New Year, New You: Daily Routine Hacks To Adopt In 2023

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New year, new you? But I liked the old me just fine, we hear you cry. We like the old you/me/everyone just fine, too, but as a new year brings with it a sense of catharsis and renewal, and particularly after the year we’ve all had, doesn’t the sound of a fresh start sound rather appealing?

Never has the notion of a clean slate felt more necessary, so if you’re looking to step into the new year on the front foot, then here are 5 key daily routine hacks to adopt in 2023.

DON’T CHECK YOUR PHONE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING…

This is a tough one, but it can make a big difference to your day and attitude towards it. Because checking your phone as soon as you wake up, whether you like to read the news, check your social media profiles, or respond to emails, could be making you unhappy. In fact, as Dr Nikole Benders-Hadi points out via Elite Daily, doing so can cause a form of ‘information overload’ and mess with your ability to prioritise tasks. 

Not only does that cause productivity and focus to suffer, but it can also lead to stress. Instead, wait at least an hour before checking your phone after you wake up, as immediately connecting to the digital world has been strongly connected with feelings of listlessness and a lack of motivation.

…OR LAST THING AT NIGHT

The detrimental effects of using your phone (and its associated exposure to blue light) before bed have been well documented. Several studies have pointed to a concrete link between your screen’s blue light and disrupted sleep, particularly in the falling asleep stage, but also with increased waking during the night.

If you’re keen to prioritise sleep, then you should make a concerted effort not to engage with any electronics that emit bright blue light, like the phone and TV, in the hour or so leading up to sleep. As part of your nighttime routine, plug your smartphone in somewhere else but the bedroom, turn the television off, and opt for activities that don’t involve a screen at all, such as reading or meditation. Speaking of which…

FOCUS ON THE BREATH

The benefits of a regular observance of mindful meditation have been well documented, with the ancient practice believed to help with everything from stress relief to enhanced self awareness.

After the topsy turvy two years we’ve all endured, the chance to gain some new perspective on life and the self sounds rather ideal, don’t you think? If you’re new to the wonderful world of ‘taking a moment’, there are plenty of apps offering guided meditations and mindfulness exercises for a monthly fee. If meditation doesn’t work for you, do still make the time just to sit still for a few minutes each day, enabling space for reflection on what has been, for everyone, a really confusing time. 

Focusing on the breath is a key tenet of meditation, and if you don’t have the time or volition, then simply practicing nose breathing can help you unwind. Doing so allows for 30% more oxygen to flow to your brain, and could boost your mood, improve your focus, help your memory, and keep all your organs working optimally. And doesn’t that sound like a roll call of things we’d love to embrace in the new year?

CONSIDER FRAGRANCE FREE PRODUCTS

Believe it or not, but fragranced products, particularly perfume, may be causing profound health problems. Fragranced products are believed to cause inflammation in the body because they’re actually a toxin. That’s right, your body breathes in fragrance and thinks it’s under attack and swells up in order to limit the spread of this dangerous invader. 

So, one of the best changes you can make in the new year could be to switch out the fragranced products for fragrance-free options, particularly when it comes to cleaning products or personal hygiene products. Avoid things labelled as ‘unscented’ or ‘scent-free’ as this may often mean that additional fragrance was added to neutralise the scent of the product. Instead, go for something ‘fragrance-free’.

PRIORITISE PROPER NUTRITION

Hands up who’s feeling a touch sluggish after Christmas?

We’re assuming that anyone who hasn’t raised their hands is feeling extra sluggish…

We’d all like to eat a little healthier in the new year, but sometimes the pledges and resolutions to go on a strict, gruelling diet can do more harm than good. Instead, keep things simple, balanced and nutritious, focusing on healthy, home cooked meals pulling mainly from the five key food groups: 

  • dairy
  • fruit 
  • wholegrains or high fibre versions of pasta, rice, noodles, and bread
  • lean meats and poultry, fish, and eggs
  • vegetables and legumes/beans 

You should be able to get the vast majority of your nutrition from your diet, but in the case of Vitamin D, it can be hard to get sufficient amounts from food alone during the darker months. This is because, as the NHS explain, from late October to early March, the UK’s sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation for our skin to make Vitamin D.

Vitamin D, in particular, is essential in bone health, bodily functions, and calcium absorption, and therefore, 10 micrograms (μg) daily for adults during these months is recommended.

BE KINDER

Countless studies have shown that being kind, polite and thoughtful serves not only to raise the mood of the recipient, but also boosts our own sense of well being. So, what better resolution to welcome in a new year and, hopefully, a fresh start than pledging to be kinder, more thoughtful and altruistic in the face of recent adversity. 

Whilst this will, of course, help spread positive vibes, doing so could also benefit your own wellbeing and outlook, helping increase empathy and compassion, as well as boosting self-esteem and reducing stress. Result!

*This article is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment given by a qualified mental health professional. Instead, this article only provides information, not advice. For any medical enquiries, always consult your GP first*

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