NEW YEAR – NEW YOU. A REALISTIC GUIDE TO 2021 WELLBEING GOALS
Let's talk about your 2021 goals
2021 has begun and despite all our hoping and wishful thinking, the year has kicked off as chaotic as ever. This year will be different and therefore so should your 2021 aspirations. It’s the year to go easy on yourself, the year to prioritise self-care and self-love. We really don’t know what this year has in store for us and we definitely can’t control it! So, focus on your body and your mind and set realistic and achievable goals for the year - and in case you need a hand, we’ve created a list of achievable and realistic goals for 2021.
Write down all your accomplishments of 2020
There is no disguising the fact that 2020 was tough. However, it’s very easy to think that we didn’t achieve much or that our lives were put on hold as we faced a global pandemic. Saying this – I honestly believe you probably achieved more than you think. Write a list of all your accomplishments no matter how mundane. Did you save some money due to lockdown? Did you apply for any new jobs? Did you spend more time speaking to old friends via video call? Did you learn any new skills? (learning to make banana bread counts!). Even if you didn’t achieve anything tangible, the fact that you got through the year is an accomplishment in itself. This activity will help you appreciate last year and feel grateful for the little wins.
Eating a healthy breakfast every morning has so many benefits. It speeds up your metabolism and gives you the energy you need to get through your day (or at least to lunch!). When you wake up after sleeping, your blood sugar is normally low. Eating breakfast replenishes it and helps your muscles and brain work at their best.
Reduce your screen time
As we spent much of last year in some sort of lockdown, chances are you spent an increased amount of time scrolling on social media, checking the news or on a video call with a friend, family member or even a colleague. According to an article by the BBC, 50% of people found themselves on their phones more in 2020. This year – make it a goal to limit your screen time. This can be as simple as turning off notifications or switching your phone off once you go to bed.
Be proactive with your health
Most of us are guilty of only visiting a doctor when we’re already ill or leaving years between our “annual” health checkups. This year set a goal in 2021 to visit a GP for a checkup and to make sure your health is in tip-top shape. Preventative healthcare is a way to detect any illnesses or issues before they even become a problem.
At London Doctors Clinic, we offer LifeSmart health screens and COVID MOTs so you can take a proactive approach to your health no matter your age. Our LifeSmart health screens provide you with the ability to find health risks early and guide you to make better lifestyle choices about your health. This could even include finally kicking some of those unhealthy habits that may cause long-term illness i.e. smoking.
Look after your physical health
New Year’s resolutions are often filled with unattainable fitness and diet goals leading us to feel guilty when they’re not reached. This year set realistic physical wellbeing goals such as running a 5k or simply drinking more water throughout the day. Making your physical health goals for 2021 SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) will increase your chances of achieving them.
If you think you’ll need to some help to achieve these goals, why not consider a weight management programme.
Don’t forget about your mind!
Just like your physical health, you need to prioritise your mental wellbeing in 2021. Last year took a mental toll on many people so this year make sure to look after your mind. Try meditation, yoga or simply take some time out of each day to spend some time alone to process your thoughts and feelings.
Most importantly, if you do find yourself struggling, speak to someone. Whether a friend, family member, colleague or a medical professional. We don’t know what 2021 has in store for us so never struggle in silence.
Sleep is a basic need and a lack of it will impact on other areas of your life. According to the NHS, most of us need 8 hours of sleep to function properly. A lack of sleep can impact your overall health in a number of ways and increase the risk of serious medical conditions like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. This year set a goal to achieve the recommended amount of sleep as much as possible.
There are lots of tools available that will help you to get enough sleep. At London Doctors Clinic, we offer a sleep screen, which brings you the latest sleep monitoring technology and allows our medical professionals to monitor how you sleep and provide guidance and recommendations for better sleep.
Spend more time with friends and family
And yes, video calls count! Last year we didn’t get to see friends and family as much as we would have liked. This year reach out to them more. This could be as simple as sending them a message every couple of weeks or arrange a monthly video call to catch up and check in with your loved ones. You’ll be surprised how much they appreciate it!
We’re all going through the unusual situation of COVID-19 together. However, each one of us may be dealing with it differently. Whether you’ve had COVID-19, been put on furlough or are even finding the isolation particularly difficult, it’s impacted everyone in one way or another. This year be more empathetic to what others are feeling and going through. Check in with your loved ones and if you think someone is struggling, talk to them regardless of whether you have experienced similar feelings. During a situation of uncertainty, empathy is the best quality a person can have.
If you need emergency support, please go to your local A&E or call NHS 111 (in England). You can also contact the following crisis support hotlines:
Samaritans – 116 123 (24/7, 365 days a year)
SANEline – 0300 304 7000 (6pm – 11pm, 365 days a year)