If stats are anything to go by, your New Year’s Resolutions have long gone out the window. Maybe there was a free glass of wine with dinner on day three of Dry January, or you’ve settled back into that deep relationship with Uber Eats you promised you’d leave. Or maybe a sleep in proved just too tempting when you promised you’d go to that yoga class/gym/morning walk, and you’ve never quite managed to go ever since.
But forget big, lofty goals – a couple of teeny tiny things can mean lasting and noticeable change to your life. And don’t roll your eyes and write it off as self care schmelf care – they’re things anyone can do, won’t cost a cent and take less than 10 minutes. Seriously – try it for a week and tell us you don’t feel better.
We had a chat to the team at Power Living Yoga Adelaide – who know a lot of things about looking after yourself – who gave us five simple things you can incorporate into your life.
You do it all day, every day. But by taking the time to focus on your breathe, it can do a whole lot more than just keep you alive.
What to do: Breathe in
for four counts, and our for six, and repeat 5-10 times.
“By focussing on the exhale, it helps to regulate your nervous system and shifts you from living in the parasympathetic nervous system (also known as fight or flight) to the para-sympathetic nervous system,” says physiotherapist and senior yoga teacher Triton Tunis-Mitchell.
Use it or lose it isn’t
just a catchy saying – it rings true when it comes to movement.
What to do: Whenever you
have a spare second, just move. Stretch your arms, arch your back, stretch your neck from side to side. Just going for a short walk can do wonders – especially if you’re stuck at a desk most of the day.
“A little bit of movement
encourages nutrition into your tissues and joints. Motion is lotion after all,” says Triton.
Got five minutes? Search for ‘sun salutation A’ online and do the movement five times.
It’s easy to get bogged
down in the bad stuff – and it can become an avalanche in your mind which leads to completely losing sight of how much good stuff is actually going on.
What to do: Once a day,
think of or write down three things you’re grateful for. Even better, set your phone for the same time every day as a reminder.
“They can just be immediate,
tangible things that you take for granted – think your eyesight, your friends, your family, your job,” says Triton.
“It will only take a minute
or two, but there’s tonnes of research showing the positive and altruistic outcomes of this super simple practice.”
4. Say night night to your phone
It’s most likely the last thing you touch before you go to sleep and the first thing you touch in the morning. No, not your significant other – we’re talking about your phone. Most of us are literally addicted to them – and it can lead to bad sleep, poor concentration and a whole raft of other baddies.
What to do: Put your phone
down a decent amount of time before you head to bed, and set a time in the morning when you can touch it again – and leave it alone for as long as you can.
Instead of scrolling the ‘Gram when she wakes up, Power Living yoga teacher Kel Newstead brushes her teeth, takes 10 breaths silently in bed and then has a cup of hot water to wake up her digestion. She then spends 10 minutes working on something creative – journalling, planning an upcoming class or workshop, drawing, imagining, or movement.
“As soon as you pick up
your device in the morning, you enter into a scattered brain space where you can easily become distracted,” she says.
“When you leave the phone
alone you have more space for creativity rather than reactivity. You can also implement other positive rituals instead of scrolling.”
When you’re out and about,
are you looking around and engaging with those around you, or are you staring down at your phone? We’re going to guess most of you fall into the latter.
But did you know meeting
like-minded people actually improve your mood and enhance your life as a whole?
“Small moments of connection,
like eye contact, help make us feel part of something bigger than ourselves,” says Kel.
Want to feel even better? Heading to a class at Power Living Yoga will help you breathe and move better, spend time away from your phone, and meet a welcoming group of people. Four birds with one stone, if you will. Find out more here.