New Year – not a new me

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions as I really don’t see the point of them. Nobody I know ever keeps to them past January and life gets in the way of those “New Year, New Me” good intentions for everyone. So why do people actually bother? Social media is terrible for this too. Lots of people stating their intentions such as “2021 is going to be my year”. What does that mean anyway? It’s the year for all of us still alive on this planet.

There are lots of good intention plans for January too. Veganuary – going vegan for the month. We did this last year and only had two days in the whole month which weren’t vegan. Jamie Oliver’s veggie cookbook helped a lot and a new favourite recipe is mushroom stroganoff. We actually enjoyed it although it was a bit more effort looking for ingredients – something I usually can’t be bothered doing. I like baking but generally if something takes more than 5 ingredients it’s going to be too much effort for a home cooked meal right?

Then there is Dry January with no alcohol for the month. I did this years ago after my liver needed a rest after an excess of work and client Christmas parties night after night in the run up to Christmas. I think my liver thanked me for the break. This year will be difficult for those in the U.K. though – yet another pandemic lockdown and kids not going back to school. That will push a few back to the remnants of the Christmas and New Year alcohol.

Of course most people go for a diet in the New Year. I’m over 50 now and never been on a diet in my life. I just can’t be bothered. After a year of lockdown and very little exercise due to studying the excess weight is finally stretching my clothing. I will have to do “something” and eating less and exercise is the obvious thing. I will have to be bothered enough at some point to do “something” but the incentive in a pandemic lockdown is limited. It’s not exactly like I have to squeeze myself into that little party number for a night out now is it?! (10 months of no bars and 10pm closing of restaurants has seen paid to that idea.)

I suppose my point is – why pressurise yourself? Life is tough enough at the minute. We’re living through a Global pandemic with a “new normal” for rules of behaviour, socialising and everyday life. It’s a lot to get used too. It’s all unfamiliar (although washing hands thoroughly shouldn’t be, it clearly is a revelation to some filthy individuals. I will definitely be shaking a lot less hands after this pandemic that’s for sure.)

In addition the U.K. is going through political and economic turmoil now we have left the EU. Some of us are also going through the emotional grieving process as our EU citizenship has been stripped away from us against our will. It is a really divided nation and people are hurting and struggling from job losses as well as the mental strain of the unfamiliarity of it all.

It’s a lot to deal with already, wherever you are in the world, so give yourself a break and don’t pile on the pressure to achieve something new this year. Just be yourself. Be kind. Breathe. Take a moment. Stop doing and start living.

And remember, if you’re still breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you.

Happy New Year.

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