If you want to be more productive in the new year, one way to start is by prioritizing better.
As author Daniel Gilbert says in Stumbling on Happiness, “a wandering mind is not a happy mind.” The premise of his argument is that because we spend so much of our time doing multiple tasks, we cannot stay focused. However, when we have a concrete plan in place, not only do we have more free time, but we’re also happier. Brain fog has also proved to be a challenging problem to tackle.
Melanie Waxman, a nutrition expert at SHA Wellness Clinic, says, “Brain fog is an indication of inflammation in the body. Our cells become easily fatigued, and we lose our ability to focus for long periods.” However, small changes such as reducing having a good sleeping pattern, fixing your gut health, avoiding processed foods, and reducing stress will help you prevent brain fog.
MEDITATION AND YOGA
Meditation and yoga are one of the best ways to relax your mind. In a 2020 study, it was found that meditation positively affected people post-pandemic, particularly in mitigating fears. Meditation is also seen as mitigating the effects of depression and anxiety.
“As for meditation, for beginners, we recommend focusing on something that does not provoke emotions or memories, even if it is a little boring, and concentrating on counting the breath: four on the in-breath, six on the out-breath. This helps the mind stay focused and reach a state of deep relaxation more quickly,” says Rachel Rose, yoga instructor at SHA Wellness Clinic.
Additionally, “through adopting a good breathwork process, you’re bringing a sense of balance into all your bodies, emotional, physical and mental. You come to an alignment, a balance which helps the system quieten and calm down for the entire day, be it chaos or neutrality,” says Anuradha Kamath, a wellness coach.
Incorporating whole foods into your diet can be a good way to start the new year on a healthy note. This could include wakame seaweed, onion, tofu, carrot, or pumpkin, which are rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Not only does this benefit your body, but it also leaves your skin looking young and healthy. “We recommend starting the day with a good miso soup: a stellar dish in traditional oriental cuisine. It will provide us with many proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes for the new day. And you can make it even better by adding wakame seaweed, onion, tofu, carrot, or pumpkin. It also keeps your skin looking young and helps to reduce wrinkles,” says Maria Romeralo, a nutrition expert at SHA Wellness Clinic.
Taking care of your mental health is extremely important for several reasons, physical upkeep being the most obvious. Psychologist Cinthya Molina, SHA Wellness Clinic, says, “Living in the present and spending time with loved ones” is one of the best ways to look after your mental health.
“Take care of your diet, sleep and rest, do physical exercise, have good mental hygiene and maintain proactive behavior and respect your rhythm,” she adds. All of these greatly benefit mental and emotional health.
Reflecting on the past year is also a good way to welcome the new year, as “it is important to reflect on what has happened because the emotions have happened very quickly and stopping to digest them helps to be able to integrate them, reinterpret them and fit them into our lives. It is then that we realize that life is not at the point where we left it, but that it has continued to move forward.”