The New Year is here and January has truly set in. You can’t get away from the barrage of information about new diets, new fitness regimes, new you.

New goals in January shown by a man doing exercise that shows the text new you, new goals

At the same time, everyone’s talking about ‘Dry January’ and believing that detoxing for a month will help right the wrongs of the year before.

The news tells us that marriages end in January; and divorce lawyers are really busy. While by mid-January-to-February everyone’s given up on turning vegan, going to the gym and has started drinking again.

So, January is actually pretty dire! It gets dark by 4pm, it’s a long 5-week month until pay day and the New You isn’t materialising.

The Reality of January

Personally, I struggle with January’s ‘New Year – New You’ message. I just don’t buy it. Yes, of course there are things you could change in your life to make it better. You can eat more healthily, do more exercise, drink less, sleep better… But do they REALLY make you FEEL better? Do they get rid of the feelings you’ve felt since you were a child? Have they fixed the problems in your relationship? Are you feeling less shy or more confident?

Generally, no.

I feel that if some of your fundamental reasons for feeling tired and anxious all the time is actually the stress you feel in your relationship or work. How will a new diet or less alcohol help? Okay, perhaps don’t drown your sorrows in alcohol! But, really, the key to FEELING better is working through some of the problems that are troubling you. That’s where counselling therapy comes in!

When you are ‘Doing’ instead of ‘Being’

So, I’m not saying don’t make an effort. I’m just saying know what you are doing and why… Don’t just set a New Year resolution and think it’s going to change your life. Make you happier. Fix your relationship.

Going to the gym, starting a new hobby, socialising more and looking for a new job. While all worthy things to start at the beginning of a new year, they are just giving you something else to ‘do’. However maybe it’s not your ‘doing’ that needs to change? It could be your ‘being’ that needs the overhaul.

Something useful you can do for yourself?

There are loads of things you could do. The list is endless. But here’re three simple things you can start to do…

1. Going back to basics with your food

An image of fresh vegetables and herbs for cooking new foods in January

Maybe think about what has crept into your diet lately that’s mass produced, loaded with sugar and not really good for you? Once you’ve identified them, especially if you eat these things regularly, try cutting them down. With the aim to cut them out entirely.

I’m not suggesting a diet! Or any kind of detox. All I’m suggesting is a critical look at what you eat. Versus what your body needs.

Look at some fresh ingredients – fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, herbs – and perhaps plan one meal a week that comprises entirely fresh ingredients. Then two meals… then three.

Small steps to change how you nourish your body.

2. Cut social media

Ha! Ha! You laugh nervously. Then think ‘she’s mad’ (or something less polite). But really, have you ever kept track of the time you spend on devices? Googling stuff, messaging, scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook, Insta and everything else you do on your smart phone.

Actually, perhaps it’s more accurate to say… Cut. Phone. Time.

You probably use your smartphone way more than you think. British psychologists have shown that we use our phones much more than we realise. Smartphone use has become a habitual, automatic behaviour that we have become less aware of. Constant entertainment and stimulation has become the norm. But could this actually be a form of distraction from your feelings? Your REAL feelings.

I’m not suggesting you switch off entirely! {How would you tell the time? 😉} But that you give yourself a break. Slowly cut down on the amount of time you spend looking at that screen. There are some reasons why it’s good to cut back. You might not agree with all of them. But what’s the harm in trying?

Small steps to change how you nourish your mind.

3. Get some counselling therapy

Yes, I’m biased. I do declare! However, I truly believe that the best way to a New You in ANY New Year is by working out what makes you tick. Why you do what you do.

What makes you feel so stressed? So inadequate? So anxious? Why do all my relationships feel the same? What can I do to feel less worried about my children? Why can’t I love myself? My body? How can I manage? Where can I get help?

A road sign saying call I Need Therapy in JanuaryRight here. Give us a call and let’s get started.

While you’re carrying the feelings you’ve buried or are feeling right now; the painful memories you have; that wall around your heart. I can tell you, they are not going to suddenly disappear by themselves. No hobbies, diets, gymming (is that even a word?!), socialising or distractions on your smartphone are going to make you feel better. Talking it through will. You’ll unpack the baggage. We’ll examine it and put it where it belongs. You’ll nourish it. You’ll banish it. We’ll do whatever it takes. Together in a safe, confidential space.

So, like I said, call us. Or email. Let’s talk.

A big step to change how you nourish yourself!