January can be a tough month at the best of times. The nights are long, the weather’s less than cheerful and the excitement of Christmas has come and gone. Factor in the déjà vu of being, once again, under lockdown orders, and you can see why this time may not be the most conducive to tackling a tough list of new year’s resolutions.
That’s why, this year, the So team will be taking a somewhat different approach to setting goals. We’re calling it Try January. Because - while we whole-heartedly endorse using this time of year to commit to small, positive changes - why set resolutions that are unachievable, only to beat yourself up when you fail to meet them?
Here’s our list of some of the small things we’re going to TRY doing this month - and maybe even beyond. Because sometimes, it’s okay to simply try your best.
Studies show the link between spending time in nature and positive mental health, but during lockdown it can be tricky to access the outdoors, especially if you don’t have a garden.
Houseplants are a great way to bring nature indoors, and there’s something hugely rewarding about being able to nurture a plant and watch it grow. Plus, plants act as natural air purifiers.
Not sure where to start? Online plant delivery service Patch will help you find the best plant to suit your space, and even has a range of ‘Almost Unkillables’ for the less green-fingered among us...
It’s especially important during a winter lockdown to remember how vital exercise is for boosting our mood and kickstarting the immune system.
Set yourself achievable goals, like starting your day with twenty minutes of yoga stretching, or going for a walk around a local park. The good thing is, even short periods of movement can help - you don’t have to be training for a marathon to tap into those all-important endorphins.
Eat more vegetables
Most of us are probably aware by now of the positive benefits to the planet of eating less meat. Maybe some of us have even given veganism a go. According to scientists, cutting out meat and dairy is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your environmental impact.
But if eliminating meat from your diet altogether feels like too big a step right now, that’s okay. Instead, why not pick one day a week where you’ll try going meat-free? This may feel like a more manageable commitment, making it easier to stick to in the long-term. The Meat Free Mondays initiative has lots of recipes and inspiration to get you started.
Drink more water
So simple - and yet so many of us probably still don’t drink anywhere near enough water.
In need of an extra nudge or two throughout the day to keep this habit on track? There are a number of ‘hydration apps’ which will send you regular reminders - such as Plant Nanny, which gamifies your water consumption by allowing you to care for a virtual plant with every glass of water you log in the app.
Reducing the amount of energy we use in our homes is good for both our pockets and the planet. And in many cases, there are small things you can do to make an impact - whether that’s switching off your appliances when they’re not in use, or making sure not to overfill the kettle when making yourself a brew.
You can read our list of easy ways you can save energy around the house here - how many can you tick off this month?