Some small changes for a better outlook…
Despite not being much of a ‘new year, new me’ kinda gal, I can’t help but feel a bit of a push to make a few healthy changes. I don’t really subscribe to resolutions or the idea of a fresh slate, I really think January should be more a month of hibernating. A bit of downtime after the busyness of Christmas! I am solar powered so I require at least six hours of sunshine per day to feel even remotely human, which obviously just doesn’t happen in winter! But I also know that healthy changes, no matter how small, can do wonders for my mood.
Most of my days at the moment involve a later start (for a morning person, anyway), a morning of work and then an afternoon of shooting if the weather is good, or decluttering and sorting things/admin tasks if it’s dark and miserable. I’ll also try and go to the gym as and when I feel like it, but as I said – no pressure if I don’t feel up to it.
In order to add a bit of routine to my life and, well, also try to be the best version of myself, I try to set myself goals at the start of a new month. They’re usually different every month, but slowly they tend to become healthy habits that I keep up throughout the year. Lifestyle changes that I can effortlessly embrace in order to feel better. If there’s one positive that has come out of the last two years, it’s that I can appreciate a slower pace of life!
This month my habits are pretty simple, I wanted to ease myself back in to real life but also make sure I was doing only slightly more than the bare minimum.
My priority was less caffeine and alcohol and more H2o baby! I decided to do Dry January again this year because it’s an easy way of feeling better and it’s nice to take a break from it every now and again. I don’t mind not drinking in January, especially after Christmas and New Year, so it’s a relatively easy swap to make. I treated myself to one of these big boy water bottles and it’s been life-changing. I’m like a little hamster swigging out of this thing. It holds a litre and I usually refill it twice, sometimes thrice, and I’m feeling pretty wonderful for it! Hooray for emotional support water bottles!
Another one of my goals, inspired of course by TikTok, was to do a closing down shift each evening. Instead of going straight to bed, I make the effort to put away any blankets on the sofa, plump the cushions, put away remotes, take any dishes to the kitchen, have a quick tidy and pop on the dishwasher. I prep for the morning by making sure the kitchen is tidy, we have fresh milk, coffee and mugs ready to go… that sort of thing! I think it can be hard, especially in Scotland, to be productive in the evening but this is an easy way to create better habits that soon just become a part of your routine.
The other habit I want to adopt is to simply have a better outlook – I am a big believer in a positive mental attitude, but I guess my faith in that has been a little lost lately. A lot of the time, I wake up and see that it’s dark and gloomy outside (and inside) and that sets my mood for the day. I’m less active, less productive and generally don’t feel all that great.
I realised that, living in a country where the weather is more often than not rainy and miserable, my current state of mind wasn’t sustainable! I started to shift the way I was thinking, forming more positive patterns that would over time become second nature to me. Instead of basing my mood on the weather, I know try to enjoy the quiet, sleepy mornings with a cup of tea and the radio on. Jord and I usually chat about the cats and our plans for the day and I try to think of the positives rather than how I’ll need to wear boots and a raincoat AGAIN. It’s a bit of a commitment to make a change but it seems to be working wonders already.
I think winter is more about survival than anything else, especially after the last couple of years. I don’t think there’s any good to come from being too hard on yourself, but making healthy changes that impact your mood is so beneficial. I already feel a million times better for adopting these changes and I’m excited to see how I can add to these next month.
What are your healthy habits for a more positive outlook?