We have now begun the new year, and for many, 2021 is a year to firmly leave in the past. The last few years have undoubtedly been unlike any years before – living in a COVID-19 world has really thrown its challenges at us. So, I’m sure many people are wondering how we can make 2022 a happier year for ourselves?
First of all, before we get into it, we should make sure that our goals and objectives are specific to us. What might make someone else happy may not necessarily make us happy and vice versa. Identifying particular goals that we want to achieve will make it all the more fulfilling when we achieve them. Research shows that achieving our goals makes us happier, by bringing a great sense of accomplishment. We are more likely to feel more optimistic about the future, and build our discipline and confidence in order to take us to greater heights.
So, with that in mind, here are some ways you can look to make 2022 a healthy, happy and successful year for you!
Talk about your problems, AND your achievements
A problem shared is a problem halved, right? Well, research certainly suggests so, as it shows that discussing your thoughts and emotions can really have profoundly positive impacts for our long-term health. This may include reductions in physical and emotional distress, lowering our overall stress levels and strengthening of our immune system.
Talking to others can certainly leave you feeling happier and healthier. But specifically, what else is it about talking with others that has such an influential effect? Dr Paula Durlofsky has outlined a few key thoughts on the matter.
- Firstly, talking with others can strengthen our intimacy by building stronger emotional, spiritual and intellectual bonds with those we are sharing with. By speaking to those close to us, possibly family, friends or others, it instills understanding and trust that is likely to lead us to happier outcomes and positive wellbeing.
- Secondly, by talking to those around us we can gain different perspectives that we might not have considered by keeping our thoughts to ourselves. Often those around us can offer solutions that we hadn’t thought of, which in turn could help us to achieve really positive outcomes in the future.
- Keeping our emotions internally without expressing how we really feel can be extremely overwhelming at times, especially when we are facing a number of challenging circumstances in our lives. Therefore, speaking to others can be a cathartic process that can provide psychological relief.
- Finally, we have discussed a lot about people we can talk to. But what about talking to ourselves? There is often a misconception that self-talk is a bad thing, when in fact there are a number of positive outcomes that occur from this. As Dr. Paula Durlosky says, through self-talk we can help ourselves change how we are thinking or behaving. By developing our self-talk skills, we can see the bigger picture and focus more on positive outcomes.
So, who can we talk to?
There are many ways we can discuss what’s on our minds and many different people we can talk to. The beauty is that there are so many wonderful people out there who you can talk to!
This may include:
- Family members
- Work colleagues
- Health professionals or counsellors
- Fellow travelers
- Random people / strangers!
Remember that it's not simply about discussing your negative experiences, because you should also talk about your achievements! Be proud of what you achieve and let others (and yourself) know that you have made really important strides.
As we have briefly touched upon self-talk and the positive influences it can have, affirmations are extremely relevant in reinforcing positive self-beliefs to make us live happier and healthier lives. Affirmations can be powerful tools to motivate us to act upon our dreams and aspirations and support us to achieve our goals.
There are countless affirmations that people use day to day, but here at We Drifters, of course we want to show you specific affirmations that relate to our core principles and values around freedom and living life on our own terms.
“I know but one freedom and that is freedom of the mind” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“I have the freedom and power to create the life I desire”
“I travel safely wherever I go. I always meet loving, helpful people on my journey”
Reading more books
Is it really true that you can’t read too many books? Quite possibly, because reading regularly has been shown to lower stress levels, improve self-esteem, improve sleep and lower rates of anxiety and depression in comparison to non-readers. As well as this, reading on a regular basis gives our brains pleasure similarly to mindfulness or meditation.
Other benefits of reading include:
- Helps prevention of cognitive decline as you age
- Improves your comprehension and vocabulary
- Provides enjoyment
- Improves neuron connectivity in the brain
Reading is also more accessible than ever, meaning you can access in different formats (hardcopy books, audio, kindle etc.) wherever you are, whether you are at home or away on your travels. If you are unsure where to start, here is a list of travel books to feed your wanderlust and get you started in 2022.
Maintaining a healthy diet is so important for good health and nutrition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy diet can protect you against various chronic illnesses (e.g. cancer, diabetes and heart disease). Our diets should contain a variety of foods, whilst also making sure that you don’t consume high amounts of saturated fats, sugars and salts.
