As the New Year rolls in you can be forgiven for thinking that 2020 is not starting out as we would have hoped. Here in Australia the new decade has come with fire, fear and loss the extent of which is simply unimaginable. My heart goes out to those facing such loss and destruction. It is in times like these that we appreciate even more the simple basics of life. A safe bed to sleep in, clean water and electricity, fresh food, and the compassion and love of family and strangers alike.

For those of us lucky enough not to be in the midst of this trauma day to day life goes on, and that is OK… it must go on.

When faced with everyday challenges and life stressors we can tend to forget the basics of our own self-care as we strive to keep on top of everything that comes our way. But it is in these basics that our body and mind can get some of the best support. So when you can, why not do a self-check of you general day to day routine and see where you can make simple changes to support your needs from the inside outwards.

Sleep – Are you getting enough and is it of good quality? Whilst everyone is different it is generally recommended that you need between 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night. Sleep is when our body repairs and restores itself and this is vital for our ongoing wellbeing.

Eating nutritious meals and regular breaky – Starting the day with some solid nutritional food is always a winner and can set you up for the day. Ensuring we feed our body with nourishing foods regularly and plenty of water is key. This does not mean we can’t have the odd treat or slip a bit – but our bodies function better when they are being nourished not being placed under additional pressure to digest and manage the processed and often pretty yuk stuff that is in much of our junk food. Try a piece of fresh fruit and water when you need a pick me up.

Daily movement – Exercise not only works for our body but our minds too. Think of all the positive endorphins that are released when you get up a sweat. I know sloggin it out in the gym is not for everyone but trying to fit in at least 3 x 30 minute bursts of sweat raising exercise a week and keeping yourself moving throughout the day goes a long way to supporting your body and mind.

Maintaining social connections – As we get older making friends simply becomes a bit harder, so keeping in contact with those we have is important and highly beneficial. Social connection is what helps us thrive. In times of need or celebration, sharing it with others is a great comfort. Work to build and nourish your social support crew, having at least one person you can trust and talk to is vital. Trying new activities and making new friends is not only good for our social connections but can help us reconnect with things we love and that bring us joy. A win:win all round.

Be proactive about your health – when was the last time you went for an eye or dental checkup? What about a once over with your GP or health practitioner… attending to our ongoing health needs and being proactive and preventative with regard to our health supports us in time of stress – think of it as a regular service for the body. If there is an appointment or checkup you have been putting off, why not get it into your calendar now hey.

Time for you – yep even in the busiest of lifestyles and households it is vital to take time for you. Whether it is a day out alone or 5 minutes of quiet to drink a warm cuppa it is OK, no in fact it is essential to take time out for you. When we push our own needs to the bottom of the list we deplete our capacity to care for and support others – You know the saying… You can’t poor from an empty cup!

So when you are thinking about your resolutions and good intentions for the new Decade, why not start with some simple and achievable areas that are totally in your control. Simple small changes and the little things we do consistently can and do make all the difference.