Having celebrated and welcomed in the New Year, it is the ideal time to think carefully about whether you should use this opportunity to change certain elements in your lifestyle. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you change things regularly? Or do you prefer getting into a routine and sticking with it?
- Do you actively seek new things? New places, new faces, new technologies, or new ways of living? Or do you tend to gravitate towards the things that are known and familiar.
Which is better; is it healthier to change all of the time, or is routine and stability a preferable way to go?The answer lies in both.
According to research, our physical bodies require change. Different stressors, such as exercise, varied diets and even small doses of toxins, make us adapt and grow stronger. Our mental and spiritual well-being also requires change to evolve and grow. New experiences provide us with new references and perspectives. Challenging situations allow us to develop new strategies to better handle ourselves in the future. So, change can be good! However, change also requires some sort of framework. Something solid; something grounded; something familiar even.
The routine part of life helps you cope with change – provided you put the right values, routines and structures in place. Habits and routines take some of the mental work out of each day, allowing us to go on autopilot and save our mental abilities for more difficult work. But you need to set them up correctly. Habits such as showering and teeth cleaning are great, but poor habits such as smoking, mindless eating or procrastination will quickly rob you of good health.
Our values are also an essential reference point to help us remain grounded when the rest of our universe is uncertain. Be clear on your values, define what they are, and they will never change, no matter what is going on around you (unless of course you elect to change them – they are yours after all).
MOLLY MAID, the professional house cleaners, recommend that much like residential cleaning, the trick to harnessing the health benefits of change is to practice it on a regular basis.
Small changes applied on a regular basis will strengthen your coping strategies and get you used to trying new things.
MOLLY MAID recommends a few ways in which you can practice change:
- Eat seasonally: Eating fresh, seasonal and local produce is not only better for you, but you will learn new recipes and cooking techniques as well as, get a wider variety of nutrients and limit your risk of toxic build-up.
- Change your exercise routine seasonally: The body adapts and learns quickly. Failure to change your exercise regime will result in loss of results and you may plateau. Aligning your exercise changes to the seasons is a great way to introduce 12 weekly programs as well as change your training according to the temperature outside!
- Take a new route to work: Change is as good as a holiday! The simple act of mixing up our route to work can change the tone of the entire day.
- Talk to new people: There is no better way to practice change than by getting out of your comfort zone. Strike up a conversation at your favourite local shop – you may be surprised at how easy it is!
- Travel: One of the simplest ways to take a break and gain new experiences at the same time is to travel. It is often after a period of travel that we implement new things into our lives.
- Volunteer: Assist those in need and gain a greater understanding of life, from all different perspectives.
- Address bad health habits: Want to quit smoking? Want to reduce your alcohol consumption? Want to deal with food addiction? You will only achieve these things and true freedom if you are open to and willing to accept change.
Change is good. Change is necessary, so why not cease the moment and introduce some positive changes into 2015.