This past year was a challenge, to say the least. Even so, 2020 taught us some important life lessons. We learned about the values of healthy habits, having strong communities, and maintaining positive relationships. With 2021 now upon us, we can look to the future with plenty of hopefulness by setting mindful New Year’s Resolutions. Although a traditionally Western custom, New Year’s Resolutions allow people to set their own personal goals and expectations for the year ahead. Here are three simple mindfulness practices to keep you healthy and happy throughout 2021.
1. Do more yoga.
To this day, I still remember my first time taking a yoga class. My instructor was walking around the room while we all laid in Child’s Pose coming back to our breath. Everything we were doing was brand-new to me, and frankly, a little intimidating. Amidst my thoughts, the instructor said to the class: “A yoga practice is the one time of the day you get to be alone with your body.” Right then and there, it clicked in my mind; that’s why yoga, and exercise in general, is so important. We spend our days being so on-the-go. We focus on so many things at once, paying very little attention to our bodies in the present moment. Getting started with a healthy exercise routine is the best way to live in the present and recenter yourself.
Yoga itself is a beautiful exercise that has a long history dating back over 5,000 years in Northern India. In modern times, one purpose of yoga is for self-development between the mind and body. It’s a way to perform an all-encompassing wellness routine that keeps you healthy, strong, and happy. Also, getting started is easy! There are thousands of online yoga classes on YouTube and beyond. This enables you to follow from the comfort of your home. Start with the basics, and each day you can improve on your own time for what your body needs most. You will feel energized, positive, and like a whole new person for the new year!
2. Start a new hobby.
Picking up a new hobby is another great way to practice mindfulness. When we do things that we love, we’re dedicating the time to ourselves to be present and practice self-care. Starting something new, or even expanding an old hobby, is a great segway into physical and mental wellness. Some great hobbies to pick up for 2021 include:
- Learning to play an instrument
- Gardening (indoors)
- Creating art
- Making music
- Learning how to cook
This list is non-exhaustive, of course. Find your passion and incorporate it into your lifestyle.
3. Practice gratitude.
Part of recentering yourself means practicing gratitude throughout your day. With so much going on in the world, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the fog. However, returning to what you are grateful for is an easy way to ground yourself in the present. Try to take time each day to be grateful for one thing. It can be anything big or small, simple, or complex. It sounds simple in itself to do such a thing, but the outcomes will be astounding. One basic gratitude practice is to simply journal your thoughts and one thing you are grateful for each day.
Another important aspect of gratitude is incorporating it into your mealtimes. You can practice mindfulness while eating by showing gratitude for the food you prepared, the company you surround yourself with, and for your body. You can follow these five simple steps to learn more about mindful eating and showing gratitude during your meals.
The New Year brings forth the promises of better things to come. Start your 2021 off with mindful habits to further benefit your health in a holistic way.
[Feature image: Unsplash]