Now the Christmas festivities are over, we are back to the harsh reality of daily life however, the New Year gives us the chance for a fresh start, the opportunity to make a few changes to our lives and have a greater sense of wellbeing.
- Control calories to stop weight gain.
- Eat more whole grains.
- Consume five/seven servings of vegetables and fruit per day.
- Do not avoid fat entirely; instead, consume healthy fats in moderation. Pick protein and dairy sources based on their low-fat content.
- Find alternatives to calorie-laden beverages, and rein in the sweet tooth.
- Decide on a date to quit and stick to it.
- Draw up a plan of action, think about what methods are available for you and have them ready before the quit date.
- Keep busy to take your mind off cigarettes.
- Throw away all your ashtrays, lighters, and tobacco.
- Drink plenty of fluids, keep a glass of water, sugar-free drink by you and sip it steadily, try different flavours.
- Get more active, walk instead of using the car, and try the stairs instead of the lift.
- Change your routine, try to avoid the shops where you usually buy your cigarettes, avoid smoking areas.
- Treat yourself; use the money you are saving by not smoking to buy something special that you would not usually have.
- Be careful what you eat, try not to snack on fatty, sugary foods, try raw vegetables or sugar-free gum.
- Take one day at a time, each day without a cigarette is good news for your heart, health, your family and your pocket.
Anxiety and depression.
- If you are feeling worried, anxious or down, there are many things you can do to help yourself:
- Be more active.
- Do not withdraw from life, socialise more.
- Do not drink too much alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, drinking will not help you solve your problems, and it could exacerbate your depression.
- Have a routine, when people feel down they can get into poor sleeping patterns by staying up late and/or sleeping during the day.
- Try to get up at your normal time and stick to your routine. Not having a routine can affect your eating, try to eat regularly and have a balanced diet.
- Talk with each other, take time, and genuinely listen
- Listen with your ears and your heart, ask questions, and share information.
- Keep expectations realistic.
- Be flexible.
- Be dependable, healthy relationships requiring trust and respect.
- Argue fairly, do not criticise, do not assume things, and make time to talk.
- Be prepared to admit you are wrong and to say sorry.
- Show your warmth and ’emotional understanding’.
- Keep your relationship balanced, work, rest and play.
- Be prepared to ask for help when you need it.
New Year’s resolution.
- Pick one main resolution and focus on that.
- Changing habits and behaviours takes a lot of energy, so concentrate all your efforts on the one thing that matters the most.
- Keep it up! Research shows it takes three weeks to form a good habit.
- Set yourself a goal to keep track of progress; one that is achievable and measurable. For instance, ‘losing weight’ is not enough, put a target on it, how much and by when.
- Tell people, sharing your goal with others increases the chances of you keeping your promise.
© 2013 – 2015, Content: Dr Vasilios Silivistris – Artwork: Ian Francis. All rights reserved.