Positive Start to 2017

Whether you love the holidays or dread the holidays, the end of the year can leave many people feeling emotionally drained and exhausted. Perhaps you love spending time with family over the holidays and now that you are back home, or your holiday guests have left, you feel like you’ve crashed after riding the emotional high being surrounded by loved ones. On the other hand, you may feel drained after dealing with the drama and stress that can come with spending time with family and/or friends who may not always be welcoming or supportive. Either way, it can seem like you are starting the new year feeling tired, sad, exhausted or uninspired and at a loss for how to make a good start to 2017.

Advertisements and websites often tell you that to start the new year right you should try to find a new you, but who has the energy to reinvent themselves after the holidays? And why do people think they need to reinvent themselves in order to be happy or find success? Getting the year off to a good start doesn’t require reinvention, just some mindful actions that can help you feel strong, in control and motivated to make 2017 a great year. Here are a few tips for how to start the year off on the right foot.

Get back on track – although it sounds boring, one of the best ways to get back to feeling energized and in control is to get back into a positive routine. Having a positive routine provides us with structure which helps us manage stress and anxiety, keeps us organized and allows us to have a clear sense of what can and can’t fit in our lives. This isn’t to say that your entire life has to be perfectly planned out and scheduled, but it’s beneficial to have some routine in your life. Perhaps it’s about scheduling regular workouts during the week, or it might be setting up regular times to meet a friend for coffee every other week, or maybe it’s a regular time to get errands done. Whether it’s daily, weekly or even monthly, having some routine in your life can help life feel more manageable.
Get your beauty sleep – If you are a parent you probably know how important it is for kids to have a regular bedtime routine and get enough sleep. From the time they are infants, having positive and consistent sleep habits helps children stay health, develop appropriately and grow strong. So why do we think that as adults we don’t need the same thing? According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult between 26-64 years old needs about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for good health. Some tips for getting enough good quality sleep are: keep a consistent sleep schedule, develop a regular and relaxing bedtime ritual and give your body 1 hour to “wind down” before doing to sleep.
Be present for yourself – Engaging in self-care by taking time for yourself and being present in the moment will help set you up for a healthy and productive new year. Mindfulness meditation is a practice of paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and willingness that has been shown to support health through improved immune system and lower blood pressure. It has also been associated with improved mental health, including reduced stress and anxiety and improved attention and concentration.