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The New Year can be a great time to make a fresh start, but it can also be pretty dreary, with all the fun of Christmas behind us and cold weather setting in! But hopefully our top tips for keeping positive will help you put your best foot forward.

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New year tips

Tip #1: Do things your way

There can be a lot of pressure at this time of year to make resolutions and change the way you eat/exercise/relax or even look after your kids. But try to ignore these pressures if you can and find things that work for you and your family. We’ve lots of suggestions here for ways to clear your head and stay positive, so hopefully you’ll find something that feels good. If you do, try and make that good thing part of your daily routine. You can find more tips on the Mind to Mind website.

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Tip #2: Give yourself a pat on the back

Instead of starting the New Year with a list of resolutions to “fix” yourself, why not make a list of all the things you achieved over the last year? From getting the kids through a whole year at school to spending more time outdoors as a family, you could well be surprised at how long that list is. Who knew you were so awesome?

If this makes you feel better, this is a habit you could take with you into the New Year. If you can, start to take a bit of time at the end of the day to think about what went well. Maybe the kids said something funny, or did something kind. Maybe you cooked a new dish that everyone ate (!) Or maybe you didn’t fit in that run you’d planned, but went for a walk with a friend instead. 

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Tip #3: Try to banish negative thoughts

The way we think affects the way we feel, so negative thoughts can make us feel bad. No one wants to think negative thoughts. The trouble is, they tend to pop into our heads of their own accord! Sometimes, you can acknowledge the thought and then dismiss it. But sometimes, worrying thoughts get stuck. You’ll find tips for getting rid of them here. NHS Inform also have a page on coping with stress which includes an audio guide to help you relax, and an anxiety self help guide

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Tip #4: Focus on things you can control

If you’re trying to introduce some new healthier habits to your daily routine, it can be helpful to set yourself small goals that you can control. So for example, instead of saying “I will get fit”, say something like “I will go for a 20 minute walk every day”, because this is something you can actually control. Or instead of saying “I will spend more time playing outdoors with the kids”, instead try setting aside a time when you can do this, for example by going to the park after school. Our page on making daily life easier has lots more tips for introducing new habits to your routine. 

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Tip #5: Chat to the Money Talk Team

Money worries can be a big cause of stress at this time of year. If you’re struggling to make your money last to the end of the week/month or are worried about how you’ll pay your bills, you’re definitely not alone. But there is something you can do about it. If you have any money worries, or if you’re in debt and you want some advice, you can turn to the Money Talk Team.

You can get advice on the Money Talk Team website, by calling 0800 028 1456 or by chatting with their virtual assistant. You can find out more about the Money Talk Team here.

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Tip #6: Join a new group

Joining a local baby or toddler group, or a parent support group, is a great way for you and your kids to make new friends and expand your support network. Chatting to other mums and dads who are in the same boat can really help keep things in perspective. 

You could ask your health visitor or GP about groups in your area, or check noticeboards in your local child health clinic, health centre, GP's waiting room, children's centre, library, advice centre, supermarket, newsagent, or toy shop. You may also be able to find local groups on Facebook.

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Further information

You can find lots of resources to help improve your mental wellbeing on NHS Inform’s Mind to Mind website.

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