time to sit back, reflect on yourself and think about your wishes. However, don't let the pressure kick in. If you're lucky enough, you might not even need anything to change. On the other hand, a lot of things around you did change. The biggest issue we had recently is the current health situation. Did you know that one in four Canadians were positive for symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD during the pandemic? There is no doubt the pandemic has affected people's mental health, especially for those who experienced the impact of the COVID - such as the loss of a loved one, changes in relationships, job loss, and of course, social isolation.
There is no doubt there will always be worrying about your financial situation, about your career, about your weight. But that doesn't mean those topics should make the most of your New Year resolutions list. The times are still uncertain and the 2022 memes are all around us. So, according to the fact stated above, here's what we all should try and focus on more in the year ahead.
No, we're not talking about going on a diet, losing weight or becoming a bodybuilder (but go for it if you want that!). We're talking about physical and mental health - if Covid taught us anything, it's the fragility of a human.
When it comes to our physical health, the recipe for success is pretty simple. Not easy, but simple. We will take the stairs, try eating healthier and hit the gym. Those are all great ideas and sure help with improving your mental health. But - think baby steps. If you haven't been exercising much lately, don't go and lift the heaviest that you can or cut out all the carbs. Start by walking, do simple cardio and work your way up with the weights. This also applies to your eating habits. If you cut everything out all of a sudden, there is a big possibility you will get sick of your new routine and go back to your old habits. Be intuitive - not everything you see online can fit you and your needs. Also, make sure you're following the public Covid measures.
The pandemic came with a bunch of changes in the past two years. We experienced something we never would have thought. We're trying to deal with public measures, isolate and be extra cautious - all in good faith of testing negative. However, while we were trying not to get sick, it became a bit hard to focus on our mental health. Here are some signs you might need to focus more on that part:
Don't be afraid to talk about your feelings, try and stay active even when you don't feel like it. Take a break when you need it, try eating healthier, surround yourself with people that make you feel good and leave the toxic environment, no matter who's in it. Last but not least - don't be afraid to seek help.
There is a saying: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" and it couldn't be more true. Of course, when things are stressful, it's easier to stick with the things you know. But that way, not many new fun things will happen to you. Not only that, but it's more difficult to grow as a person. By staying in your comfort zone, you will never learn what you're capable of, and finding that out should be your New Year decision. Stepping outside of our comfort zones is scary, but it helps our brains deal with stress better. It helps us practise mindfulness, which helps us reduce negativity bias. You can develop your inner strength, build your confidence and deal with change in a better way. Go ahead and try something new - start with a specific cuisine, try a different route to work, learn how to ski, or try camping in the winter.
This goes hand in hand with mental health and stepping out of your comfort zone. Fresh air can do wonders for you, even if it's only reflecting on yourself and your decisions. Spending time outdoors helps you with stress (and we all know these past two years have been a huge test for our nerves), it increases your vitamin D levelsand boosts your immune system. A lot of great ideas came up in people's minds while taking a walk! Actually, Stanford University says walking improves creativity, which takes us to the next point.
Like we mentioned before, stepping outside of your comfort zone can help you find out what you're capable of. Maybe you're good at axe throwing, painting, playing an instrument, or writing? You'll never know if you don't try it. Don't let the fear of being bad at something stop you from trying it in the first place. If you want to combine everything - spending time outdoors, meditating and staying healthy, try hammocking. It's a fun activity you can do alone or with your friends and family. It comes with huge benefits, too!
It's easy to get caught up in the daily activities we all have to deal with. You might be stressed from work and just want to go to sleep after a long day - and that's okay. But, time is valuable, and no amount of money will make up for the time you could have spent with your family and friends.
New Year resolutions don't have to be complicated. By taking small steps to focus on yourself and find out what you can do, eventually, you will start thinking big. Personal growth is essential to making big, life-changing decisions - and that doesn't often happen in a single year.