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Four Ways To Start The Year Off Right By Giving Yourself A Break.

24 January 2020 2 comments


All I've seen lately is media telling me how to lose weight, which diet to try next, exercise gear and equipment thrust in my face in all the stores, how to make and stick to resolutions.. And you know what, I'm not a fan.

There's so much out there in the universe at the moment telling us we need to change ourselves, I think we ought to focus a little more on self-love and helping ourselves to alleviate some of these self-created pressures. Whether that's something more physical, like having a facial or using aromatherapy body oils, or more of a mental and emotional exercise, like selective planning and prioritising, here are four ways to just give your mind and body the break we so often neglect to provide it.



Treat Your Senses

I think the ultimate relaxation for your body happens when you take the time and effort to focus on treating each of your individual senses.

Touch: taking a warm bath or using sensual products on the skin (I love this collection of oils and use them every time I have a bath).
Taste: eating things that excite you (my current 'recipe' I can't stop having is smoked salmon and avocado on toast with quite a bit of wasabi - found here with two other ideas)
Scent: scents can be so evocative, recalling memories and emotions. Fresh bread, your favourite candles, going to your local florists or having a session at a perfumery and finding a new scent combination you love.
Sound: listening to old songs you haven't heard in years (boy I love this), or your favourite podcasts/audiobooks. There are plenty on stress management or relaxation, like Headspace.
Sight: giving your eyes a rest, turning your screens off for a while or wearing a silk eye mask - this is my favourite.


Keeping January Free

Rather than create pressure to start January off on some sort of uber-productive note, and feel the need to make all the changes you've ever thought of right now, something lovely to do for yourself is to just allow yourself January 'off'. With the festive period over and a new year started, it can feel overwhelming to see January's schedule jam-packed with appointments and errands. Instead, focus inwardly on self-care and letting the moment take you. (And if you haven't done that so far, feel free to push this notion forward into the beginning of February!)

Train Positivity

'What we dwell on is who we become' (wise words Oprah).

I'm not the most positive person, so this is a point in particular that I'd really like to work on this year.
I dwell, sometimes worry, overthink, etc, but I'm also incredibly logical and understand that negativity does me no good. Tell yourself something over and over and you start to believe it, so why waste that time and energy on filling your own head with negative thoughts when they could just as easily be positive?

Start by questioning those negative thoughts when they come into mind - are they actually happening or is it part of your own construct? If they were to happen, how important are they? Will you still be feeling this amount of worry/dread etc tomorrow? Next week? Next year? Instead, try to focus on the positives and encourage positive energy - if in doubt, 'fake it 'til you make it'. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (or a version of)

We used to have all-girls-sessions of yoga at my secondary school and our instructor did this wonderful wind down at the end of the session (child pose and all that), including talking us through a progressive muscle relaxation sequence. It was rather amazing to realise how tense I was before the sequence, even though I thought I was already completely relaxed.

I think this is a more accurate instruction of PMR but something like this is more the idea I had in mind (Try slowing the video to 0.75x too!).

Wishing you a wonderfully relaxed day :)


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