While the calendar event of Jan 1st has hit —it feels hard to imagine that we are actually in a new year. Same shit, more COVID and all the fun that rolls along with it (it’s clearly NOT fun). The stamina of dealing with COVID, the heartbreak, the restrictions and the silent anxieties it has caused (especially for those multi-tasking and juggling kids’ schedules, employees’ schedules, the quarantines, the germs and on and on and on)…
What can one do to find some peace these days?!?!
That said, finding time to actually give up on the “bad” things we still enjoy —sugar, bad TV, booze, meat — I mean, are we really ready for ALL that in this so-called “New Year”?
This year the New Year/New You shouldn’t necessarily be about what we can give up but instead what we can gain. I propose the start of 2022 should be about balance; re-teaching ourselves the purpose of balance and the ability to calm our minds. Dare I say it — spring could look very different this year (from 2020/21) so my hope is that by providing balance and sanity to ourselves, we will be ready for whatever change (HOPEFULLY POSITIVE!!) will roll out in the upcoming months.
Dry January is old hat — mindfulness is where it’s at.
Yes, most of us have gotten used to those 5pm kitchen happy hours- I mean, come on!! What else are we going to do?! Almost everyone that sits in my hair-chair talks about how habitual both cocktails and meals have become during COVID.
According to the Star Tribune, COVID was a disruptor in many ways, and not all bad — many of us changed habits that were formed based on basic routines.f your morning commute took you past Dunkin Donuts (where you’d conveniently stop every morning for greasy egg sandwiches) COVID may have broken that routine, causing you to have a more leisurely healthy morning cooking for yourself at home. Many of us dropped the commute and began working at home where we could enjoy the finer nuances of cooking for ourselves, breaking bread with our family and living a simpler life in many ways.
On the other hand, many of us have gotten used to forgetting about which day of the week it is and indulging a little tooooo often. In turn these habits may now be difficult to break (I know I’ve gotten used to the lavish life!).
So — how do we break this cycle? Thankfully, I entered the foyer of this rabbit hole back in 2020 and quickly got myself a nutritionist. I may not be perfect, but I knew — I had to get at least 80% of myself under control. Having someone else hold me accountable was how I needed to do it!
So what will I do for 2022? Here is my proposal for my New Year New You, as well as my holiday recovery program:
- This January and throughout February, I’m hoping to limit my drinking to two days a week. On those two days, I want to prepare my body in a better way than I usually do: tons of water throughout the day, balanced healthy meals, no sugar, vitamins, that kind of thing…. Also, on these two days I’m limited to 1-2 glasses of whatever I’m having. Mindful to add one glass of water in between, followed by some food and more water.
- The rest of the week is filled with hydration – lots of water, smoothies, tea, light workouts and baths (super important)! During those baths (and at least one hour a day) practice some serious mindful rest — no iPhones allowed! Perhaps a walk, perhaps a nap- but at least 1 hour of what I have coined as an “Electronic Siesta!”
- According to the Sleep Foundation: “Tempting as it might be to use your computer or phone before bed, studies have shown these devices can interfere with sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin, a natural hormone released in the evening to help you feel tired and ready for sleep. This leads to neurophysiologic arousals that increase feelings of alertness when you should be winding down instead.” My habits of late night scrolling (and even writing this piece) are done way too late at night. So that means instead enjoying: music, books, and mental stimulation that doesn’t involve politics or news channels (sorry not sorry).
- More hot tea (less coffee).
Here are some tips from personal trainer Olivia Vetere: 5 Simple Everyday Wellness Tips to Change your 2022
- Try to read 10 mins before bed and after bed (no blue light).
- Move your body once a day, even if it’s for a walk!
- Take 10 mins a day to do a “quick clean”. This helps keep your space feeling clean, fresh & productive throughout your busy day. I suggest putting your phone timer on for 10 mins and putting some music on to make it fun!
- Water is your best friend. You can invest in some cheap water bottles on Amazon that help push you to drink certain amounts throughout your day. This will assist in keeping you energized, hydrated and full. This idea will help keep you balanced throughout the day, which helps in avoiding cravings and drops in blood sugar.
- Let Sundays be your day of outlook. Plan out your weekly schedules and tasks and what menus you want to work around that. It doesn’t have to be an exact timeline but it helps you mentally prepare as you ease into your Monday. If working weekends, find time on your own “Sunday” to recharge and plan your weekly errands.
Feeling sheepish about committing to January and all its (non)changes? Click here for a great read on how March was once the start of the new year. (In other words, you still have time.)
All in all, it has been a brutal couple of years, and we should all commend ourselves for hanging in there through the ups and downs. Here’s to better, balanced, more mindful days in 2022!