What resolutions? It’s the little things that make us happy so instead of giving things up, why not start something new this year instead?
After a tough year (enough said), we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to kick so-called ‘bad habits’ or set unrealistic goals during a global pandemic — now more than ever we need chocolate. So, forget diets and ‘new year, new me’ mantras, try these simple lifestyle tweaks for a more positive start to 2021 and beyond…
Try a new recipe
Who knew that the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook for dinner each night? If, like us, you’ve found yourself repeating the same old dishes week in, week out or relying on your microwave, then it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Thumb through some recipe books and introduce one new dish a week into your cooking repertoire. Not only is the prospect of trying something new exciting, cooking from scratch is more nutritious (many processed foods are full of additives, salt, sugar and fat), it expands your culinary skills and it’s quite therapeutic (unless you’ve got Gordon Ramsay yelling in your face). Yes, we still have our trusted go-tos, but variety really is the spice of life! Looking for some inspo? Our healthy brunch recipes are a good place to start.
Wear something you love
Joggers are great and all, but since that’s pretty much all we’ve been wearing the past year, maybe it’s time to mix things up a bit. Treat yourself to something new from our new in selection or put on your favourite dress (even if you’re just rotating between the kitchen and the living room). We promise it’ll make you feel gooood. Lockdown got you in a bit of a style rut? Check out these winter outfit ideas you’ll wear on repeat.
Start a journal
Feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment? Mental health professionals have long touted the benefits of journaling, particularly when it comes to alleviating stress and anxiety. It allows you to self-reflect, organise your thoughts and understand yourself better. Putting pen to paper will also help improve your memory and spark your creativity. So go on, let it all out.
After being forced to close during the first two lockdowns, garden centres have now been deemed as ‘essential shops’, and there’s a very good reason for that. It’s said that growing plants can do wonders for our wellbeing. As well as making indoor and outdoor spaces look good, plants supposedly boost your mood, lower blood pressure, relieve stress and anxiety, help you concentrate, promote better sleep and improve air quality. If you don’t have a garden, there are plenty of houseplants that’ll happily grow in your living room, bedroom or bathroom. Swing by your local garden centre this weekend and pick up some new leafy friends. For tips on how to care for your plant babies, check out our houseplant 101.
Currently furloughed? Now’s the perfect time to give back to your local community. As well as making a positive difference to your environment and those around you, volunteering makes you feel good, allows you to learn new skills and gives some purpose to your day. Plus, it’ll look great on your CV. Whether you choose to plant trees, take part in a beach clean or deliver food parcels to vulnerable people, studies show that when you focus on others, your stress levels decrease. You don’t even need to leave the house to volunteer — you could become a telephone friend to a lonely elderly person. Check out Do-it.org for UK volunteering opportunities.
Go for a walk
There’s no better feeling than being outside in nature and breathing in fresh air (even when it’s cold and rainy). Walking can help boost your mood (and vitamin D levels) and is a great form of exercise. Studies show that walking just 20 to 30 minutes every day reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure and helps you maintain a healthy weight. So, grab your coat and some comfy shoes and head outdoors for a stroll, whatever the weather. Plus, it feels so good to get moving after you’ve been hunched over your desk/dining table all day.
So you’ve completed Netflix, now what? Since we’ve been spending a lot more time at home recently, we’ve been looking for ways to keep busy. Maybe you’re the next Claude Monet… or maybe not. Either way, getting creative is a great way to relax and pass the time. Whether it’s painting, pottery, knitting, sewing or candlemaking, learning a new skill will give you a sense of accomplishment. Fancy trying your hand Macramé? Our very own CRM Manager and queen of crafting, Tamasine, is on hand to show you how to make a simple yet impressive Macramé plant hanger from the comfort of your own home.
Pausing to practise mindfulness for just a few minutes every day can make a big difference to your wellbeing. Mindful meditation has its roots in Buddhism and is the idea of being fully present in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction. It aims to help you feel calmer and be kinder towards yourself. Simply find a quiet, uncluttered space in your house, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and tune into your breathing. Useful apps like headspace will teach you how to meditate or you could give mindful colouring in with Dorothy Perkins a go.