Beat the January Blues and boost your happiness this month with 31 top tips from a range of health and wellbeing experts! This week we are posting tips for the 1-7 January. We will be posting more tips every week, so stay tuned…
1. Remember when you had a toothache
“Think back to how you felt when you last had toothache, or were in a relationship that wasn’t working, or when you were working in a job you hated… go into detail in your mind about how awful it was” says Marion Williamson, co-author of My Mind Won’t Shut Up! Meditation For People Who Don’t Meditate (£7.91). “Now, feel the relief you are no longer there. Feel grateful. There’s always something to feel happy about!”
2. Cuddle your pet
“Just five minutes of cuddling your pet can improve your mood and relax you by releasing ‘happy’ and ‘love’ hormones,” says vet and author of Your Pet, Your Pill: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to A Happy, Healthy and Successful Life (£12.61), Dr Margit Gabriele Muller. “The calming and comforting effect of your pet’s unconditional love helps fight loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression.”
3. Phone a friend (in need)
Mental health expert and author of Breakdown and Repair (£6.99), Mark Simmonds advises we should remember friends, colleagues or even relative strangers who we know are going through tricky times. “I call them my ‘warriors’ – they just need to talk, download, share, maybe even cry a bit. I just need to listen hard. This makes them just a little bit happier. Me too.”
4. Eat the rainbow – and that doesn’t mean sweets!
“Balance your meals with fruit and vegetables to maximise the amount of nutrients, antioxidants and feel-good polyphenols that will feed your stomach and appetite but also satisfy your gut and your soul” advises chef, gut health expert and founder of Dish Dash Deets, Dr Sunni Patel.
5. Take a breath
It might sound simple, but how we breath has a direct impact on our happiness, as author of Softening the Edge (£8.52), Mimi Nicklin explains: “By practising some simple deep breathing exercises you’re actually taking control of a whole avalanche of physiological effects that can lead to higher happiness levels! It all begins one breath at a time.”
6. Get out in the sun
“The weather in January might not be great, but try to get out and absorb some vitamin D by taking a walk in nature,” says Preventative Cardiology Specialist Pranita Salunke. “Walks in sunlight not only boost immunity but also help release happy hormones, serotonin.”
7. Date yourself
“Truth is, you really can be the love of your own life – but you have to work at it. Schedule a weekly date with yourself; this might mean going out for lunch alone, visiting an art gallery or simply curling up with a good book and a hot chocolate on the sofa. Make yourself a priority and block out time every week that’s dedicated only to you,” says award-winning young entrepreneur and author of new book She Made It (£12.05), Angelica Malin.