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Tips to kickstart your new year

As we start to settle into 2022, you may be thinking about what the year ahead will bring and may be considering making some positive changes. So, to help, we’ve put together a series of tips and ideas to consider.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Be realistic with what you set out to achieve this year and make a plan to help you get there. If you think you’ve set yourself too big of a challenge, you could think about what small steps you could take to help you in the right direction. This will help you achieve things that are attainable, rather than setting yourself up to fail.

Celebrate the small changes you’ve made - every step contributes to your journey and you shouldn’t play them down. Write a list of small changes you want to make and cross them off as you go. Show yourself how much you’re achieving and keep yourself on track. Check out Mind Tools’ article on setting personal goals, to help you with this.

If you stumble on the way, don’t give up, remember how far you’ve come and try again!

Look after your body

Looking after your body can contribute to making you feel healthier and happier.

Try adding more fruit and veg, as part of a healthy-balanced diet, if you know you don’t consume enough already – why not look up some new recipes for inspiration? Check out BBC Good Food’s low-calorie recipes to help you get started. Drinking enough water and getting enough sleep helps your body and brain to function better – try setting yourself a challenge to drink 2 litres of water a day and to get into a regular sleeping pattern.

Exercise is great way to keep healthy physically, but also mentally, by refreshing and inspiring you. You don’t have to sign up for the gym, try online workouts at home, or head out for walk or run to get some fresh air and get your heart pumping. Explore the NHS Fitness Studio for online exercise videos, or the Couch to 5K running plan for beginners.

Spend some time outside connecting with nature

We spend a lot of time looking at screens - getting some rest from this can help you to recharge, as it gives you a chance to properly connect with the world and other people around you. It’s also good rest for your eyes. You could use some of your screen time to try a new hobby, exercise, go for a walk with a friend, or spend some time in nature instead.

Spending time outside away from the digital world has lots of benefits, including exposure to Vitamin D from sunlight, which can help you get the nutrients you need to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Being outdoors is also great for exploring new places. Find out more about how nature benefits mental health.