Welcome to 2021
So 2021 is here – we couldn’t wait to see the back of 2020 and we all had hope that 2021 would be better.
A week in and so far 2021 isn’t living up to the hype and expectations of a better year. Wales is back in a tier 4 lockdown and with England closing all schools until the February half term at the earliest the chances of getting back to normal any time soon look thin. However, January is a time for change. Making changes in January can be hard and this year will, without question, be tough but sticking with goals in the miserable winter months means reaping the benefits later in the year.
To give up alcohol for a month is probably the first challenge that has gone by the wayside since the new lockdown measures were introduced. For many the thought of the endless weeks ahead stuck at home without a glass of wine is a challenge too far and we have all seen social posts joking about giving up on Dry January.
On the flip side giving up alcohol during lockdown may turn out to be easier than you think. With Bars, Pubs and restaurants shut and no socialising, which are the usual reasons to have a drink, then if you are still finding it difficult to not drink you may want to ask yourself why? Why do you need to drink at home?
If you are sticking with Dry January then good for you, you will probably already be noticing the benefits of no alcohol.
Benefits of not drinking alcohol
- You can say goodbye to hangovers
- Improved energy levels
- Better sleep
- Your skin will look better
- You could lose weight
To help boost the benefits you could also try drinking a glass of water every time you feel the need to reach for something stronger.
Benefits of drinking Water
- It is a healthy and cheap choice to quench your thirst
- Water contains no calories or sugars
- Staying hydrated will maximize your physical performance when exercising
- Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status – so drinking water and staying hydrated can improve your mood, memory and brain performance.
- Adult humans are 60% water and our blood is 90% water so drinking water and staying hydrated can boost skin health and beauty, protect our vital organs and help regulate body temperature.
- Drinking water instead of alcohol may also help with weight loss.
If water doesn’t work for you then challenge yourself to get more sleep. Instead of sitting on the sofa watching Tv and unwinding with a drink make a point of going to bed early instead.
Benefits of a good night’s sleep
- Sleep helps reduce stress
- You can improve your memory
- Lower your blood pressure
- Sleep helps your body to recover
- Helps you to maintain your weight
- Improves your mood
- Keeps your heart healthy
Besides from dry January there are lots of new years resolutions that get made. Among them is the one to lose weight. Most people at some point in their lives make this a goal. Although being at your ideal body weight is something to aim for crash and fad diets are not the way to go to get there.
To really look after yourself this year make the decision to improve your diet and make small changes. Don’t cut out everything you love to eat because it is on the “bad list” as the more you think about what you can’t have the more you will want it. Instead eat smaller portions and become aware of the choices you are making.
Staying at and working from home will have messed with your routine and it will become so easy to snack and pick at food from the cupboard or fridge. Take the opportunity of a messed up routine to create a new healthier routine. You could:
- Actually read the recipe books on the shelf that are collecting dust
- Now that you have time – use it to meal plan
- Make fruit smoothies
- Feed your soul with healthy food that you enjoy.
- If you like to order take aways then instead of your usual pizza or Indian have a look online to see what other local restaurants and pubs are now offering in the way of takeaway meals. Support your local businesses that are struggling through this lockdown and order a healthier option.
Remember that a New Year Resolution is a promise that you make to yourself. Keeping that promise is in your control. Whatever outside circumstances make it difficult just keep in mind that the choice to look after your health is yours and yours alone so do yourself a favour and find ways to keep your promise.