It is that time again: January and the resolutions to make in the new year. There is something cathartic about putting pen to a nice clean paper in your new dairy and writing down your, hopes, dreams and resolutions for the year ahead. However, aiming too high is just a recipe for failure and after the last 3 years we really don’t need that added pressure.

So instead of resolutions how about a couple of smaller lifestyle changes (unless trekking the Andes is something you think is going to be totally doable in 2023, and if so, good for you!)

Dry January – or just cutting down.

Dry January is now in its tenth year and social media will be awash with #dryjan from the first. Giving yourself an alcohol free month will help you sleep better and have more energy, improve your mental health and concentration, look fabulous and get brighter skin, save money and feel an amazing sense of achievement.

If a month seems a bit much, particular in the misery of winter then just making some cut backs will be beneficial. Save your drinking for the weekends – but don’t see this as a chance to then binge a weeks worth of booze on a Saturday night. If you are out just have the one drink and then switch to a soft drink, for me a tonic with a slice of lime is nearly as refreshing as a G&T but without the hangover.

Eat more fruit and veg

This is not me telling you to east less, oh no. I actually want you to eat MORE! More fruit and veg, and maybe add in some nuts and seeds too for those healthy oils.

There are loads of ways to increase your fruit and veg intake. To start with try and make sure you incorporate some in every meal. Blueberries on your porridge in the morning, a nice veggie soup for lunch, a smoothie with avocado, spinach and some berries for your afternoon snack. And then going half pasta and half courgette spaghetti with your evening meal.

Try mixing it up, there are so many healthy options available nowadays even when sort on time all supermarkets have a healthier range of meals you can just bang in the microwave.

Make movement part of your daily routine

I am not saying join a gym (although feel free to if you have the resources) but I’m definitely recommending you to do something. Walk those shorter distance that maybe before you would drive. Head onto the internet and search ’15 min workouts’ – there are thousands of them, for all levels of fitness and needs, be it a super quick HIIT workout or a nice stretchy yoga practise. There are also many apps available to guide you on some outside activities, be it a mindful walk or Couch to 5k. Doing the exercise outside has so many other benefits as well with the fresh air and (albeit limited) sunshine.

Be mindful

Being more present and aware can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves and our feeling better.

The last three years has been a lot, and all of our mental health has been affected in some way. Being mindful can help us be more aware of our thoughts, stand back from them a bit and gradually start to see if there are any negative patterns to our behaviours. We can then start the process of training our minds to react in more beneficial way. Every Mind Matters has lots of advice and resources if you need a helping hand.

For some people though mindfulness may not cut it so please, if you are suffering, talk to your GP about other options available.

Visit your library and check out some new books (or any of the other resources on offer!)

‘The more you read, the more things you will know. The more things that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr Seuss

East Sussex Library Services doesn’t just do books (although even if they did that would still make them amazing!). Through visiting one of our branches or visiting our website you can have access to computers, research your family history, book a space for an interview, meet new friends, do some knitting, access Online learning resource, read newspaper and magazines AND borrow up to 20 books, 6 audio books, 6 DVDs  and 6 CDS (if you still partake)