I just finished my last final exam for the semester, which means I can finally start focusing just on this incredible time of year. It’s full of so much tradition yet so much change, and it’s so exciting to get to be a part of.
There’s tradition that comes from whatever type of winter holiday you celebrate with your family, even if it’s just enjoying a new days off of work to hang out an enjoy each others’ company. Yet, there’s change just around the corner at the start of the new year. And that second part, the potential for change, really got me thinking.
Change is intensely exciting, in my opinion. It offers you the world at your fingertips, change means something beautiful is happening completely out of your control, and how wonderful is that? Good things can just happen, we don’t have to force them, and thats what change tends to mean to me.
Of course, a lot of people decide the changes they like to make around the start of a new year involve changes in lifestyle: eating, habits, exercising routines. They’re all fabulous changes, but it’s important to think them through before making any drastic changes to your routine that might have adverse effects on your body. I know some of my friends have decided to start their new lifestyles a little early this year, so I thought it would be fitting to write a bit about things to consider when completely altering your lifestyle to try out being a better version of you!
Beauty Routine Changes
As you try out new glow-up methods this year, make sure to test skincare products in smaller doses (if you can) before making an investment in an entire bottle of, say, brand new foundation. Sephora and Ulta are both usually really good about letting you try a sampler-size of a new product before you buy it. You never know how something might impact your skin, and you don’t want to end up with a lot of something that you just can’t use!
On a similar note, make sure that the changes you make to look better keep your skin and face and hair FEELING better too. Even if you’re changing the products you use, how often you use them, or what time of day you use them, keep the parts of your current routine that make you feel healthy kind of the same.
For instance, if you’re using new St. Ives moisturizers and exfoliators for your face (I highly recommend, by the way), stay consistent in how often you use each relative to your old products. Or, if you’re changing up the type of make up remover you use, make sure it’s still actually removing all the make up on your face.
Workout Routine Changes
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: workout “routines” should never really exist. I’ve discovered through lots of experimenting that truly, the best way to workout your whole body regularly is to constantly change up your routine.
On that note, if in the new year you’re making some BIG changes to your regular week of workouts, I have a few suggestions to make sure you’re taking care of your body and getting to enjoy working out. For one thing, a little bit of burn at the gym is totally normal. A little discomfort in parts of our bodies we don’t regularly use is to be expected, and probably means you’re working out the way you’re supposed to be. However, you have to make sure you don’t cross the line over from discomfort to pain. As soon as you can describe something as “hurting”, it’s time to take a break and maybe try something different.
If this does happen, make sure you pause your workout, stretch a little (Sportneer muscle rollers truly work wonders) and maybe even call it a day. The worst thing you can do for a gym injury is keep working out on that injury.
As a preventative measure against this type of thing, I also recommend taking especially new activities slow, and increasing the pace of your workout gradually. If the new year presents you with one of the first time you’re going to the gym in a while, for example, maybe start with something like jogging or running and work your way over to the weight machines. Or if you’re crazy into the gym and you’re ready to up your squat weight, just make sure you go slowly and in increments, have a spotter, and listen to your body! Again, if it ends up being too hard on your body at that time, take it slow and let yourself rest before trying it out again.
Dietary Routine Changes
Dietary changes are always fun, and often a little less intimidating that workout or beauty routine shifts. It’s a little bit more subtle, but often so much more rewarding! There’s lots of possibilities to make yourself feel and look so much better as you move through the new year.
As you move into new styles of eating, the biggest thing to remember is to ensure that you’re still getting your body all the nutrients it needs. Maybe this year, you’re looking to take down your carb intake. Completely realistic goal, but maybe don’t cut them out all together. This can put your body into a kind of shock-mode, and can lead to drastic mood swings!
Or, if you’re trying to stray away from sweets, still allow yourself to enjoy things that you crave. I’m a big supporter of the idea that cravings are your bodies way of telling you that there’s something you’re missing. Not to say constantly craving triple-chocolate cake means you NEED that cake, but that if you’re craving something a little sweet or a little salty, let yourself indulge every once in a while! These little treats will make your new lifestyle feel manageable and more realistic to maintain over a long period of time.
Lastly, if you’re trying out a total dietary change like vegetarianism or veganism, be absolutely certain that you’re still getting the nutrients and minerals your body previously found in meat or other animal products. Thorne Research has tons of great supplements that can help you stay on track with your new lifestyle while still keeping things like your iron intake at a normal level. Being aware of what your body needs will also help you figure out if this new lifestyle is something realistic for you in the long run.