Whether you’re a new year’s resolution-maker or not, the month of January is often a time to take stock and be thoughtful about how you live. Research suggests that those who do make resolutions tend to abandon them rather quickly—which is no surprise given the (often unachievable) goals we set ourselves. Instead of making it your mission to scrap old habits, why not add in new, healthier ones? Here’s how to live healthier in 2023.
Live healthier in 2023: Go above and beyond manifesting
“Manifesting in itself is not enough,” says Jodie Cariss, founder of Self Space therapy and author of How To Grow Through What You Go Through. “Don’t keep yourself in the fate or ‘if it’s meant to be, it will be’ trap. It’s a hot topic these days, but relying on manifestation can actually make you incredibly passive in your life and keep you in a place that is not empowered by the change that you lead, are in charge of and own. Lean into both ownership and accountability for the past, as well as the future—this will boost confidence in the long-term. Lead the way in your own life with a flaming torch.”
Up your recovery game
In the fitness world, recovery hacks are all the rage. Whether ice baths, visits to Stretch Lab, cryo chambers or saunas, we make it our mission to help our bodies recover physically after challenging sessions. However, “we rarely apply the same mindset to other types of life event that deserve just as much focus on recovery,” says Rhian Stephenson, nutritionist, naturopath and founder of Artah. “Taking a proactive approach to recover from immense stress, physical injury, emotional events and illnesses is an essential aspect of cultivating resilience. We’re naturally impatient, so often try to get right back to normal after an injury, Covid infection or having a baby, but skipping the recovery phase creates a false sense of progress.”
She advises adopting a mindset that values recovery as one of the core pillars of health (alongside exercise and nutrition) to focus on. It can be as simple as taking probiotics (we love Artah’s new Enhanced Probiotic) after antibiotic use or as big as investing in therapy after an emotional event. “The key is acknowledging that investment in recovery is an investment in both our current and future wellbeing.”
Try cold water therapy
From Bella Hadid to Gwyneth Paltrow, celebrities love a plunge in cold water to help with mood, health and overall wellbeing— and with the global cryotherapy market predicted to reach £318 million by 2030, it’s a wellbeing hack that you’ll be hearing a lot more of. “It’s been shown to have a host of benefits, from impacting depression, anxiety, immunity and metabolism to pain management, and new research is showing early signs that it may even help with treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s,” says Laura Fullerton, CEO of Monk, an easy-to-use smart at-home ice bath. “All it takes is 11 minutes a week to see and feel benefits.”
Get ear seeding
“At first glance, ear seeds look like jewellery, but there’s a lot more to them,” says Emilia Herting, co-founder of Escapada Health. “They’re extremely helpful for tackling anxiety, headaches, fatigue and insomnia. Our life energy, or Qi, can be brought back into flow by applying pressure to specific points, with the aim of releasing energetic blockages in the body and achieving inner balance —ear seeding involves applying small, gold-plated beads on specific acupuncture points in the ear. They remain there until they fall out.”
Eat more fibre
Research has shown that a high intake of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease—upping your intake by just 8g a day could lower your risk of dying from any chronic disease by up to 27 per cent. Nutritionist and medical scientist, Dr Federica Amati, says that we should be seeking to reinvent the typical “five a day” (which comprises fruits and vegetables) to 30 or more different plants every week, to help boost microbial diversity in the gut. As well as incorporating lots of leafy greens and veg in all colours of the rainbow, a supplement like Indi Body can help. “It offers the opportunity to enhance our polyphenol, fibre and plant intake with no added bulking agents, preservatives or other harmful chemicals, in a delicious and easy way,” she says. With 5.4g of diverse fibre in every serving, alongside bioavailable antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, it’s an easy way to enhance your diet.
Make hair oiling a weekly ritual
According to Akash Mehta, CEO of Fable & Mane, 2023 is the year that hair oiling becomes a common practice in every household (it is already a key part of Ayurvedic tradition). “Be it on yourself or your loved ones, hair oiling is centuries old, but has garnered popularity recently on TikTok thanks to the ‘hair slugging’ trend,” he says. “It can strengthen and nourish roots, stimulate blood circulation and promote healthy hair growth, as well as reduce stress.” Massage a hair oil (such as the brand’s HoliRoots Hair Oil) onto scalp and roots, then finger brush the remaining oil through mid-lengths and ends—you can leave it in overnight or wash out after 10 minutes.
Stack your habits
To make good habits stick, why not try habit stacking? “Habit stacking is when you identify an existing habit, then stack an intended new behaviour (or habit) on top,” says Anna Samuels, founder of Boxx. “For example, if you have an existing habit of drinking a coffee every morning at 6am, and want to start exercising daily, the morning coffee acts as a cue to start your new habit of working out. This method takes advantage of how the brain is wired – by associating new habits with old behaviours, it requires less willpower, so your chances of sticking to the new behaviour increase.”
Improve gum health
Studies have shown that poor gum and dental health can lead to ramifications throughout the body–one study showed that those with a history of periodontal disease had a 37 per cent increased risk of developing mental health issues and an 18 per cent increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It pays (and it’s easy) to ensure your dental health is tip-top.
“Most people seem only to clean their teeth, but the key is the gumline as that’s where the bacteria gets trapped,” says Dr Reena Wadia, founder of RW Perio. “Remember your teeth, tongue and gumline, and think of the mouth as a whole. As well as using mouth rinse at a different time to brushing (because it reduces the effect of the toothpaste), make sure you clean between your teeth. Interdental brushes are ideal, but if they don’t fit, then floss. Once a day is key.”
This story first appeared in British Vogue.