In the New Year, we can often tie ourselves up with what we need to restrict. We may say to ourselves, less food, less alcohol, less going out, less joy even. But what if we switched that around and started thinking about more?
Less can lead to a pretty miserable start to the year as we try out all manner of self-improvements. It can also be self-defeating as we cope with the other challenges that January tends to bring. I’m thinking of colds, our bank balance, and cold dark mornings!
Even if we feel good for a few days trying out our self-improvements, the novelty soon wears off. This is when we can beat ourselves up about failing in our mission. We tend to adopt an all-or-nothing attitude, and if one slip-up happens, we can give up altogether. ‘What’s the point,’ we say! Or we feel hopeless and begin to question ourselves, none of which is helpful.
If this sounds familiar to you, it may be a good idea to adopt the principle of ‘more’ instead of less.
Historically abundance was essential for our survival and security. We needed fires and shelter to keep warm for example. We have become hard-wired to associate ‘more’ with feelings of safety. So how can this translate to the world today and help us with the January blues?
Five ways that ‘more’ is better than less.
- Time. Time as a concept differs according to our circumstances, but I think we can all agree it is a precious commodity. So, my question for you is – what are you doing with yours? Does it nourish you, that could be financially, wellbeing, health or passions? Ask yourself if how you spend your time works for you right now. Can you make some changes to your lifestyle to gain some you time back? This is the one thing that can really help you feel less stressed and rushed. It can utilise your problem-solving skills as you decide to make changes that give you more of what you want to do and need to do.
- Sleep. The winter months are a great time to start investing in a healthy sleep pattern. Try three things to gain more. Darkness (perhaps invest in an eye mask), a cool room, and a sleep schedule, that’s getting into bed at the same time each day and trying to get up at the same time. Although, as this is about ‘more’ sometimes turning off the alarm clock is exactly what you need.
- Better nutrition. We’re not talking diets here! How about trying the 30 fruits/veg/wholegrain a week idea (more on that later) a fun challenge that could really impact your health and is most definitely ‘more.’
- Variety in experiences: A bit like the above, variety is the spice of life! Having different experiences in life can contribute to personal growth, a broader worldview, and a more enriched life. Exposing oneself to diverse cultures, activities, and challenges can lead to a more fulfilling and well-rounded existence.
- Kindness and compassion. If only we could all ask ourselves to have more of these qualities, wouldn’t the world be a better place? Try to act with compassion when you have moments of conflict or see someone struggling. This is one area where we can help ourselves, others and potentially the world if we practice ‘more.’
This year has been a groggy start for me, hello colds! But, like a lot of us, I was feeling the excess of Christmas and was thinking that I should begin to restrict my diet. However, I wasn’t very well and that seemed like a silly thing to do whilst I needed to feel better. And, so I adopted the ‘more,’ approach and decided to try the 30 different veg and fruit a week challenge. We all know about 5 a-day, but this is a little different, it’s about eating a variety of different fruit, veg and legumes each with its own diverse nutrients.
“Researchers found that people who consume at least 30 different plant-based foods each week had a higher diversity of microbes in their gut, which may contribute to improved overall health and well-being.”
So far so good! But we are only nine days into the New Year, so I’m taking it with a pinch of salt (or should I say turmeric!). The challenge has helped me with eating well to nourish myself better, I am most certainly getting more vitamins and minerals than I was before. It also isn’t in any way restrictive; my mind isn’t trying to stop me from doing something and therefore isn’t rebelling! More is helpful at the moment.
To find out more about the 30 a week challenge, we found an excellent article here.
With any changes, starting slowly and being kind to yourself (see point 5!) is important. Let’s see if we can stop beating ourselves up over our perceived shortcomings and instead approach this life with an abundance of wellbeing. More, more more!