With the new year as fresh as morning dew on an untouched meadow, a lot of us are thinking about one thing and one thing only: how to make 2019 better than 2018.
For some, this means life-altering resolutions like finding a new job, moving to a faraway city or learning a foreign language. For others, it means cutting out sugar or late night runs to the chicken shop.
In short, resolutions are all relative. However, almost all of us can agree on one thing. We want this year to be an altogether happier, healthier and more productive 12 months than the last.
On that note, we thought we’d cobble together a list of ideas to put you on track for a good year in which you will get this bread! In a spiritual, physical and possibly financial sense, of course.
(Reminder! These are tips, not hard and fast rules. Ok thanks.)
The whole ‘New Year, New Me’ flex can really heap the pressure on those of us who consider a calm, stress-free existence to be the ultimate lifestyle goal. So if you don’t want to buy into it, then don’t.
Best friend cutting out carbs? Good for them! Guy on course accepted onto exclusive grad scheme? Sick! He’ll probably make a wonderful accountant. Entire social circle going to The Thing at the Cool Place? Great, maybe you can catch it next time.
If there’s one new year’s resolution we’d advise you to get behind, it’s ignoring the resolutions of the people around you.
Ditch Social Media (To An Extent)
Over the past few years, reams of data have determined that social media is not great for mental health. For instance, a recent study found that people who limit their social media use to 30 minutes a day reported reduced feelings of loneliness and depression.
If you’ve spent any amount of time on Facebook or Twitter, it’s easy to see why. As distracting as these apps can be on the bus to work, they constantly bombard us with an ugly cocktail of current events, unrealistic lifestyles and FOMO; an unpleasant mix that can do a number on our wellbeing.
So try to reduce the time spent on your phone. Set limits and only keep apps that still maintain a ‘social’ aspect to social media. Speaking of which….
Back in the day, friendship groups had to make plans before hanging out. They had to set places to meet and times to do so. It’s sounds exhausting tbh.
Nowadays, we can make plans with a few Whatsapps and drop them with a simple “can’t make it lol soz x”.
So in 2019, stray away from this ephemeral form of social interaction in favour of concrete calendar events. Eat at a restaurant; go shopping; sign up for five-a-side football; watch Birdbox with your nearest and dearest (if you must).
Make plans and stick to them, and 2019 will be FOMO-free (or at the very least FOMO-reduced).
Poor sleep can be due to a number of complex issues that we have neither the expertise nor authority to opine on.
However, one way to improve your night’s rest is to kick all screens out of your bedroom.
As well as keeping you topped-up with insomnia-inducing info about economic meltdowns, student debt and the rise of the far right, the glow from your phone’s screen suppresses the production of melatonin – the hormone that causes you to sleep – meaning it is literally a vessel of anti-sleep technology.
So try not to scroll through Instagram before you switch the bedside lamp off.
Look Forward To Another 12 Months of Being Awesome
**Full Disclosure** at the beginning of 2018, we wrote a blog remarkably similar to this one which also encouraged you to, among other things, cut down on social media, eat right and get a little exercise in.
After all, we had just spent 2017 warning you about fake news online and informing you about some incredible Muslim athletes, so <social media and >sport only made sense.
But on top of all this, we reminded you of the importance of Ramadan and year-round self-reflection, which we’re going to do again right now. Cool.
Just like last year (and all the years before that), Ramadan 2019 will ask you to focus on your faith in an effort to be closer to God. But that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace these values at the beginning of January.
As we wrote in the early days of 2018, if you can do small things to better yourself, help others or strengthen your faith, you’re bound to have an excellent 2019.