It takes time to form new good habits, losing weight doesn’t happen overnight and we aren’t able to run a marathon after just one training session.

There are many numbers banded about on how long it takes to form a new habit starting with 21 but studies have shown that it takes much longer. This shouldn’t put you off starting, let’s be honest it will take forever if you don’t start.

We are entering the time of year when Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms start to appear due to the shortening of daylight hours and lack of sunshine. Of the UK population who suffer from SAD 21% of them notice a change in mood, sometimes referred to as ‘Winter Blues’.

We recommend small baby steps to starting a new habit to a better, healthier you. Below you’ll find some suggestions you can start today and we have chosen them because they improve not only your health but your general wellbeing, helping to address those winter blues.

Laugh more

There is no better reason for getting together with family or friends for a good time and having fun. Laughter decreases stress hormones … so laugh more, much more. Ditch the sad films for a comedy and feel better.

Drink more water

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends an intake of 2.5 litres of water for men and 2.0 litres of water for women per day. It is suggested that at least 70-80% should be via drink as opposed to food. It’s easier than you think and with the widest range of herbal teas on the market you are spoilt for choice.

Drink less caffeine

Sorry folks but drinking bucket loads of tea and coffee is not helping your water intake. It can cause headaches, increases stress levels and leave you feeling positively jiggery!

Take more exercise

Remember we are talking baby steps and not running a marathon here. Ditch the car and walk to the shops or take ten minutes at lunch time to walk around the local park.

Go to bed earlier

Sleep directly impacts your mental and physical health and everyone’s needs are different depending on their lifestyle. Adults between the age of 26 and 64 need between seven and nine hours but only you will know if you are getting the right amount. Enough sleep will result in an energetic and alert you, the opposite will be true of not enough.

Take care of you

Mothers are particularly poor at this, putting everyone and everything before their own needs. But remember you can’t look after others if you are neglecting your own health and wellbeing.

Do something new or different and put you first and why not start with a massage?

People of all ages and levels of fitness can benefit from having regular massage treatments. In fact, there isn’t a need to be unwell to benefit. It can help to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, improve concentration and reduce fatigue – the benefits are endless.

Call 01722 415 055 to book a massage with Gaby Piontek or Cally Morfit who are both highly experienced and specialise in different areas of massage here at Sarum Physio.

What new ‘good’ habit will you start?