10 tips on how you can be happy in 2017 Posted on 30 December 2016 by Rebecca - Kent-Teach Advisor in Wellbeing It’s nearly the New Year and you may be wondering what New Year resolution you could make, one that you will actually stick to. With busy work and home lives, it is understandably difficult to keep your resolutions as life tends to get in the way. Perhaps you will be inspired by the following top 10 tips on how you can be happy in 2017: 1) Slow DownIt is easy to be on auto pilot by continually doing something, booking activities/events in your diary. This can get too much for our bodies if you don’t have time to rest and recuperate. Ensure you slow things down by having time for yourself at least once a week. Take time to forget about your worries and relax. 2) Be Mindful My colleague, Wing, and I learned about the importance of being mindful when we attended a mindfulness course that lasted for 4 weeks. Although this was a short course, I felt the benefits from incorporating mindfulness into my daily routine, even from a small daily breathing activity where I take a moment to stop what I am doing, close my eyes and take slow deep breaths. You can learn more about the different techniques we learnt and how we got on during our 4 week course below:Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 43) Nourish your bodyEnsure you are eating the right foods. Fruit and Vegetables are essential sources of vitamins and minerals and should make up over a third of the food we eat each day. Also, starch, dairy and protein foods including beans, pulses and fish are important for a healthy varied diet. The NHS website provides more information on the recommended food types. 4) Have a wind-down hourDo you struggle to sleep at night? Perhaps it is because you watch TV or use your phone a lot in the evening. Why not introduce a wind down hour before bedtime which doesn’t involve playing on your phone or watching TV. I read my book before I go to sleep as this makes me relaxed and ready to fall asleep, very quickly too! I recommend you try this or perhaps you would be interested in listening to a Mindfulness and Meditation Wellbeing app instead. Here are five of the best meditation apps. 5) Don’t be a perfectionistIt’s good to set goals and aim high however, setting your expectations too high can cause damaging effects to your wellbeing as you may start to think you are a failure if you do not meet them. The simple answer is to re-adjust your thinking; lower your expectations to more achievable aims as no one is perfect. This will bring you greater satisfaction as you will more likely achieve them. Then next time, you can raise the bar a little higher. 6) DeclutterDon’t you feel better when you have decluttered the house, your car or your desk at work? Clearing cupboards and owning your spaces helps give you a sense of control in your life. According to S. Combiths, clutter is visual noise and for some of us, this disarray creeps into our mental faculties too. Making room for air, light and growth is mirrored in our psyches so clearing out physical spaces is the way to feel better. 7) Redefine failureI truly believe in the saying, ‘You learn by your mistakes’. Mistakes make us stronger and shape us so we perform better each time. We all make mistakes; don’t feel so let down by yourself by the mistakes you make. By redefining your failures you should see they are stepping stones that guide you eventually to where you want to be. 8) ExercisePersonally, the hardest thing about exercise is thinking about it. Exercise is the best medicine though. Releasing endorphins by breaking a sweat, preferably first thing in the morning, is a great way to set you up for your day of work. Regular exercise not only improves your health but it gives you more energy. I run most mornings during the week at 6am for 30 mins. The days I do not run, I feel sluggish and lethargic so personally I find exercise helps considerably. You don’t have to be a ‘runner’ to run too. 9) Sing aloudI appreciate we aren’t all good singers like Adele, Jess Glynn etc. but that doesn’t matter as it still has the same effect on most of us. Whether you are in the shower, cooking in the kitchen or driving to work, try singing out loud to feel good. Singing is an excellent way to keep in shape as you exercise your lungs and heart by doing so. Your body also produces ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which are released in your body when you sing. So get singing everyone. 10) BreatheHelp lower your blood pressure and trigger the body’s relaxation response by trying the one-finger-on-the-nose breathing trick by putting your finger against one side of your nose and only breathing in air through the other nostril. This will half the rate in which you breathe and help you feel calmer. I was inspired to write my blog post after reading The Guardian’s, New year, new you – how to be happy.Sources:http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/why-does-getting-rid-of-stuff-feel-so-good-223176 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/26/five-of-the-best-meditation-appsAre you having a productive Christmas? If not, here are 7 ways to ensure you are.