Buzzing With Health In 2019
by Sasha Kanal
Kick start your 2019 with a healthy outlook for mind, body, heart and home designed to last you all through the year. Sasha Kanal tells you how
So here we are again. It’s January 2019, the last of the Christmas detritus has been dutifully cleared away and the children are already talking about Easter. There’s not much to look forward to now until April rolls along, right? Wrong!
There is so much to look forward to and yes, there’s work to be done, but it’s all good and will hopefully benefit you no end. So read on dear health conscious readers to get the best out of the year ahead and yourself. And don’t forget, take it easy…
Take a mindful approach to your health in 2019. A word that’s so often overused, but here, what’s meant is a more caring approach to yourself and your body. Be kind to yourself, starting with your head.
Often our default internal monologue is set at something between indifference and negativity. “Gosh I’m so stupid! Why did I do that?” and so on. Tell this inner voice to shut it and imagine it to be a kinder, more soothing character, one that gives you a break and doesn’t berate you for minor mistakes.
Next it’s time to give your physical self a metaphorical break. This doesn’t mean doing nothing – of course not! What it does mean is taking up exercise or re-starting an old regime after Christmas with an easy approach. Don’t foist the guilt on yourself for not getting back to it on January 1st or for failing to attend an exercise class when something else more important or unavoidable comes up. Too often we see exercise as work or something to be endured, so we’re already starting with a wholly defensive attitude. Exercise is so very important, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that it’s there to benefit us. Carrying a guilty heart and negative mind-set around if we miss one spinning session is not going to do that.
Similarly, January is not the time to go hell for leather into a full on detox or brutal exercise regime when you aren’t used to it. This is where it inevitably ends badly, as people start things that are far too different from their normal activities, so they find it impossible to keep them up. Making gradual changes is always the most sensible approach. Be adaptable too. If one thing doesn’t work out then try something else, making the changes bite size really can make them far more manageable.
Start by adding some extras into your day. Take the stairs not the lift. I know someone who lost a stone doing this. Yes they worked on one of the higher floors in a high rise building at Canary Wharf but the fact they did this consistently day in day out paid dividends for them after just a few weeks. Add some time into your day to walk a different way to work or to the station. Get up a little earlier and take your dog on a new route. Schedule in a ramble with the family ending up at a country pub at the weekend. Nothing ground breaking here but they all add up to movement and steps on the activity counter.
Food wise, we need to be nourished and comforted in January, not deprived of essential food groups and warmth. Hearty or wholesome vegetarian or good locally-sourced meat stews are the way forward. Delicately spiced rice pilafs, warming curries, creamy pasta dishes, soups and quality roasts – all made from scratch and seasonal wherever possible. These will provide us with the right nutrients to see us through those freezing months ahead.
If you are making a roast, add another vegetable side dish into the mix. There are so many recipes and sources of inspiration out there for vegetables these days, so there’s no excuse. A wonderful source of fibre and vitamins, not to mention water, an extra vegetable portion will up our recommended daily intake. Et voila!
Smoothies and juices are another brilliant way to do this too. Apple, spinach, ginger, avocado and manuka honey in a blender with a little water at breakfast and you have a pick me up stronger than an espresso with none of the energy dip afterwards.
Cut down on alcohol for January or give up completely if you can. Fancy that third glass of Merlot? Have a big glass of water with cordial instead when you do and then see how you feel. Alternatively, take a warm bath with calming essential oils instead of filling your glass. It’s surprising how the little things can break a bigger cycle or habit. Sometimes all it takes is just a minor shift.
Invest in yourself! Book a relaxing massage, acupuncture session or spa day somewhere and give yourself something to look forward to throughout the darkest months. Similarly, sign up to learn a new skill or language and challenge yourself to try something new and master it.
With a ‘hygge’ and not heavy heart, reset your home for January and beyond. With the fuss and clutter of Christmas out of the way, now is the time to get some fresh, lightly scented natural wax candles in and light them religiously come evening. Keep some fairy lights up in the kitchen to add some glow to this more functional area. Buy a sheepskin or faux fur rug in the January sales and drape them across your sofa – Scandi style.
Invest in an outdoor fire pit and light it up on a cold, sunny winter’s afternoon. There’s nothing nicer than wrapping up and sitting around the primal light and warmth of those flickering flames, drinking hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows.
Finally, say no to fast fashion and mindless consumption. Fast, cheap clothing is having a catastrophic effect on our planet. Instead, utilise what’s already in your wardrobe or go to some of the many wonderful vintage and pre-loved clothing shops in our county. Seek out inspiration online or in store on how to style these items. So much better for your bank balance! Buy quality over quantity and classics that will last rather than a ‘wear once’ outfit. Clearing out your wardrobe can be so therapeutic, especially after Christmas, but don’t forget to give unwanted items to charity or recycle them, passing on the joy instead of filling up the landfill.
Happy New Year everyone!