2020 – So it’s the start of a new year and we’ve all become a little more intent on making new changes for the good. We reflect on the year gone by with nostalgia and sentimentality, keen to make the year ahead a good one with regards to health and happiness.

ALCOHOL – Drinking alcohol is one of the main resolutions people make on January 1st. Dry January is a public health campaign that encourages the masses to abstain from alcohol and realise the benefits of an alcohol-free body. Weight loss, clearer skin and improved sleep together with an improved sex life, sharper memory and professional performance are all there for the taking. But should we all abstain permanently? Most people do not but a month off feeling fabulous is often enough to remind us that wine o’clock became more of a habit than a pleasure and cutting back the intake might not be a bad idea moving forward.

SOCIAL MEDIA – As a nation we check our phones every 14 minutes. It’s become such a habit that it’s no surprise that mental health issues are escalating at an alarming rate, particularly with our teens. It’s clearly not a wise idea to pour over the posts of celebrities and influencers in the manner in which we do. It can induce a feeling of self-loathing and dissatisfaction amongst the more vulnerable and lead to obsessional levels of phone use. So what can we do about this very modern addition? Giving up social media entirely is not going to work, however, we can certainly adjust our approach and this is easier than you think. It takes 30 days only to adopt a new habit which is handy given we are in the month of making changes. So, try this for starters. Do not check your phone after 9pm and leave your device downstairs charging when you’re in bed. This is ESPECIALLY important for children. Do not reply to any messages beyond this time – tomorrow will come around soon enough. Disconnect whilst eating dinner and engage in good old-fashioned conversation for a change. You never know this new way of working could leave you feeling overall a much happier and content person.

FITNESS – More than half of us want to make positive bodily changes. But getting the body you want involves a change in mindset. Like I mentioned earlier, 30 days rings in new habits so start right now. Take the stairs, walk your 10,000 daily – you’ll be surprised how little time that takes. Set some fitness targets, couch to 5k is a great start. Skip for 5 minutes every day. Join a gym and go at least twice a week to make it financially viable. Fitness and exercise are the basis for a happy and healthy life. I cannot recommend Bikram yoga enough but this activity deserves a blog entirely of its own.

MINDFULLNESS – It isn’t difficult being a charming and positive person, it’s an outlook that will wholly benefit you in the long run. Try and understand the benefits of smiling more and listening to others. Kindness is a gift that ought to be shared and this in turn supports the whole mindfulness movement. Take some time out every single day and learn to mediate. 10 minutes a day is enough to ring in some positive changes for the good. Taking very good care of your mental health it is the foundations to long term happiness.