New Year Resolutions

Each year around this time, many of us take a few moments to reflect on the past 12 months and how to keep growing in ways to support our health and immunity as well as emotional and mental wellness.

2020 has been a year with numerous challenges for all of us. Uncertainty, fear, anxiety, isolation and loss were part of our lives. But, most of all, 2020 served up countless lessons. Without a pandemic, many of these lessons might have taken us a lifetime to learn.

1) We learned that health should not be taken for granted.
Health is not a guarantee. We need to strengthen our bodies against disease. How you eat, sleep, move and handle stress all influence the strength of your immune system.

2) We learned to build resilience and adapt in every situation.
Out of necessity, we had to try new things and learned new skills. We learned to connect to each other in different ways. We are definitely more open to new ideas and thoughts.

3) We learned to slow down.
Even though it took some time, pressing the pause button for a while showed us the value of living life at a slower pace. We learned to live in the moment and appreciate the small things more.

4) We learned to get around with less and give more.
Without the distractions, busyness, and noise of life as we knew it, we learned to focus on what really mattered. We had time to focus on activities to support our health, like more sleep, movement, healthy eating, connecting with others and gratitude. People decluttered their homes and cupboards. Most came out feeling less burdened and lighter. Many people realised how blessed they actually are and started engaging in acts of kindness like donating to charities or establishing feeding schemes.

5) We learned to appreciate each other more.
Many of us got to spend more time with a small group of people in very close proximity. It taught us to respect each other, accept each other and love each other for who we are. Having people that care about you is an essential part of emotional and mental wellbeing.

6) We learned how precious but also fragile life is.
We only have one life, and it is not guaranteed. We learned to make the most of every opportunity. We learned to not let the small things upset us so easily and also how to forgive easier.

My sincere wish is that we will take all of these lessons with us in the year ahead and face our wellness journey with loads of gratitude, patience, resiliency and love.

Taking Care

How many of us live our whole life without really knowing what it means to love and take care of yourself?

You try to eat healthy; you work out from time to time, drink enough water and more or less get adequate sleep. You are taking care of yourself – on the outside. On the inside, you are burying vulnerability. You play the resilience card and convince yourself and everyone else that you are OK.

With lockdown and all the uncertainty and changes it brought, we just had to blindly accept and adapt to it. Many started packing away unresolved emotions, fears and grievances. You started placing “I-will-deal-with-it-later” labels on many of your emotions, fears and grievances.

As a whole, we are forgetting to take care of our inner wellbeing.
As a human race we are amazingly adaptable. When we acknowledge that hardships, change and challenges are opportunities for us to grow, they are second chances for us to heal and get out stronger on the other side, this is when wonderful things can happen.

Taking care of yourself should not only be physical, it should also include the following:
• Start each day with a practice of journaling, reading, stretching or breathing exercises.
• Meditate, pray and acknowledge the feelings you have been pushing aside.
• Try to slow down and become less of everything to everyone else and more to yourself.
• Let go of the things you cannot control and replace fear with trust.
• Accept your imperfections and stay true to your authentic self.
• Say no to commitments that are not serving your values and are draining you emotionally.
• Listen to your body.

If there is one thing I firmly believe, it is that we as a nation under this African sun are strong beyond our believe and capable beyond our own understanding.

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