Out with the old, in with the new. 2018 has officially arrived and it’s time to nestle into January. While it can be tempting to let the winter blues take over – who doesn’t have a hard time accepting that the holidays are an entire year away? – now is the most important time to take care of your mental health. After all, it’s the first month of the year and you certainly don’t want to start 2018 with a frostbite attitude. So, grab your daily planner and schedule these 10 activities into January and start the new year off the right way!
One: Start/Commit to Meditating Daily
The first step to mindfulness is to meditate. If you aren’t already meditating, make it your mission this month to start. However, this takes more than simply dedicating a day to meditate. Thorough, deep meditation takes time and practice. So, set aside as many days as possible to treat yourself to 5 minutes of distraction-free, deep-breathing alone time.
If you already meditate or know how to meditate, dedicate January to getting in the habit of doing it every day. You can meditate as little as 5 minutes a day. So, no excuses allowed. Just grab your mala beads and give yourself those 5 precious minutes.
Two: Eliminate an Unhealthy Food Item
Notice how we didn’t say, “eat cleaner?” Going from your current diet into an insanely healthy, clean diet is never going to be an enjoyable experience. If you can do it, great! However, if you’re more of a snacker and like to indulge in the sweeter, carby things in life, it’s completely okay to start off slowly.
This January, decide to eliminate one unhealthy food item from your diet. It might be chips or ice cream, sugary teas or lattes, or even French fries or potatoes in general. Come February, you’ll be feeling the effects and will be ready to eliminate another unhealthy food item. Twelve months down the road and you’ll have one heck of an awesome diet, sans all the stress of doing it cold-turkey.
Three: Try Different Mindful Meals
Speaking of food, might as well add in some new healthy food items to try. Mindful meals, also known as Buddha bowls, are a combination of foods, textures and flavours, all of which are carefully put together to provide a delicious meal. You can enjoy a mindful meal in the morning with some chia pudding and oats or a crunchy Buddha bowl for dinner – the choice is yours.
And the best part is that there are so many different options and variations of each. So, try some of them out this January and come February, you’ll have some favourites to savour.
Four: Go To Bed Earlier
We can hear all the night-hawks moaning already. Going to bed early isn’t easy for everyone, especially for people with an overactive mind. However, a good night’s rest is absolutely imperative to the health of your mind, body and spirit. So, commit to getting a full 8 hours (or more) of sleep every night.
If you’re having difficulties shutting it down so early, commit to meditating with mala beads prior to crawling in bed. It’ll clear your mind of all of the thoughts that keep you up at night.
Five: Stop Hitting Snooze
Speaking of sleep, let’s talk about waking up. Now we can really hear everyone moaning. Waking up isn’t something that most people get excited about. However, with the right amount of sleep (an early bedtime) and new morning habits, it really doesn’t have to be so bad.
It starts with avoiding the snooze button. If you’re like us, you too have a love-hate relationship with the snooze button. Who doesn’t? However, you've likely never felt better after pressing snooze a gazillion times. No one does. So, make a habit of waking up as soon as the alarm goes off, even if you’re still feeling super exhausted. You’ll start to feel better moving forward, especially when this becomes your new morning routine.
Six: More H20
You’ve heard it a million times before and it’s because water is important – drink more H20. When you’re dehydrating, nothing works the way it should – not your brain, body, emotions or spirit. So, treat yourself to a new flashy travel-bottle, indulge in one of those new hydration gadgets if you need to, and drink up!
Seven: Live More, Work Less
There’s nothing wrong with being a workaholic as long as you take time to live just as well. If you find that you’re spending all your hours working, try to either decrease your work hours or wake up earlier to enjoy doing something you want to do.
Eight: Finally Join That Yoga Class
Goat yoga, horse yoga, aerial yoga, oh my! There are so many awesome yoga classes you’ve been wanting to try but have yet to actually sign up. Well, this January, make it your goal to finally join that one yoga class you’ve been secretly stalking online for the past year.
Nine: Wear Mindful Fashion
Fashion really has nothing to do with your mindfulness…. That is, unless it’s mindful fashion! Mala beads are an excellent choice of mindful fashion that is just as stylish as it is powerful. These unique strings of beads will help generate positive energies, channel your intentions and can even assist you with mindfulness throughout the day.
Ten: Join Mala Prayer
Last but certainly not least, sign up for the Mala Prayer newsletter. We’re always sending out new and awesome things to try, ways to be more present and new mala beads to add into your wardrobe.
Make January a month that counts! In twelve months, you’ll be looking back saying, “Wow! Look how much I’ve changed my life simply by dedicating each month to ten different things.” A healthy and happy life starts with a healthy and happy mind.
So, let’s raise our mala beads and cheers to a mindful new year!