As we step into the new year, our mental health and overall wellbeing have to become a source of concern to us. To achieve this we have to pick up new habits and do away with old knots that may have impaired our living conditions. I decided to collate a list of 10 simple things we can do this year that can help us improve our physical and mental conditions.
The best thing about this? They are really simple (almost insignificant effort needed in fact) and absolutely doable.
- Sing! I know, you do not exactly have the vocal gifts of British Songstress Adele. However, sing when you can. Sing carelessly, like nobody is listening to you. Scream out your favourite tunes with abandoned care. It helps you relax and gets you distracted enough to finish casual tasks.
- Laugh more heartily. Laugh louder than the joke. Bother on annoying, in fact.
- Take social media breaks. Yes, all that swiping on IG and Twitter is taking a toll on your dopamine. Take breaks that will last for weeks before you come back on. Detoxify.
- Take long walks. If you are not fit enough to run, then walk. Going somewhere less than three kilometers away from home? Walk it. Make sure to do so without your headphones.
- Less salt! Reduce your salt intake. As a matter of fact, do not add salt to your meal unless it is absolutely necessary. Take a cue from the Igbos-leave your white rice unsalted. You will not die, I promise.
- Easy on the paracetamol. I know I know, adulthood comes with a lot of baggage, including frequent visits by blistering headaches and body pain. However, do not turn paracetamol and other relief pills into a snack. When your head starts to ache, drink a lot of water and have some rest. Only take the pills when it has become absolutely necessary.
- Plant something – or buy a plant. The point is in the nurturing. Tending to your plant gives you a sense of responsibility. It’s like having a pet without having to deal with all the nuisance that comes along with having a pet. Watching your plant blossom into beautiful sprouts gives you a wholesome feeling of accomplishment I cannot underestimate.
- Reduce screen time. This isn’t about just social media anymore but your overall screen time. Reduce exposure to your phone screens and tablet screens and PC screens and even TV screens. Try as much as you can to utilize every opportunity to spend time away from your screens. Too much time in front of screens will give you stress!
- Declutter. Simply walk into your room and throw away things you do not need. You would be surprised at how much this helps.
- Sleep earlier. I know that the best hookups are negotiated at night (*winks*), but try as much as possible to wrap up all your obligations early and sleep.