Ambitions for the new year may be high, but your goals don’t have to be so lofty. Making a few small, easy changes to your routine can do wonders for your wellness, helping you take on whatever bigger challenges the year might bring.
Try these five easy changes to habit and environment and start 2017 off feeling ready and refreshed.
Put Your Phone Down
Seriously though, put it away. Resolve to take more breaks from staring at screens this year, by setting limits: Perhaps you power down a few hours before bed each night, or don’t look at your phone until an hour before work each morning. Because falling asleep to the glow of your smartphone and then waking up to 30 unread email before you’ve even opened both eyes isn’t doing yourself any favors.
Manoush Zomorodi’s podcast, “Bored and Brilliant,” is a great place to start if you need inspiration to cut the technology addiction this year.
Spruce Up Your Environment
Small things add up, and changing your surroundings can make a huge difference for very little effort. Move your workspace to a more naturally-lit area, do a round of New Year’s cleaning to purge your life of unwanted clutter, or add relaxing and inspiring scents to your home. Studies show that citrus can make you feel more energized, while pine eases stress and cinnamon keeps your mind sharp.
Start A Brag-File
This will feel silly at first, but your future self will thank you for it. Try starting files or new documents for logging every time someone compliments your work, and for every time you do something you’re particularly proud of. Not only will it give you a boost in confidence to jot down accomplishments, it’ll serve as a record of contacts for when you need to list references (for jobs, apartments, and the like) as well as a way to never draw a blank when someone asks you what you’ve been up to, or when a prospective employer asks about your recent accomplishments. The items don’t have to be monumental or life-changing, but can be a collection of small things.
Learn How To Meditate
No, meditation isn’t just sitting still with your legs crossed and eyes closed. It’s been practiced for thousands of years, and has been proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression, pain and high blood pressure. You’ll quickly find out how challenging this practice can be, if you’re serious about clearing your mind. But it’s super-simple to give it a try: Just find a quiet spot, take five minutes, and download an app like Headspace or Calm to get you started.
Get Some Sun
Studies show that absorbing just a few minutes of sun a day helps improve bone health, brain function, battle depression, fight Alzheimers, improve sleep quality and more. This one can be combined with all of the above: Turn off the WiFi, find a comfy spot to meditate, and then log it in the Brag File for a self-care job well done.