At the start of a new year we all feel the same; sluggish from Christmas, reflective on the year that’s passed, and crossing our fingers that the year to come will be packed full of achievements and highlights. You’ve probably scribbled down a list of resolutions somewhere and chances are one of them is to get fit, go back to the gym, or be more active. It’s hard in the wake of festive indulgence to not fall prey to the toxic diet chat and new-year-new-me cliches floating around but try your best. Instead, think about whole-body health, from your brain to your toes. Your new year health kick should include your mind just as much as your abs, so kick off your new year with a refresh of mind, body and soul. To help you get started, here are our tips and suggestions for whole-body wellness in 2020.
Make 2020 the year you actually start meditating. You’ve heard about all the benefits, so we think it’s finally time to give it a go. Apps like Calm, Headspace and Aura offer short and easy guided meditations on almost any topic or situation you could think of, as well as beginners courses to help you get to grips with turning off. Just a short meditation is supposed to work wonders for your wellness, helping to control anxiety, lengthen your attention span and even help fight off old-age memory loss.
Our favourite mindfulness app is Aura. Giving you a free 3-minute meditation each day, an easy-to-use and analyse mood tracker, access to a bank of white noise tracks to help you sleep and space to write gratitude lists, this app is a mindfulness haven. Having a one-stop-shop complete with everything you could want or need will help make building a new healthy habit far easier, you can even set your set notifications to remind yourself to meditation, breathe and drink more water.
You might think this suggestion should belong in the body category, but that’s exactly where you’re going wrong. A lot of us have been avoiding yoga for a while, put off by the fear of not being flexible enough to master a simple warrior pose, let alone the flow that the instructor seems to do with no effort at all. But that’s not the point. Yoga isn’t about how deep into a stretch you can go, but about listening to your body, reconnecting and doing what feels right, all about mental wellness over physical gains. It doesn’t have to be strenuous or sweat-inducing, instead, you can see yoga as a form of meditation, helping your body feel relaxed as well as your mind. If you struggle to turn off during a classic sit-down meditation, yoga is a great option as it keeps your mind focused while still promoting de-stressing and relaxing. If you can change your view of yoga from exercise to a task for your mental wellness, it suddenly becomes a great act of self-care.
And the best thing? There are a million and one types of yoga for you to try and thousands of incredible studios up and down the country to visit. From goat yoga to hot yoga, there’s a strand for everyone, giving you enough options to find a style that feels the best for you and your brain.
We especially love Chroma Yoga, a studio in London that’s combining light therapy with yoga. Using scientific-research, Chroma yoga uses different colour lights to help undo the damage of the blue light we are fed by our phones and laptops all day, a light frequency that is stress-inducing and sleep reducing. Their classes mix light, sound and scent with gentle yoga flows to promote a happy, refreshed mind. They look so beautiful, we’re obsessed.
Alternative, get into the habit at home with the hundreds of yoga channels on youtube. A favourite of ours is Yoga Dose. His videos are easy to follow and don’t overdo it on all the namastes and affirmations if that kind of spiritual wellness isn’t really your thing. Youtube videos are a great way to start and many channels offer 30-day beginners challenges to get you suitably hooked.