Healthy dieting is also really important for our mental health and wellbeing to support concentration levels, attention span and mental clarity. Eating healthily can also lead to increases in your overall mood and wellbeing, making you feel happier.
If you were looking to try something different this year, remember that January is the month of Veganuary. In case you weren’t aware, this is the month that looks to educate and promote about veganism. Following a plant based lifestyle has been shown to have health benefits, so why not take a look at these Veganuary 2022 recipes to get you started.
Why is travel so important?
Of course we couldn’t talk about how to make 2022 a healthy and happy year without mentioning travel, right? Travelling is so important to many of us, for an array of reasons. First and foremost, travelling is the perfect experience to really learn the most about yourself and enhance personal growth. It gives us the time and space to really discover your true self by asking a number of questions...
- What kind of traveler am I?
- What experiences do I want to have?
- What makes me most happy when traveling?
- How is traveling going to change my life? What will I learn from these experiences?
These are all valid questions, and in time finding the answers can really lead to incredible outcomes for your health and happiness.
We could be here all day listing how and why travelling is so important in keeping us healthy and happy, so here are some other key points:
- To self-educate yourself through firsthand experiences
- Increase your confidence
- Expand your horizons
- Develop your life perspectives
- Create memories for life
- Enhance your creativity
- Improve your communication skills
- Have fun
- Improve your physical and mental wellbeing
Participating in physical activities on your travels can be a key way to engage and develop an understanding of the country’s landscape, culture or infrastructure. These are, afterall, some of the primary features that attract many people to travel every year. Not only this, but some activities can be a great way of enjoying yourself whilst getting a really good workout! This list is of common activities you are likely to come across and may want to take part in on your travels:
- Rock climbing
- Camping / Glamping
- Whitewater rafting
So, these are some general ideas to whet your travel appetite, but in case you wanted some more specific bucket list ideas, then take a look at this fantastic article, which outlines some of the most special spots across the globe.
On your travels – Drifter Recommendations
Below is a list of recommendations that we think you should really consider on your 2022 travels!
- Volunteering – This is a great way to be a part of rewarding projects to support others in society that can have positive long-term effects within communities. Volunteering can not only improve leadership skills, but increase positive outlooks and perspectives, making those who partake feel more fulfilled.
- Learn a language – Depending on where you are in the world, there may be language barriers if you don’t speak a country’s first language and they don’t understand your first language! Whilst travel is a universal language, it can still be really beneficial to learn a language. Long-term it can actually lead to you to enjoy learning more because of the better communication you have developed. Other positive outcomes can be found here.
- Learn to cook different cuisine – Learning to cook international cuisines on your travels will help your understanding of different cultures. It will also support your personal development through the use of different foods, spices and other flavours. Cooking helps to improve mindfulness, reduce stress and improve your mood. It will also allow you to become more creative, supporting a greater sense of purpose.
- Exercising your mind and body – Often, people won’t think too much about exercising whilst on their travels. But it is something that should be considered in order to maintain or even improve physical and mental well-being. If you feel unsure on exercises to do, or don’t feel like you can work out outside of your gym, then take a look at these travel exercises, as well as travel equipment that you could also use.
- Keep bugs away – It’s important to mention something else that will undoubtedly keep you happy and healthy on your travels – and that’s your set of We Drifters Anti-Insect Sleepwear! Designed to keep bugs away for peace of mind, the sleepwear is made from bamboo and infused with anti-insect treatment. The sleepwear set is absolutely perfect for your travels, and will keep you cosy, stylish and protected, wherever you are exploring.
Maintaining your healthy and happy life – for 2022 and beyond
Now that might seem a lot to take in, and you may feel afraid you are going to fall into old habits, and that’s completely normal. But to make these habits really stick, you need to reinforce these behaviours. Often, people start doing their new routines and wonder why they are struggling to maintain them after a few weeks or even days. The keys to success are consistency and patience. Firstly, in order to be consistent, we need to reinforce our desired behaviours on a regular basis until they start to become second nature.
Secondly, we need to be realistic with ourselves and acknowledge that changes can’t always happen overnight. Whether its affirmations, increasing our reading or travel goals, it all takes time. Easier said than done, I know! But the end result will be so worth it.
Here’s to a healthy and happy 2022 – and beyond.