Are you a New Year smugger?

Smug therapy is good for the soul  >  The new year is well under way and all around your friends are giving up on their resolutions. How you have to hold back your ‘told you so‘ thoughts! Your smugness has a feel good factor, albeit you have to overlook that you did not fail because you did not try. Be careful though, as there are warnings of a smugness epidemic.

But maybe it is not too late to try a few lifestyle changes of your own – in secret of course. Fashionable is building self-awareness through things like meditation. According to the self-help gurus, self-awareness is the ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives. Building it can play a crucial role in improving mental and physical wellbeing.

By understanding your feelings, motivations and behaviours in more depth, you can begin to act more consciously in order to make better choices for yourself.

The trouble is that it sounds too self-righteous! Much better to revolutionise your life with something more tangible, such as yoga, running or lifting weights.

A gut feeling about health

Much less exhausting is fostering a neighbour’s dog. Cheaper than starting a gym membership or a pilates class, which statistically you will abandon within a month or so anyway. A dog is more of a commitment and walkies are compulsory and a free passport to fitness.

But instead of finding ways to walk off the pounds, it is much easier to stop putting them on in the first place. Diversity is the key, so aim for at least 30 different plant-based foods per week. That is because plant-based diversity has a key role in good gut health.

Status quo therapy

Yet we all know that, however good all these lifestyle changes ideas seem, they are just wishful thinking. Life has to go on and it is far easier to go with the flow. Procrastination and the status quo are so beguiling!

Much better to go to bed and leave all this talk of change to another year. “And as it happens, sleep is about the best therapy you can get,” says Tonic’s sleep therapist.

Even being mildly deprived of it – five hours a night – can affect a range of cognitive functions, including decision making.  There are lots of things you can do to get a better night’s sleep, from avoiding caffeine too close to bed to having a consistent bedtime.

“But my top tip is to stop using electronic devices like phones and laptops well before bedtime, or at least put on a filter that blocks the blue light in them.”

Sweet dreams and enjoy your smugness therapy.

4 thoughts on “Are you a New Year smugger?

    • Lesley Kell (Warwick) says:

      There are lists of specific things that you can do to actively make your life healthier, but if you are not enjoying your life you will not do them. You are tackling the wrong issue. Make your mission easier by making one change in your life that will make you smile more often. At the same time, identify one thing that makes you unhappy and try to do something to improve it. Secure those simple objectives and you’ll be ready to look to other things to really give your health a boost further into the year. And oh yes -I agree with Tonic that lots of sleep is great!

  1. Roger I. Lamb says:

    The bacteria in our gut – collectively known as the microbiome – have a profound role in our health.
    Your advice about gut health is well made. Everything from allergies and obesity to bowel and even depression have been linked to gut bacteria. The best way to get more plant-based diversity in your diet is by being wiser about the foods you purchase. Instead of buying chickpeas, buy the four-bean mix; or instead of buying one type of seed, buy the four-seed mix. Simple common sense when it comes to food shopping can achieve miracles.

  2. Candy (Client 88) says:

    I don’t want to re-open the debate about the pointlessness of New Year’s Resolutions as it is obvious that if you need a date change to make something happen – it won’t work. In any case, these are arbitrary goals that are often difficult to achieve and failing to reach them can be demoralising. Far better to focus on trying to be happier. Find out what makes you feel like that and put all your efforts into achieving that single objective

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