It’s the month where New Year’s Resolutions may be lagging but haven’t yet been forgotten… Still smoking that 20 pack a day you promised you’d give up? Still sitting with those love-handles you’d wish would just go away already? Still waiting on the first sentence of that novel you wished you’d write? Chastising ourselves for our perceived failures and shortcomings can be just another form of negative self-talk. So instead, let’s stay positive. Let positivity and self-praise be the New Year’s Resolution we keep coming back to.
But bad habits, even negative self-talk, can be hard to kick to the curb… So where does one start?
Let’s start by treating ourselves
Remember moderation in all things, even moderation itself. Rather than gorging on slab after slab of a milk chocolate every night, screaming to the heavens the next morning when you try on those jeans you love so dearly… Invest in yourself. Get that dark, rich slab you think is a little out of your budget. But savour a piece every night. Delight in the crack of good quality chocolate as you break off just enough to satisfy your craving. Perhaps, when you are tempted to head straight to the fridge for that first glass of wine, pour yourself a chamomile infusion in a glass teapot. Admire the little blossoms in the tea, as their sweet fragrance is released, its steam relaxing you. Then, when you are calmer, a glass of your favourite vino is waiting (that is, if you still feel like it).
Take the leash out
It’s not an act of restriction. It’s an act of reward. After a demanding day at the office, you might find that Rover needs a walk as much as you do. Or maybe, if your home is pet-free, an evening yoga class might fit the bill. Even the feeling of the sun-soaked sand beneath your toes as you watch children and dogs and their owners enjoy a late summer’s evening on the beach… You will no longer depend on those beers with the lads after work to unwind. That bottle of wine, a guaranteed hangover the next day, may no longer be so tempting now that you have released some of the stresses of the day with a healthy dose of physical activity.
Always remember that your ever-ready stimulant isn’t helping
In times of anxiety or stress, we reach for certain things… It could be that ice-cold brewski, that last tequila for the road, that lit cigarette, or even that seemingly harmless mug of coffee loaded with sugar. Whatever your poison, it’s only exacerbating your condition. It’s doing you no good. Doctors ideally recommend, to assist with falling to sleep if you are a smoker, that you do not light up an hour or two before bedtime. These are crutches, not cures. And you truly deserve so much better. Once you know this, once your body knows this, you may be surprised to find those bad habits slowly falling by the wayside.
Date Published: 05 February 2016