New Year’s resolutions can be pretty stressful things to keep. We’ve decided to take a more relaxed approach this year, far apart from the traditional weight-loss and dieting promises that companies encourage us to make so that they can sell protein shakes. These New Year’s resolutions for students are all about making the world a better place, looking after your mental and physical health and not beating yourself up by breaking promises that were impossible to keep anyway. Here’s to an awesome 2018!
1. Remember to switch off once in a while
The world’s a pretty shit place at the moment, with Trump and Kim Jong-un threatening each other with nuclear war, protests and deaths, Brexit and the rise of the far-right in America. It’s important to be engaged with politics, but the prevalence of technology in society means we’re often bombarded with 24 hour news, with live notifications bringing war and death into our homes at all times of the day and night. So take a moment and switch off those devices.
2. Or, create your own happy social media bubble
If switching off completely isn’t an option, make your social media environments awesome places to spend time. Follow cute floofs on Twitter, fill your Instagram feed with delicious food or unfriend that racist on Facebook. Instant bliss.
3. Get outside
Yes, it’s cold and windy outside, and you’d much rather hibernate in your duvet burrito and rewatch Brooklyn 99 for the tenth time, but I guarantee you’ll feel better if you go for a walk. Find some greenery, a park, a forest, a hill, that quiet corner of uni where you feel zen, and breathe in some fresh air.
4. Make the odd healthy choice
I’m not saying you have to give up biscuits or bacon sandwiches, but just be a but more mindful about the choices you make. Had a Greggs sausage roll for breakfast? Maybe have some low-sugar squash instead of a Coke today. Forgot to bring a healthy packed lunch? Treat yourself to a M&S egg protein pot instead of an overpriced panini from the library cafe.
5. Get a plant
No student needs the responsibility of a pet, so pick yourself up a nice plant instead. Cacti and succulents are super easy to look after, while orchids can be picked up for a fiver in Tesco and spider plants are famous for purifying the air. You’ll feel better having a little green pal to care for, and it’ll go a long way to brightening up your dingy student digs.
6. Find a podcast you love
I’ve recently got into Sofie Hagen’s Made of Human podcast, which feels like sitting in the warm with a glass of wine in front of the fire, while the rain beats down on the windows outside. It’s endlessly reassuring and fascinating, and perfect for banishing bouts of social anxiety/essay blues/boredom. It might not be the podcast for you, but have a hunt around and see what you can find, as the right podcast feels like discovering a new best friend. I’d also like to recommend The Guilty Feminist and Reasons to Be Cheerful with Geoff Lloyd and Ed Miliband.
7. Treat yourself
It’s tricky sometimes to feel that you have permission to treat yourself when you’re a student. Loans disappear fast, parents tell you to get a job, the only work you can find is often in a dive student bar where shifts last until 4am, and you have to spend most of that hard-earned cash on books. When your loan drops this January, take £50 and put it in a savings account. Set a reminder on your phone for six months time, and vow to spend that £50 on something frivolous.
8. Save the change
If your bank offers this service, or something similar, then I urge you to use it! Every time you spend an amount that doesn’t quite add up to a nice round number (e.g. £4.56), that change is deposited in a savings account, just like in the old days when you’d break into a tenner to buy something, only now the piggy bank is virtual. That way, you’ll save money without even realising it!
9. Make a vow with a friend
If you’re rubbish at meeting up with old friends, but still love them and want to see them, make a vow that you’ll always talk to each other, even if you’ve left it months between texts. Don’t lose a friend just because you think you’ve left it too long to contact them and you feel guilty.
10. Don’t worry too much about keeping your New Year’s resolutions
Nobody’s perfect, so just remember that you’re doing your best. Your pot plant may die, you might eat cereal for dinner for five days straight, but that’s ok. It’s never too late to try and make 2018 a better year than 2017.
What New Year’s resolutions do you guys make? Is there anything awesome that we’ve missed off the list? Let us know!