From Halloween to Thanksgiving, to Christmas and New Year’s, the end of the year tends to be a flurry of activity that can leave us feeling scattered, overwhelmed, and unable to concentrate even when the world gets back to normal in the New Year. The New Year is a time for new beginnings and routines so if you need a little help getting your mind back on track, here are a few ways to help reset your mind in the New Year.
Get Back Into a Routine
The end of the year activities can pull us away from our normal routines, the routines that help us feel grounded and in control. So when the ball drops, the kids go back to school (even if it’s virtually) and the house has been cleansed of cookies and candies, get back into a daily routine, or introduce a new one! Routines help us feel grounded, in control, and help us avoid things like staying up too late. Start your mornings by doing things that help you feel productive like a quick workout or reading a book that motivates you. Remember, the best morning routines start the night before so if you have big plans for the morning, prep in the evening.
Tips for a motivating morning:
- Don’t snooze (this sets a tone of procrastination for the day)
- Don’t check email (or your phone) in bed
- Move a little (it can be as little as 5 minutes, just get your blood flowing)
- Drink a glass of water
If your brain needs a hard reset after the last year, you first need to get out all the things clogging it up. Writing and journaling can be a great way to clear your mind and even uncover things that might be bothering you that you weren’t aware of. Writing is also a great emotional release if you want to start the new year with a clean emotional state. If you’re not used to it, it can be hard to get started so just use the internet to search for “journaling prompts” and look for the ones that resonate with you.
Physical activity is a great way to invigorate your mind if it’s feeling sluggish after weeks of treats and wine and movie marathons. If you don’t have a workout routine, or have strayed from yours, that’s ok…start small. Get outside and walk for 20 minutes. Do a few minutes of yoga stretches when you first wake up and in the middle of the day. Stand at your desk instead of sitting. Running (or aerobic exercise in general) actually makes you feel more relaxed and improves your mental health. So if you need a reset for the new year, work some activity into your routine.
Nothing can put you in a fog faster than weeks of junk food. Our diets impact not only the way we look but the way we feel. If you’re in need a recharge or reset, your diet could be a great place to start. Try cutting out sugar for a few weeks. Take an alcohol break if you’ve been enjoying some day drinking over the holidays. Replace red meat with chicken or fish for a bit. Try a cleanse. You don’t have to totally overhaul your diet but making a few small changes can have a huge impact on the way your body feels and that can impact your mindset.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep is the ultimate reset. The flurry of the end of the year can leave you feeling exhausted both mentally and physically so getting back into a good sleep schedule can be key to a successful restart. Research being done at the University of Wisconsin suggests that your synapses—the places where nerves connect—grow larger and stronger when they receive stimulation during your wakeful periods and then shrink by up to 20 percent overnight, creating room for more growth and learning at night. So make sure you get a full night’s sleep and try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Make Sure You’re Supported
Whether you’re going to be moving more, standing at your desk, or just going to work like normal, making sure your body has the right support can help you feel better in general. Your shoes and the support of those shoes can help keep your whole body in line and body alignment is an important piece of your overall health.
Start the new year off with a support system that supports you from the ground up!