Alongside the overindulgence and lack of movement that typically characterises the December – January period, the impact often reaches far beyond the start of the new year. One of the hardest things about bouncing back from the festive season is the fact that it’s likely you’ve fallen out of routine, and healthy eating and exercise have become uninteresting to you.
Fear not! You know that the hardest part is re-establishing the routine, and once you have done—you’ll fall back in love with wellness. Here’s how to get excited about healthy eating, exercise and wellness once again.
1. Acknowledge that life happens
Girl, you really really don’t need to feel bad about overdoing it during the silly season. Life is to be enjoyed, and it’s just one of those times of the year that health goals tend to slip a little bit. It’s called life—and for the majority of people, a strict, 100% wellness-focused lifestyle just isn’t realistic or sustainable. Acknowledging this is fundamental to having a healthy relationship with health; remember—it isn’t just physical, it’s mental too.
2. Start small and be realistic
It might be a cliche, but the smallest steps you take often have the biggest impact. Start by incorporating a 30 minute morning walk into your routine, become more conscious of how much you’re moving and make a concerted effort to stand up every hour (shout out to wearable tech products that remind us to do so!).
Instead of going balls-to-the-walls and committing to 5 gym sessions per week and a dairy, gluten and sugar-free low-carb diet, planning for two gym sessions a week, two morning walks and limiting your sugar intake is a much more realistic place to start. If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a thousand times—but do not over-commit yourself. You’ll be setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun, and burning yourself out really quickly.
3. Add things in, instead of taking away
Don’t want to give up your nightly glass (or two) of red wine? Don’t! Instead, try adding in a fresh celery juice in the morning, more healthy fats at lunch or more greens at dinner to get your healthy fix. Once you start feeling the benefits of these small changes, you’re getting back into the routine of making healthy choices—which will make you less inclined to reach for unhealthy options anyway.
4. Freshen up your kit
So we know that material things don’t buy happiness, but they can definitely motivate you to kick-start some healthier habits. Whether it’s some new threads or picking up one of these innovative digital health gadgets—it might just be the inspiration you need to re-shift your focus towards healthier pursuits.
5. Sleep and self-care are key
It’s no secret that sleep deprivation can seriously impact your health. From hormone imbalances and greater risk of mental health issues to reduced brain detoxification and a weakened immune system, it really does a number on your general wellbeing. Prioritising sleep once again is the perfect way to fall back in love with wellness; as once you start to reap the benefits of better-quality sleep, you’ll want to sustain it as long as possible.
Because wellness and health aren’t just about what you eat and how you move—it’s important to get back in touch with yourself after a period of less-healthy choices. Spend time taking care of yourself however that looks to you; maybe it’s a 5 minute stretch on the floor, a ten-minute meditation or a long bath with a book—whatever it is, focusing on yourself and what it is that you need will hook you back into a wellness-centric lifestyle.