Spring, rather than the start of the year, is the best time to make resolutions for the year. The days get longer, flowers begin to bloom, and the sun makes more regular appearances. I’m not alone in thinking this – numerous cultures and religions mark spring as the pivotal point of the year.
We recently had Holi – the festival of colour in the Hindu tradition, and Nowruz – new year in Persian culture. And in the coming weeks, we have Qingming (Tomb-sweeping, China), Passover (Jewish tradition) and Easter (Christian tradition). On top of all of this, we just had the spring equinox when day and night are of equal length, and so after this equinox, the days get longer.
And not only do we have the spring backdrop, but in most countries, restrictions around COVID are being lifted, so we can all more confidently emerge from what seems like a cave. The time is therefore perfect to motivate yourself to start afresh with new resolutions. My bias is to pick simple acts that will have a big impact. Here are four I’ll be focused on:
Stand up every 20 minutes. Since the pandemic, I feel like I’ve been hunched at my desk all day. Zoom calls, remote working and living in the digital world have caused this. My body is suffering the consequences. My right hip is playing up and my posture has worsened. A simple remedy is to stand up and walk around every 20 minutes. This breaks the monotony of sitting and will hopefully help my body recover its flexibility.
Swap sweet snacks for fruit. I can blame this on the pandemic as well. I’ve got into the habit of losing all eating discipline in the evenings and venturing into the kitchen to grab something sweet and processed. This could be chocolate bars masquerading as a protein snack, ice cream or even biscuits. It’s hard to go cold turkey on a sweet tooth, so when I get the urge, I’ll now reach for an apple or blueberries.
Read for 10 minutes a day. I used to get through a book a week, but I’ve struggled to get through a book a month over the past year. Losing my commute to work hasn’t helped, but I’ve also started to replace reading books with watching TV. To get back into book reading shape, I’m going to start reading for at least 10 minutes a day. That will get my reading habit back into action.
3 min meditation every day. There’s a ton of evidence that meditating h2elps your mental well-being.Moreover, you don’t have to buy in to the belief systems of the traditions that have mastered meditation (like Buddhism or Sufism) to get the benefits of meditation. As for my preferred style, I use a very simple version regularly. I do a short meditation on my train ride into work, where I close my eyes and just focus on my breath. If I notice I am caught up in my thoughts, I don’t judge that I failed, I simply return to focusing on my breath. Simple and very effective.
Let me know what your spring resolutions would be?
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