Don't set unrealistic resolutions for yourself in 2019. Sometimes it's the simplest things that make you feel the best. We've put together a list of things you can do that will have you feeling, looking and being healthier and happier for 2019 and beyond.
As we say on our camps and children's programs, there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Getting outside to enjoy nature is something you rarely regret, yet something too many of us rarely make the time to do. Here's a few ideas:
- Get together a group of mates, or go solo, to one of Victoria's many beautiful hiking tracks around the state. Whether you camp overnight or make it a daytrip, you'll have a memorable and rejuvenating time.
- Go to the beach in summer and enjoy a swim in the ocean. Go to the beach in winter and enjoy looking at the wild ocean while you sip a warm cup of tea.
- If you live in the city, Melbourne is lucky enough to have many beautiful spots where you can enjoy Mother Nature too. Collingwood Children's Farm, Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Botanical Gardens... the list goes on. Take a picnic and enjoy!
Volunteering is all about helping others, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help you too! Volunteering introduces you to a world you might never have discovered otherwise. It can be challenging, rewarding, and most of all, fun. Studies show that people who volunteer are generally very happy people - because helping others feels good!
At the Y, we have over 1,200 volunteers that make a valuable contribution to their communities every day. Whatever your passion is – camping, youth, travel, events – we’ve got the perfect volunteer position for you.
You can click here to read more about our volunteer opportunities, ask in your centre for more information, or email us at email@example.com.
Unplug from technology
Shut down your laptop, switch off the TV, turn your phone off, and do something that doesn’t require looking at a screen! Read a book, do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, bake some muffins, take a bath, listen to music, play an instrument; the list goes on.
In this world of smart phones and instant gratification, it takes a conscious effort to step away from our devices and slow down. Partaking in something a little more old-fashioned like flicking through a magazine or newspaper without checking your phone for half an hour can feel unnatural at first, but you’ll feel better for it almost immediately.
Another way to unplug is to simply have a conversation, IRL, with somebody you love. Go out for coffee or go for a walk in the park, put your phone away, and really talk with somebody. Often when we're on autopilot in our lives, we are conversing and connecting, but absentmindedly with half our brains still aware of what's happening on our phones. But there's nothing more fulfilling than being absorbed in a conversation with another human, catching up with what's going on in their lives and just giving all your attention in that moment to that person. Give it a go.
Fundraise or donate
When we do good things like 'random acts of kindness', volunteering or donating money, the brain is flooded with the hormones dopamine and oxytocin. These hormones are key to making us feel happier and more content for longer.
Aside from the hormone releases, donating to charity can enhance your connection to a cause and lead you to stronger engagement in your local community, making you feel more connected to others and your environment.
You can always make a donation to your centre and help people experiencing disadvantage in your community to access our programs and services. Ask our friendly staff to find out how you can donate.
By setting aside some quiet time to centre yourself, you can bring out feelings of peace, along with heightened energy and awareness. Regular meditation offers many health benefits, such as reduced stress, anxiety, depression and obesity just to name a few.
The Y offers Mindfulness and Meditation at many of our centres. Either ask in centre or check out your local Y's website for information.