Living a healthier lifestyle is the greatest gift you can give to yourself this New Year
Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference to our overall health and wellbeing. It’s usually only when we become ill we realise how important our health is.
With the new year comes a new frame of mind. January is the perfect month to make positive lifestyle changes towards a happier, healthier you.
While we all have good intentions, but it can be hard to make lasting changes with many people struggling a few weeks in to their new year’s resolutions.
According to new research conducted by LloydsPharmacy, more than half of Irish people plan on making a New Year’s resolutions, despite nearly a third breaking last year’s resolution within a month.
What I have learned as a heath coach is that small sustainable changes over time have the greatest effect. It’s about developing a relationship with yourself and working on it. Your relationship with yourself is not only the most important one you have but also it is the only relationship you are guaranteed to have from birth till death. All other relationships with parents, partners, children and friends will come and go so does it not make sense to work on yourself first?
As most of us struggle with self-motivation, LloydsPharmacy have developed an 8-week Change Your Health Direction programme. You will get a health check up with a health coach and discuss your goals. A personalised plan will be set out for you. Over the 8 weeks, you will be supported and each week you will check in with your health coach where they will track your progress and review your programme.
At the end of the eight weeks you will receive a full report on your progress and you will have a very clear picture of your true health and wellbeing giving you the knowledge to build and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
fHere are my top seven tips for making positive lasting changes in 2018:
- Take time for you – Taking time to go within and have quiet time each day is an essential ingredient for good health. If you feel you don’t have the time then you are the person who needs it the most. When you give to yourself you get your life back. You are less stressed, more creative; you sleep better, make better decisions and are better able to listen to your intuition. There are many ways to do this including mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, and journaling, taking a walk in nature or by simply having a quiet cup of tea alone. Carving out this time even for 10 minutes a day is a game changer for a happy home.
- Watch your thoughts – negative thinking can be a default mode for many of us unless we become aware of our thoughts and consciously try and change them. Starting your day with a positive intention and affirmation can help. I use my Stop- Catch – Change method to help which entails:
- Stopping the thought;
- Catching it;
- Changing it to a more positive one.
Over time you can and will break the habit of negative thinking after all what you think you become. Negative thinking is a bad habit however one that we are actually predisposed to as human beings. Rick Hanson coined the phrase- “Our brains are like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones” meaning that we lean towards the negative and have to work hard at making good experiences stick which brings me to number 3.
- Get a coach – as part of the LloydsPharmacy 8-week Change Your Health Direction programme you will get a free health coach who will work with you over the eight weeks to create a personalised plan to help you achieve your health and wellness goals for 2018. Your coach will track your progress each week to help you make a lasting change for 2018.
- Gratitude – Keeping a gratitude journal is a practice I have done daily for over 6 years now. Every morning I wake up I write down 3 things I am grateful for and why. This is brain training and it helps me to focus on what I have instead of obsessing about what I don’t have. Most of place out happiness in the future thinking that when we become… or when we have… then we will be happy. The truth is that if you are not happy with what you have right now you will never be happy with what you want.
- Eat real food – My ethos around food is simple- Keep it real! Try not to focus on how much you eat but rather on what you eat. If you eat less from a box and more from the earth, cook more and include lots of colour you are on the right road. Remember to keep hydrated also even in the winter!
- 6. Sleep – sleep is when the magic happens. It when our bodies get a chance to renew and repair. Good quality sleep is so important so keep your phone out of the bedroom. Reduce caffeine after lunch and dump your day. By this I mean let go of what happened during the day because the energy you go to sleep in is the energy you wake up in. Try some meditation, deep breathing and gratitude. Scan through your day and choose the one thing you are most grateful for that happened that day.
- Have fun- Last but not least: exercise your fun muscle. Connect with friends, dance, sing and travel. Enjoy the journey and not the destination.
For more information on how to transform your health visit www.lloydspharmacy.ie/change-your-health-direction Get supported and get started at a Lloyds pharmacy near you.