Happy new year: make your life healthy
One of the problems of winter is that its more difficult to spend time outdoors. The daylight hours are short, nights are long, and work often gets in the way of opening the door onto the big wide world. Its not surprising that people suffer from colds, depression and general malaise during this time of year. So, how can you get the new year off to a great start?
Feeling ill? The time of year gets a lot of people down.
What's the answer?
A remedy for those feeling low can stem from taking exercise
. In fact, the simple act of moving and breathing in a more vigorous manner can set into motion a mini-miracle. Its vital for everyone to exert their bodies physically during daylight hours.
Daylight is so precious during winter. Make the most of every minute.
Even a brisk walk around the office or climbing the stairs rather than taking a lift is enough. It is also beneficial to expose bare skin to the elements
. This doesnt need to be a chilly stripping off in front of the neighbours, for even air on hands and face has an effect.
How to do it?
Every full-time worker needs a lunch-break and walking outside should be possible for all able-bodied people. Just five minutes exercise
will make a difference to the metabolism and there will be a reward of renewed vitality for those who return to work after an outdoor break.
A quick walk around a winter garden or park will do wonders for your health and wellbeing
Take note of whats around too. Gardens and public spaces are already springing into life. Have you noticed catkins,
for example? Alder trees are displaying their little, bright lambs tails that shimmer in the winter wind. There are dozens more sights worth admiring in the natural world and it would be a shame to miss them.
Have you noticed the catkins? They are already wiggling around in the winter breeze.
There are many spectacles that might lift your mood. Take Cornus, for example. These shrubs have now shed their autumn mantle to reveal glorious stems. Red, yellow, orange and lime green, theres a Cornus for any of these colour combinations. In fact, some, such as C. Midwinter Fire, display multiple colours on one stem.
Cornus and willow (Salix) stems look amazing during winter. They appear in various colours including lime green, yellow, orange and red.
Viburnum is another winter wonder. There are many different types, and each has its own special merits. V. Eve Price has flattened heads of white flowers that are flushed with pink from now until April.
Viburnum 'Eve Price' is a great winter shrub with lovely pinky white flowers and evergreen foliage.
V. bodnantense Dawn is quite different, with its deeper pink flowers which are highly and deliciously scented from now until March.
Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn' smells amazing during the winter months when the flowers appear on bare stems.
And of course, there are the heady scents of Daphne such as Jacqueline Postill; plus, the most astonishing honey scent produced by the tiny flowers of Sarcococca, also known as Christmas box.
Sarcococca has small white flowers with an amazing winter scent.
Lower to the ground is the heather: Erica Springwood White
which is cloaked in the most marvellous blooms for much of the winter. There are Hellebores
already bursting into flower and the first bulbs to risk the cold are generally Eranthis hyemalis,
the winter aconite. Closely followed by snowdrops
: whatever the weather.
Hellebores are also known as Lenten roses and they are coming up to their peak flowering time.
New years resolutions dont set yourself up to fail
Happy new year. Have you made any new year's resolutions?
Make new year's resolutions sooner rather than later. Dont leave it until New Years Eve to set yourself some goals for the year. And try not to use the same resolutions as previous years.
Dont be tempted to use any of the following, they are, unsurprisingly, the most popular new year's resolutions and they appear year after year.
Giving up wine. Does this appear on your New Year's Resolutions list? It's a very common one, but not one that is often kept for long.
- Lose weight
- Take more exercise
- Stop smoking
- Cut down on alcohol
These are lifestyle aspirations and although they are all worthy aims, their place is in the life-plan. Give yourself more achievable new year's resolutions so you can bathe in the glory of achieving them immediately.
Every one's a winner - provided you choose your resolutions carefully!
Improving your life
Heres some suggestions for resolutions that can help you to improve your life:
There's something to celebrate every day - even if it's a really simple achievement.
- Celebrate small things. Tiny successes are every bit as important as giant leaps.
Most of us have a lot to be grateful for, but we might forget to even think about it.
- Count your blessings: Gratitude is said to make people 25 per cent happier! Think about all the good things that you have in your life and be grateful for them.
Looking at things differently opens up a whole new world for those who remember to do it.
- Learn something new every day. Notice a new word; a new thought process; or look at something in a new way; it all adds to your personality.
Remember to enjoy TODAY and try not to dwell too much on tomorrow or yesterday. It's a great habit to practice!
- Live in the moment. Dont dwell on yesterday or tomorrow (too much) because you will forget to enjoy today.
Talking to people is good for you!
- Talk to new people. Theres a lot of enjoyment to be found from striking up a conversation.
Caring for plants, people and animals enhances your life. Giving to others brings people a lot of joy.
- Nurture things. Possessions, people, pets, house plants. Its good for you and the caring side of your personality will develop.
Happy new year!