With the wind-down of the holiday season and the “new year, new me” resolutions flowing like electrical currents, the start of 2024 naturally seems like a joyous time. But then that holiday high wears off, routines pick up where they left off, and the winter doldrum blankets everything with relentless tenacity. If it feels like the new year is off to a “meh” start, your friends at The Calli Institute are here to help. Keep reading as we offer tips to help you manifest happiness and start the year off right.
The world sometimes seems like it’s in a big hurry, and that’s especially true toward the end of each year. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, last-minute shopping, cooking, baking, and hosting, the days and weeks are a whirlwind of activity and excitement. But all of that in such a short period of time can be overwhelming.
So, let the quiet calm of the new year be a time to step back and enjoy the silence, the stillness, and the slower pace. Curl up with a book, savor every sip of coffee, stare out the window and watch the flakes of snow flutter softly to the ground — or blow right by with help from that wild winter wind. Brr. Close your eyes, relax your mind and body, and allow the peacefulness of winter to recharge your spirit.
When the brain produces serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, those hormones help to manage mood, regulate sleep, reduce stress, and control concentration. Overall, they create harmony within the body and help us feel good, alive, and happy.
Activities like exercise can help trigger the brain to produce happy hormones to effectively benefit overall well-being. While it can be difficult to be active when it’s dark and cold outside, there are things you can do indoors to get that heart rate up and those endorphins flowing.
Try a chair yoga exercise or check off tasks on your household chore list. Things like vacuuming or laundry (especially if you’re hauling loads up and down the stairs) will get you moving and give you a sense of accomplishment. You could even bundle up for an outdoor walk to get some fresh air and vitamin D. Even a short trip around the block can help you feel mentally grounded.
Or simply find a comfortable spot and focus on breathing. Take deep, slow breaths in — and exhale. Feel the air fill your lungs before releasing it. Repeat again and again while slowing your heart rate to synchronize with each breath. This simple and relaxing exercise also tells the brain to release those hormones to help you feel balanced and at ease.
Humans are social creatures and thrive mentally and emotionally when we’re around others whose existence feeds our soul. Spend time with family or friends, especially those you don’t see regularly. Play games, catch up, and laugh. Invite guests over to share a meal or watch a movie — or both. Meet up for coffee or an afternoon of shopping. Take a class or learn a new hobby together.
Being around family and friends promotes a sense of belonging and helps us feel connected, accepted, and supported. Socializing also helps lessen feelings of loneliness, which can protect against stress and anxiety and lower the risk of depression. So, find your people and surround yourself with them. They’re good for your soul and overall well-being.
These are, of course, only a few ways to manifest happiness and start the year off right. But they’re also simple things that don’t require the added stress of outlandish resolutions. Instead of focusing on the “new year, new me” motto, aim for calmness and simplicity. Look for the little things that create happiness, and you’ll be on your way to being a better you. If you need help finding your path, our team at The Calli Institute is always here. Feel free to reach out to us whenever and for whatever you need.