New Beginnings

A group of individuals' feet around a smiley face drawn on the ground

As we start a new year it is often a time to contemplate our past, present and future. When struggling mentally, it is often a major challenge to plan for that day, never mind into the future. However, one thing that we are reminded about a lot in January is personal health and wellbeing.

For me the past year was particularly tough. My personal crutch during difficult times, is food. When I am stressed or really challenged, my default is to get a biscuit or 5, a bar of chocolate or sometimes a beer. These choices may seem like a quick fix and the endorphins get some energy back, but in the mid to long-term, these choices will clearly be bad for my physical health and often my mental health too.

This year, in a bid to combat this, I have downloaded the google Get Fit app for free onto my phone, challenged myself to do 10,000 steps per day and to keep track of my weight. Setting these daily goals is an opportunity to change my lifestyle in a positive way, with very short-term goals to ensure it is achievable. In the first week of the year, I have managed to hit the target 5/7 days and lost 1.8kg in weight. This week I have set the same goals for each day, but now have included the need to cut down on the biscuit consumption, to just 1 per serving, rather than maybe 5.

Such small changes to my lifestyle will help it become the norm and will be significantly more sustainable, than a fad diet or attempting to go cold turkey. The gentle exercise has also given me more energy already, which in turn is boosting my mood and encouraging me to continue.

Whilst it is tempting to buy into huge changes at this time of year, if you are struggling with mental health or even just motivation, try to make a few small rather than drastic adjustments, and track the benefits over a week or two. In the long-term this will probably benefit you significantly more.

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