Start this year as you mean to go on – by looking after you. Discover the power of mindfulness, create a spa experience in your home, and shift your focus on fitness
No Such Thing As Normal
One in four of us experience mental health issues every year, so why do we still shy away from the conversation? Author of Mad Girl, Bryony Gordon shares practical advice, covering subjects such as sleep, self-image, and therapy, to help us feel a little bit less alone.
(Out 7 Jan, Headline Publishing Group, £14.99)
2. Out and about
Studies have shown that being in awe of something, such as looking up at the stars, makes us kinder. It helps us feel “diminished in the presence of something greater than oneself”. Grab a blanket, lie down to wonder at the stars, and see if you can spot any seasonal constellations.
(Find tips for stargazing at nationaltrust.org.uk)
3. Lend us your ears
From the creators of the Meditation Studio app, ‘Untangle’ is the podcast where real people share how mindfulness practices have changed their lives. Each episode includes expert insight on how self-compassion and meditation can help us to overcome anxiety and stress.
(Listen to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify)
4. Tech tip-offs
Hub of Hope
Taking the first step to talk to someone about your mental health can be hard, but no matter what you’re going through, you should never have to face it alone. The Hub of Hope app is here to help you find support close to you, by bringing together NHS, Samaritans, Mind, and more than 1,800 registered national and local mental health support services.
(Download from the App Store and Google Play)
5. Put on a show
Create your own spa day at home for ultimate relaxation. Set the scene with some soothing candles, essential oils, and a hot bubble bath. Try out DIY treatments, including a face mask and self-massage, before getting stuck into your favourite book… (or magazine!)
(Download our free DIY self-care booklet at shop.happiful.com)
6. Plugged in
Feel Good Club
The Feel Good Club is about exactly that – feeling good. Kiera and Aimie founded the club to empower people to invest time and energy into the things that bring us joy, and cut out the negativity that can often come from comparison on social media. Follow the page for gentle reminders that you are enough, and you deserve to be happy.
(Follow @wearefeelgoodclub on Instagram)
7. Get going
It’s all too common for us to set ourselves ambitious fitness goals in the new year, only to lose motivation after the first month. Tally Rye shares how to build a healthy relationship with exercise, and take part in accessible workouts that leave us feeling full of joy.
(Follow @tallyrye on Instagram)
8. Treat yourself
Aya Aromas Nostalgic Soy Candle
Brighten your home and your spirit with a luxury candle from Aya Aromas. Sisters Georgette and Sophinne began making candles as a form of therapy during the first UK lockdown, and before long decided to turn their hobby into a business. Their goal is to spread the message of self-love through their candles and the affirmations that come with them.
(£20, shop online at ayaaromas.co.uk)
9. Square eyes
Ever wished you could redo a whole year? In this heartwarming film, from the writer of Love Actually, Tim learns that the men in his family can travel through time. After going back to fix a New Year’s fail, and experimenting with his past and future, Tim realises that although things might not always go right the first time, we can learn a lot from even the smallest challenges.
(Watch on Amazon Prime and Netflix)
10. The conversation
Why not try going vegan for January? Including more plant-based meals in your diet is a great way to be kind to your body, and the planet. If you’re not ready to take the plunge, how about dipping your toe in the water by going vegan for two days a week? It could be a great way to freshen up your recipes, and be more green.
(January 2021, find out more at veganuary.com)