With the new year starting, it’s time to pick up some healthy habits to take us through the year ahead. Here, Jo Webber, Head of herbal education at Pukka Herbs rounds up some tips for a quieter mind in 2022.
The start of a new year is a time to centre ourselves, take stock of our future goals, and find some new self-care habits that can set us up for the months ahead. If you’ve been wondering what you can do to ensure that you remain calm, relaxed and positive throughout 2022, read on for some suggestions to explore — we recognise that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.
What self-care means for us can be very individual, whether it’s a yoga session, daily journaling, or a calming cup of herbal tea. So, take the opportunity this coming spring to spend some time on yourself, and find some habits that work for you.
You might have heard about how journaling can be beneficial to our mental health, and the beginning of a new year is a great time to start trying it out for yourself. The idea behind journaling is to make time to write and use it as a tool for clearing your mind and dealing with any worries, as well as clarifying your goals and plans.
There are lots of methods that you can use for journaling. Some people prefer to write to-do lists or gratitude lists, or you can write about the positive things that you experienced that day to reflect on them and make sure you are focusing on the good in your life. Whatever you choose, this is a practice that can really give you time to reflect on the day and keep you relaxed.
Think about ways you can support your mental health. As well as journaling, you might make more time to speak to friends and family, do some daily meditation or find other relaxation techniques that work for you, such as harnessing power of essential oils like lavender. You can find many free guided meditations on YouTube, and many gyms run classes that involve yoga, Pilates and other slow and mindful forms of exercise. Look up activities in your area to see if there are any that interest you and find one that fits your schedule — many classes can also be done from home, making them a great option for busy lifestyles.
Taking care of our bodies is just as important as taking care of our minds, and the two go hand in hand. Support yourself with a healthy diet and exercise. Moving for around 20 minutes each day is enough to increase your heart rate and improve blood flow. Walking briskly for 20–30 minutes is a simple form of exercise that can be an extremely relaxing activity too, and it can even be a good form of meditation for those that enjoy being active. Find the right exercise for you, as many people need more intense exercise, and having a few sessions each week can really add to your wellbeing.
It’s also important to stay hydrated throughout the day, and the best ways to do this are by drinking filtered water and herbal tea. Having a variety of herbal teas to drink is a great way of staying hydrated during the winter months when you might not feel like a cold drink. Herbal tea is also naturally caffeine-free and sugar-free, so you can stay warm and hydrated while getting the benefits of a variety of herbs too. Try supporting sleep with chamomile teas, and use warming herbs such as ginger to aid digestion.
If you’ve been feeling burnt out lately, perhaps you could think about lightening your workload so that it is more supportive of your mental and physical health and allows more time for relaxation, hobbies and time with family and friends. It’s easy to get carried away in the hustle and bustle, but try to break tasks down to make them more achievable and take breaks when you need to in order to manage stress better in 2022. If possible, be more open to delegating tasks, and remember that there is no shame in asking for help when you need it.
If you are feeling sluggish or demotivated at work, you could try out some energising herbal teas or supplements such as matcha, turmeric, or ashwagandha. Matcha green tea is a pick-me-up, as well as a refreshing drink. Whatever works for you, it can be helpful to find ways to give yourself more energy at work and more time to refresh your mind.
Making time to get a good night’s sleep is very important, but it can often become difficult with all the things that distract us throughout the week. So, build time into your evening to settle down properly, perhaps with a good book and a cup of herbal tea, so that you can make the most of your shut-eye.
If you struggle to get to sleep, spending time in the outdoors and doing exercise can be very helpful, so take the time to go for a walk and get some fresh air each day. Supplements such as valerian and ashwagandha can also help you to get a better night’s sleep and feel more refreshed in the morning.
The start of a new year is a great time to think about how you can better support your mental and physical health. So, try out a guided meditation, brew a herbal tea, plan your tasks to reduce the mental burden, and make the most of your time with family and friends for a healthy and happy 2022.