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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Start now for a better 2021

From a COVID-19 perspective, Canberrans must consider ourselves very blessed compared to other communities around the world in 2020. Nevertheless, between the bushfires and associated smoke haze that started the year, the damaging hailstorm and then the massive disruption of coronavirus, it feels like collectively we’ll all be mightily relieved when this year is finally over.

If you’re looking forward to a break over Christmas and the silly season, it’s worth taking a moment to consider your current state of wellbeing and how you can avoid simply limping over the finishing line and collapsing in a heap come the holidays.

Similarly, rather than waiting until January to make a last-ditch attempt at course correction via a New Year’s resolution, why not pick one thing you can do now that means you’ll end the year with a bit of wind in your sails.

Keep it simple

When it comes to wellbeing, I’m a big believer that most of us are aware of some simple changes we could implement that would make a difference to the way we feel. These are the low hanging fruit that you might have been ignoring. Unfortunately, the more out-of-sorts we feel, the more inertia we face and the less inclined we are to practise good self-care. With that in mind, I suggest focusing on making just one simple and achievable change between now and the end of the year.

The way to boost your wellbeing will be as unique as you are. It may be to drink more water, to walk for 30 minutes every day, to reduce your coffee intake by one cup a day, to have one more alcohol-free night a week, to get to sleep 30 minutes earlier or to wake up 30 minutes earlier and stretch. It might be to have one night a week of digital detox, i.e. no TV, no gaming, no devices, or it could be to spend some part of the weekend in nature.

Measure and monitor

The other key to success is to make it easy and measurable. If keeping better hydrated is the goal, then place your water bottle on your desk so that you can see at a glance whether you are completing the task. If you’re going for a walk in the mornings, get your runners out the night before. If you’re planning a digital detox night, make sure you’ve got a good book. If you’re reducing coffee, get some lovely herbal tea you can have instead.

Whatever you do, make sure you schedule it. Put reminders in your phone and laptop, create a spreadsheet or a little chart with coloured paper and stickers like you used to have when you were a kid. It may also help to share your goal with a friend, colleague or partner so you can both support each other to stay on track. The time to start feeling better is now; you’ll thank me come the holidays!

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