by self-help expert Dr Pam Spurr.
There’s nothing like New Year to rock a new attitude. I don’t believe in classic resolutions though because people make massive promises they just can’t keep.
Instead below are small steps to put into action to make 2016 the best year for you. This begins with self-care. That’s the buzzword in the self-help world so get started in 2016 taking care of you.
- Challenge the negative voice in your head. The voice saying things like, “I’m useless, no one likes me.” Instead tell yourself things like, “I’m beginning to try at things. I am likeable.”
- People MOT cars but not their health. You might be young and think you’ll shake off that cough or constant tiredness. Instead go to the GP to check out what you can do.
- What you eat affects how you feel. Ditch comfort foods and replace with healthy snacks and meals. Everyone loves fizzy drinks but they’re packed with sugar and additives that wreak havoc on our moods. Limit them or have water, coconut water (the new health drink) or tea (packed with antioxidants!).
- Stop rushing everywhere. All of us are living 24/7 lifestyles when everyone needs to recharge at times. Don’t let a FOMO (fear of missing out) mean you feel you have to do everything your friends are doing. True friends understand if you need a little time-out one weekend.
- Energise your life with a little exercise. You don’t have to join a health club or gym but walk where you can, take the stairs and think about something fun like an urban dance class. Recent research shows those who regularly do a little exercise have a happier attitude generally.
- Take 10 minutes for daily meditation. Studies show that carving out a little time to switch off your mind – and focus on something positive – can boost your well-being. Choose somewhere quiet, turn off your ‘phone and do it.
- Time to dump people who bring you down. Sometimes we cling to people because we fear being lonely. You’ll be better off becoming stronger within yourself and meeting new people.
- Be the first to say sorry. Fallen out with a friend, your mum, or someone else? Deep down do you accept you played a part in the row? Then say those three little words and start healing the rift. Feeling you always have to be ‘right’ never helps in relationships.
- Stop worrying and look at things realistically. Think about the last time you worried about something. Did worrying change the situation? No! Instead set a goal to change a situation. Then plan how to reach that goal.
- Try a visualisation technique if you’re finding it hard to stop worry. Imagine a mental “stop sign”. When you start worrying, picture this big stop sign signaling you to dump worrying thoughts.
- Identify hot spots in your life that bring you down. Like are you always late in the morning? Practically no one likes getting up to go to college or work. But get practical about it. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and layout your work or college clothes the night before. You’ll feel better when not rushing.
- Learn something new. Whether you take on some technology you find challenging or want to learn a sport, go for it. Challenging yourself is the best way to build confidence.
- Don’t forget the good in your life. There are so many pressures around today. It’s easy to get bogged down in them. Look around at the good things you have – maybe your best friend, maybe it’s a supportive family member that makes a difference. Focus on the good when feeling bad.
- Remember you’re unique. Don’t always strive to fit in. Instead start believing in the fact that it’s wonderful to be you with your quirks!
- Finally, it’s never weakness to reach out if you’re struggling. Get help this year and don’t sit on problems.
About the author: Dr Pam Spurr is an award-winning radio presenter, agony aunt, relationship, sex and behaviour expert, and life coach. Dr Pam is the author of 14 self-help books on topics including sex, dating, happiness, emotional eating and dream interpretation. She has appeared as a contributor on TV programmes including This Morning, Loose Women, LK Today, Daybreak, GMB, The Wright Stuff, BBC Breakfast, and for ten years running as a resident behaviour expert on Big Brother’s Little Brother and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side. Pam has a doctorate in psychology from a London teaching hospital and is a chartered research, academic and teaching psychologist. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research looked at parenting/family issues.