They normally make me cringe. But as the New Year is only a week old, I thought it worthwhile to comment on this.
I for one don’t believe it is feasible because most people would ditch their gym membership by the end of January if only they could as they have signed up for 12 months minimum membership and are now tied to weight-lifting machines and cross trainers (remember these gyms are businesses, and they know what they’re doing and want you to fall for their special discount offers). It’s a mystery anyway why you would want to puff away on a treadmill if you can be outside, but that’s just a personal thing… Other common things you get to hear are going on yet another diet only to return to your bad eating habits afterwards, stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, you get the picture!
Well, and then there are some things that can be implemented to make some of the above much easier, i. e. formulating a goal which makes it possible to have more exercise or weight reduction as a side effect and not as the prime object. Very often, you might get fed up if your endeavours are not met with instant results or you, understandably, simply get bored. These “other things” can be of benefit not just to your health and well-being but also the environment while giving you that sense of achievement which is very often what we are actually looking for when we are yearning for a change in our lives. Sometimes it can help to divert your attention to something else while you are rewarded in other departments without feeling all that pressure on you. The latter can of course very often inhibit any progress and make you feel even more worthless. On the other hand, you might even enjoy spending time outside, eating healthier on a long-term basis and not just for the time you had planned to spend dieting. The following ideas might help you to be more mobile, more thoughtful and resourceful in body and mind.
I have the following thoughts this year:
- Create an indoor garden. You can start off with succulents and cacti (which are supposedly quite easy). Then a fern column. And perhaps a bromeliad tree. Add some foliage plants. I’ll see how I get on.
- De-clutter the cleaning cupboard from the strongest chemicals, you seriously do not need in the house and were better to ditch anyway. For example, you do not need the most aggressive detergent to unclog your drain pipe. Baking soda and vinegar will do, that is after you have tried hot water and a plunger first.
- Create a bug garden – this is especially for the bugs we feel most attached to such as bees and butterflies. Their favourites are buddleia, nettles, lavender, honeysuckle and catmint. It is also important of course, that native plants are used. For the winter, provide an insect home for them to hibernate. You can either by them or make simple ones yourself, like sticking twigs into an old jam jar and leaving it on the windowsill – ladybirds might become your new tenants.
- Go beachcombing and clear away the plastic waste and thereby connecting with other members of the community. I am going to clean away as much as I can on the beach in front of our house. Another beach clean is scheduled in Southerness near Dumfries. So, try and look out for these things, look for websites which list events in your local area. If you live far away from the sea, look at woodland conservation etc. Get involved!
- Start composting. Now, there are a few things to think about if you want to get this right, and therefore this point requires a post for itself. So look out for one of the following posts. In the meantime, this might be helpful.
- Try out new ideas to make our home more eco-friendly. This includes doing a lot of things DIY of course. And simplify things. Convenience isn’t everything. All these include being mobile and active, as well as focused and doing some jobs instead of vegetating in front of the TV. Sometimes that is, of course, enjoyable and necessary so as just to unwind, but ask yourself if you really want that to be one of your main occupations for most of the day if you have already spent 10 hours in front of screens (and that is without mobile phone time being taken into account).
- Buy my vegetables from a local hydroponics farm and thereby support a local business instead of supporting only the giant supermarkets. I am not saying to ban them altogether (how could we at the present stage we’re in), but learning about how things grow while strengthening the bonds within the community makes you more aware and thoughtful of what it is you actually really need.
I assume that these points are enough to start with this year, especially as I am, on a personal note, soon expecting the birth of my first baby. But all these things listed above are a good way, I think, to introduce our new family member to what matters most.
Ultimately being more resourceful will also reduce your stress and quite possibly regulate your whole nervous system (with a direct effect on your endocrine and immune system) which will make it easier for you to handle these ailments which are so common in our society.
Good luck and what are your thoughts?