4 bad habits to wipe out in the first month of 2018
But when new year’s resolutions are thrown around, they’re only words until you action them - and that can often be the hardest part.
By doing everything too soon, you run the risk of being completely overwhelmed and giving up before January has even ended. Making healthy changes in your life and getting rid of bad habits needs to be done over time. But there’s plenty you can do in the first month of the year to make an easy transition to the fittest, healthiest, happiest, bendiest version of you.
First thing’s first - focus on cutting out these toxic routines and make 2018 your best year yet:
1. Processed food
We can’t move for headlines telling us the negative health effects of processed food and refined sugar. It doesn’t need to be a pricey, time-consuming transition if you want to eat as close to nature as possible. Grains such as quinoa can be whipped up in 10 minutes, freezers mean we can pre-prep big batches of wholesome food, and the web is awash with interesting healthy twists on junk food favourites. Cut out processed food and your taste buds will begin to crave real nourishment, rather than addictive, fake substitutes.
2. Sitting down
Sedentary lifestyles are common in the modern world, especially if you work at a desk. The human body is designed for movement - it’s what we’ve been doing for thousands of years. Now, millions of deaths a year are related to lack of physical activity - but through simple changes (i.e. simply standing up and moving more), you’ll see significant benefits to your health. Go for a brisk walk on your lunch break, skip the lift and take the stairs, or sign up for a motivating gym class - your body and brain will thank you for it.
One less caffeinated drink every day can boost your mood, sleep and health significantly. Quitting caffeine ‘cold turkey’ can trigger withdrawal symptoms - primarily headaches and lethargy - so doing it slowly can help your body adapt to life without the hit. Start by dropping your afternoon or evening caffeine fix and replace it with an immune-boosting brew such as a loose leaf tea or hot lemon and ginger. Rooibos tea also makes a delicious coffee alternative - without the caffeine.
4. No sleep routine
Get your body working with the Earth’s circadian rhythm. A good night’s rest is crucial for repairing and detoxing your body - there’s nothing like kick-starting your day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. To get better quality sleep, go to bed at the same time every night. Limit digital devices and bright screens an hour before you settle down - these external stimulants can make it hard to wind down. Avoid alcohol - while it may help you fall asleep quicker, it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is important to properly reset your body for the day ahead.