Happy YOU Year!

It is the beginning of a brand new year and January is often seen as a fresh start. Along with new years and fresh starts come resolutions. While resolutions can be a great way to commit to a goal, seize an opportunity or try something new, they often tend to focus on one of two things. First, resolutions tend to focus on “becoming healthier” and second, resolutions involve losing weight or obtaining a certain size.

These two types of resolutions are doomed to fail from the start. They are too vague to be able to commit to fully and they often cause negativity to develop in the individual’s everyday life. They also heavily focus on physical aspects, setting you up for restrictions, missing out and disappointment. This mind set deteriorates your mental health making the whole situation much worse.

Instead of creating a negative mental and physical space, consider making a resolution that benefits your mind, body and soul. Even if you’re not one to make a resolution, consider implementing one of these concepts. These self-improvement ideas can also be started, completed or maintained any time of year, making restarts possible whenever you are ready!

1. Ditch the Diet

Ditch the diets! Ditch the diets! Ditch the diets!

Diets do not work. Numerous studies have come out (especially over the last few years) proving that diets do more harm to our bodies than good. The results also do not last. At all. Most people who diet only experience short term results, often gaining back what they last and sometimes more. Dieting causes your body to switch into starvation mode, actually making it harder to lose weight, slowing down your metabolism and causing hunger pains and irritability. The restriction of foods also featured in almost every diet causes negative emotions like stress, worry, and frustration while potentially causing you to miss out on life experiences.

Obsessing over diets and maintaining diet mentality are detrimental to both your physically and mental health. And, with little to no results or positive features, why put yourself through so

much hardship?

2. Practice Self-Care

This is a big one! Everyone should schedule time to practice self-care at least once a week. Incorporating it into a routine can help you mind, body and soul destress and reset, allowing you to focus on what is truly important to you.

It is important to note that self-care looks different for everyone. For me, self-care is curling up in bed with a fuzzy blanket, my playlist on repeat, and reading a good book or planning out my week while sipping some raspberry mojito tea every Sunday afternoon. This allows me to relax and prepare for the craziness of the week ahead.

For you, self-care might look like a bubble bath, cooking a meal, baking some goodies, crossing something off your to-do list, cleaning your home, going for a walk, etc. Remember that self- care is exactly that, self-care. It is whatever you need it to be, constantly changing over time with your goals and personal growth.

3. Get Moving

It is so important to move your body on a regular basis! Like self-care, how you move is going to be different for everyone. However, it is important to listen to your body and move as often as you want to or it needs to.

I enjoy playing volleyball with my friends or going to a last minute barre class to keep my body going outside of my usual at-home workouts. Moving your body can include things like a walk, gentle stretches, a yoga class, a swim, and dancing to your new favourite song.

4. Eliminate Toxins

When I say eliminate toxins, most people assume I am referring to a juice cleanse or a chemical detox. This is not the case. Those practices are often difficult, expensive and not good for your body in the long term.

When I say eliminate toxins, I am referring to a wide array of things. Physically, removing toxins can look like drinking a natural detox tea after you’ve been sick, doing a foot detox bath, or reducing the amount of sugar in your diet. Emotionally, eliminating toxins can look like ending a bad relationship, leaving an old friend behind and deleting toxic people/pages off of your social media. Both the physical and emotional toxins are harmful and should be dealt with accordingly as you see fit.

Of course, these are just a few examples. There are many other things that may be toxic to you, your goals or your lifestyle. What they are and how you eliminate them is completely up to you.

5. Create a Paradise

This is something I am implementing in my own life this year. Creating a paradise refers to creating a space in your home that only has on purpose: to be a safe, relaxing space filled with your favourite things to counteract stress, anxiety or any other ailment.

Personally, I am turning my bedroom into my own paradise. I have changed my décor to be more relaxing, consisting of my favourite colours (teal, white and black). I filled my room with books I love or want to read, scented candles, knick knacks that serve as mementos of special times and photos of friends and family. I am making a conscious effort to no longer work, study or eat meals in my bedroom. I will only use it to relax, destress and sleep, maintaining the calming vibe I am striving for.

Your paradise could be as simple an antique chair in your living room, or your office, a section of your bedroom or any other space you envision. The goal is to create a space that gives off the vibe you need to reset and recharge.

6. Get Involved

Get involved! Volunteer, join a club, Facebook group, committee or any other group whose values align with yours! It is so rewarding getting involved in your community and building other people up! In return, you will feel positive, motivated and full simply by donating your time or effort to someone in need.

7. Up Your Ante

Try new things! Take more risks! Give it your all!

Don’t be afraid! Changes and new experiences can be scary, but they always lead to some form of personal growth. If the experience ends up being negative, you might have learned a lesson or gained a better understanding in the process. If the experience was positive, that’s a win within itself.

In 2018, try to simply do more. Make more friends, spend more time with family, take more classes, dance more, read more, learn more.

“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done” - Anonymous

So let’s try something new for 2018. Let’s incorporate things that benefit all aspects of who you are and provide fuel for your body and mind. Be yourself, love yourself, and embrace the change.

By @shantilly_13

#shannontillett #writer #contributor #girlpower #ditchthediet #diet #selfcare #move #exercise #toxins #paradise #ante #involved #medium

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