7 Tips for a happier, healthier 2023

7 Tips for a happier 2023

Congratulations on making it through the last few years! After 2 years of lockdowns, floods, fires, health concerns, and financial instability, it seems many of us rushed head-first into this year in an effort to make up for lost time. So, it’s no wonder that we are collectively feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and frazzled. And it’s important now to regroup for a happier 2023.

Although the past few years have affected us all in some way, the impact has been particularly severe on younger Australians, and Victorians in particular. They experienced “the largest increase in psychological distress, the greatest increase in loneliness, and the largest decline in hours worked.”[1] In my work as a school and private counsellor, I’ve seen first-hand the emotional impact it’s had on our kids.

That’s why I’d like to share some tips with you, to make 2023 a happier, healthier year. And I’d love if you could share these with your friends and family too, so we can all embrace the new year with a gentler start.

1. Talk it out

Remember the old adage “A problem shared is a problem halved”? Have you ever just vented and noticed in your body that you feel lighter? There’s a lot to be said for releasing tension and this includes releasing words. Simply talking about what’s stressing you out will help you feel immediately better.

Counsellors are trained to listen and hold space for you to speak your truth and express how you really feel. And speaking with a counsellor doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. Although some people might need psychological assessment for diagnosis, many just need someone non-judgemental to listen and share professional strategies and resources to help you live the life you want to lead.

Book an appointment with Eryka today to create a plan for a happier, healthier 2023.

2. Feel the feels

Do you know how you really feel? Are there times that you ignore your feelings? Avoiding or numbing them because it’s too hard to cope with it? As we speak, we evoke emotion, and our bodies naturally respond. Although it may seem daunting at first, voicing and accepting your emotions allows you to have more understanding and awareness and helps you to become less reactive.

Really acknowledging your feelings offers control, and therefore choice. Wouldn’t you prefer to have control over how you feel and choose what you do with it?  It’s perfectly reasonable to admit that the last few years have been tough and have involved a lot of changes. And change isn’t always easy. It impacts on how you cope/manage things.

Collectively, we’re also processing loss, so feelings of anger/denial/bargaining, and sadness are appropriate. Allow yourself the time you need to recognise and accept these feelings and again, seek out a counselling session if you need to talk it out. Book Here.

3. Humour

Don’t underestimate what a smile can do. Let’s try it now.  Smile, go on, give it a go! Now, notice how that feels. I guarantee you’ll observe something different. The beauty is, while you’re smiling, you can’t feel anything else in that moment except a pleasant feeling. Remembering to smile more is a sure-fire way to create a happier 2023.

4. Connection – for a happier 2023

The power of connection is huge. As mammals, we require connection to survive. It’s perfectly fine to give yourself time to retreat (and sometimes necessary to reenergise), however it’s also vital to make the effort to connect. Even as you are retreating and withdrawing, remember there’s always someone there for you no matter what mood you are in.

This can be via text, phone call, or have a walk or cuppa with a friend…. whatever helps you to feel connected, do that! Even as our lives get busy – you might need to book it into your calendar. And again, notice what happens and how you feel when you’ve connected.

5. Effort worth making

This is one of my favourite tips for a happier 2023, though I recognise it’s not an easy concept. It can be challenging when you feel low in energy, if your mindset is negative and when life is busy. But when we act on something, we feel noticeably better. Why? Because in making the choice to act, and by taking action we gain a sense of achievement. And the reward is always worth it.

6. Move

Moving your body reduces stress and can help recovery from mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.[1] Exercise also directly improves your mood by releasing chemicals like endorphins and serotonin in your body. It will also help to improve your sleep, increase your energy levels, and improve your overall health. So, whether you prefer to walk, run, swim, do yoga or dance, make time to move your body for a happier 2023.

7. Nourish your body

Just as exercise will help boost wellness, so too will a healthy balanced diet.[1] The Australian Guide to Health Eating is a great place to start.[2] But simply avoiding too much processed food and eating lots of fresh fruit, veggies, and good sources of protein, you can’t go too far wrong. And drink plenty of water too!

I hope that you find these tips for a happier 2023 useful. And I very much hope that you and yours enjoy a very Christmas and a happy new year. Remember that I’m always here to help you create a plan for a happier 2023 and take steps to live the life you want to lead.

I’d love to hear if these tips for a happier 2023 resonated with you, or if you have any other suggestions that I might have excluded. I’d be very grateful if you could click on this link  to provide feedback.

[1] https://headspace.org.au/explore-topics/for-young-people/eat-well/

[2] https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

[1] https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/2022/7/Mental_health_and_wellbeing_during_the_COVID-19_period.pdf