Rae Bowen Therapy

Reducing Pain, Stiffness, Stress & Anxiety

Reducing Pain, Stiffness, Stress & Anxiety

Reducing Pain, Stiffness, Stress & Anxiety

New year, new regime

Do we need New Year’s Resolutions?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary a New Year’s Resolution is “a firm decision made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to do or refrain from doing something over the course of the coming year”. But is it ever realistic? Research shows us that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions will have been abandoned by February and only 8% of people actually achieve their goal.

Positive or negative?

The 8% will no doubt feel very positive but the 92% will feel very negative. For most of those resolutions that revolved around health or fitness, that negativity can come with self criticism, despondency and a feeling of failure. All three of these affect our happiness and unhappy people are at greater risk of being unhealthy people.

Many resolutions simply set us up to fail. It’s unlikely anyone will be able to find the time to go to the gym 3 times a week, meditate an hour a day and cook every single meal from scratch if they didn’t have time to do so before. If you’re going to set a resolution, set a genuinely achievable one.

So, what can we do?

Better still is to set three simple intentions and do your best with them. They are your goals. Your aims.

They aren’t rigid and they don’t succumb to the ‘achieve or fail’ mentality. Just remember to think about them every day.

  1. Drink more water
  2. Move more
  3. Learn to accept you will fail sometimes

Drink more

Our body is mostly water: 79% of our muscles; 73% of our brain; 83% of our lungs; 31% of our bones and about 90% of our blood plasma.  Water is essential to every system and function of the body. If you’re not getting enough of it, your’re not going to be functioning well no matter how much you think you’re looking after yourself.

How much water we need varies depending on a lot of factors including the food we eat, the stress levels we’re living with, our age, our weight, our exercise. How we ingest that water also varies depending on the diet we have.  There’s too much detail here for this short blog, but given that around 60% of UK adults admit to not drinking enough, the odds are that you might need more. Adults should be aiming for 2-2.5 litres of fluid a day. Some basic research, and honest assessment of, your diet and exercise levels should give a good indication as to how many glasses of water your body might be lacking.

Move more

Our bodies weren’t designed to sit down for the sheer number of hours most of us do. They get stiff and lack range of movement. Eventually it becomes difficult or even impossible to do the things we were able to do with ease as a child – squat, bend over, sit on the floor, use the stairs etc.

Walk more, play more, take the stairs more, stand up more, reach up, reach down, reach out. You get the picture. Just move. More.

Incorporating natural movement into everyday life ticks all boxes. It’ll become second nature and you’re helping your body without unrealistic regimes or self criticism.

Learn to accept you will fail sometimes

Self-criticism can be the driver for many of our New Year resolutions but negative emotions aimed at ourselves are hugely damaging. It becomes a vicious circle. We self criticise that we’re unfit. We decide to make a resolution to get fit. We fail. We self criticise. There are no winners here. It might sound like a very corny cliche, but learning self acceptance can be a life changer. And when we’re happier and not stuck in a negative cycle, guess what? We’re motivated to look after ourselves better.

 

Consider switching your mindset away from resolutions and towards simple, achievable steps and just see how you feel. And remember, don’t set yourself up to fail.
If you need any hands-on therapy to help you look after your body or your mind,  do get in touch.