Traditionally, the start of the new year is a time for self-reflection and self-improvement; a time for making checklists of the things we hope to accomplish in the 12 months ahead. The most common New Year’s resolutions, according to online learning platform goskills.com, are to exercise more, lose weight, get organized, learn a new skill or hobby and live life to the fullest.
However, with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 surging, many are simply “not feeling it” so far in 2022. We get it.
Research shows that in an ordinary year, only 45% of those who make a New Year’s resolution are sticking to them after six months. The rest of us are back on the couch binge watching tv indulging in junk food, having given up our plans to learn Spanish, take up tai chi or cut back on carbs.
Eventually, these bad habits add up to adverse effects on our minds and bodies. Now, more than ever, we need to build our resilience and tackle the challenges brought on by COVID-19. So, put down the devices, cut back on your vices and set SMART goals to be successful. By this we mean, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
Start with a game plan that clearly defines your goals and give yourself a set amount of time to achieve them. Write down your SMART goals and place your list in a prominent place like your phone’s note’s app or your fridge, cork board or desktop to help you stay on track.
Remember the adage “slow and steady wins the race.” Gradually introduce healthy habits into your lives rather than trying to do everything at once. Experts say it takes an average of 66 days to make a new habit an automatic behaviour.
They will keep you motivated and accountable. More importantly, be patient with yourself. Don’t let a setback keep you from achieving your goals – keep going!
Surround yourself with things that spark joy and get rid of those that don’t.
It will brighten your mood by filling it with colourful and meaningful items.
Perhaps with a bouquet of fresh flowers or scented candle the next time you pick your groceries. It’s a great way to lift the spirits, particularly during the winter months.
Simple things like opening the curtains when you wake up, making your bed and brushing your teeth can help you start your day in a positive mood. To keep boredom at bay, and chase the blues away, look for ways to mix up your routine up with fun activities like a movie night or family skate, topped off with popcorn and hot cocoa.
Seek inspiration and ideas for self-care and reserve certain times of the day to indulge yourself.
Small, unplanned moments of happiness or appreciation that you experience throughout the day. It’s a perfect example of how little things can make a big difference, in this case, to our health and wellness.
It’s been scientifically shown to have mental health benefits. Try to be present in everything you do — living in the moment and pausing to count your blessings will help you to develop a hopeful mindset.
Recognize the connection between eating nutritious food and being physically active to looking after your mental wellbeing and staying well. Try something new this winter like snowshoeing and be sure to eat colourful foods that pack in the most nutrition — think carrots and beets.
Create a bedtime routine and avoid screens before you pull over the covers. Getting a decent amount of shuteye each night will do wonders for your mind and body.
If you’re struggling to cope with a major stressor like a job layoff or loss of a loved one, be sure to seek out extra support. It can be just a call or click away. There is a wealth of free, reliable self-care information, tools and resources you can access online — all from the comfort and security of your home. Here’s a few we recommend:
We also invite you to check out the mental health services and supports we have available through our benefit plans and digital health platform, Connected Care. This includes Petit Bambou, the highest rated mindfulness app in the world providing online access to training programs and guided meditations from a global network of specialists, and Digital Therapy, which can connect you with an accredited therapist for counselling and education service.