Regular columnist Stephen Smith, from Merewether Fitness Studio, discusses what we learnt in 2020 and suggests some simple changes you can make this year.
As a health columnist, I should probably be writing about setting goals and New Year’s resolutions etcetera, etcetera.
Somehow that seems a little shallow considering the year we endured in 2020.
Instead, I ask that you ‘humour me’ as I look back at the year from the slightly alternative perspective of what did we learn, or perhaps were reminded of, that were important in maintaining our health, happiness and sanity.
Our health – that’s physical, mental and emotional – is everything. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc around the world. Not so much by people catching the disease, but more from the preventative measures taken to ‘stop’ people catching the disease.
For the first time in living memory, the health of humankind has taken priority over everything: the economy, fame, family, travel, jobs, sport, weddings, funerals…. and the list goes on.
So, if every government around the world can agree that our health is a priority, shouldn’t you?
The environment can recover if humans get out of its way. There were some amazing stories and footage from around the world referring to nature recovering due to massive reductions in noise and air pollution as a result of the reduced road, air and sea traffic caused by lockdowns.
I believe that in itself is proof enough that we can slow down global warming, and even reverse the impact we have had by each of us doing our little bit to reduce our carbon footprint.
As an Indigenous Australian, I strongly believe that our health and that of our environment are intrinsically linked, and I have always found solace in connecting with our natural environment. Feeling stressed or anxious? Take off your shoes and go for a walk on the beach.
Think local. I’m not referring to shopping here, but that is also recommended. What I am talking about is our relationships and interactions with people we see almost every day.
While the term ‘global village’ and ‘we are all in this together’ get thrown around constantly, it’s the small daily interactions with those in our local village bubble that form the crux of our life, and generally set the tone for our state of mind.
While we might have said goodbye to 2020, we are unfortunately not yet saying goodbye to the COVID-19 cloud which continues to float overhead.
If you are going to make any resolutions for 2021, may I suggest they don’t need to be too big or bold.
Something simple such as: to be a little heathier; to be a little kinder; to be grateful; to be more environmentally aware; and let’s not forget….exercise!
Until next time,
Health, happiness, and a Happy New Year.