Happy New Year! I thought I would share with you some of my well-being tips for 2024.
I wrote this while doing something I love—getting out first thing in the morning and walking to my favourite park (whenever I can). It’s only a small park, but there is something charming about it. I feel so at peace sitting at the park, giving myself the opportunity to pause on the daily responsibilities of life, and reflect. I connect with myself and with nature. I feel much better than the foggy state I was in before coming here!
These well-being tips help improve my mental clarity and vitality. Focusing on, and investing in, my mental and physical well-being really helps me navigate and overcome life challenges—I am much more equipped to deal with life. The following well-being tips are not just about what I “should do”, but also a way of being or approaching life:
Start the day with an intention to take care of your mind and body.
Take time-out each day to connect with yourself and slow-down. For example:
Go for a walk first thing in the morning and connect with nature (as I mentioned above). It’s nice to sit for a few minutes to “be” and cultivate gratitude.
Take micro pauses throughout the day (even for just a minute or two). During this time, you may be in either a seated or lying-down position. Then simply rest, practice mindfulness, listen to something or read something inspiring etc. There is no “should” or “have to”, just do what feels nourishing and restful for you”.
Connecting with yourself helps bring calmness, joy, and deeper connection with others. Mindset “I bring presence, calmness and joy in my life”.
Approach unpleasant inner experiences (bodily sensations, emotions etc.) with curiosity and tenderness, rather than being overly judgmental and reactive (at least try!). Unpleasant inner experiences can be informative if you stand back and relax into them rather than resist them. For example, when my teenage daughter went through a phase of behaving rudely towards me, I naturally felt strong emotions at times which didn’t bring out the best in me! Practicing the above approach, I realised there was a deeper underlying issue within myself. With the new-found self-awareness I was able to navigate the situation more effectively. Mindset “I try to be more open to my internal experiences to better navigate life”.
Perform enjoyable physical exercise each day to the best of your capacity. Mindset “Exercise is my free and natural medicine”.
Eat a wide range of nutritious foods. They don’t need to be fancy, expensive or involve too much preparation. Mindset “I enjoy eating foods that nourish me”.
Perform activities (work, chores, eating, leisure etc.) in a mindful manner wherever possible. Take your time and enjoy doing things proudly rather than rushing. Mindset “I do things attentively and with intention”.
Be disciplined and conscientious whilst also being kind to yourself. Diligence in your life is important to take care of yourself and others, and to fulfil your responsibilities. Do this because it feels good and comes from a place of inspiration, rather than from pressure, fear or shame. Mindset “I try to be disciplined and conscientious whilst having reasonable expectations about what I can do".
Experience and embrace life. If we resist or block the opportunities and challenges that life presents to us, we live a less fulfilling life. Here are some ways we may experience and embrace life:
Start by practicing being less bothered by small irritations (when things don’t go your way or when people let you down etc). It might be useful to ask yourself “How can I learn or grow from this experience?”.
Take-on opportunities and challenges in small, manageable steps.
Mindset “I open myself to a fulfilling life and grow from experiences”.
Engage in small “pockets of joy” each day. For example, watch a sunset, stroll the shoreline barefoot, bake a cake or cuddle a loved-one or pet.
Written by Dr Roberta Szekeres, clinical psychologist.