2019. Put your best foot forward. Life your best life. Be the best you can. This will be my best year yet. How about simply surviving? For all the platitudes of influencers and life coaches spread so thinly online they’re in danger of disintegrating, many of us have more humble ambitions for the coming year; to be kind, to be content. And this all starts with taking control of your mood. With this in mind, here are 5 IDEAL ways to zen your emotions.

SUPER FOOD, SUPER MOOD

For some people, the thought of food carries a great deal of emotional weight. Whatever your personal relationship with food, it’s a fact that a healthy, balanced diet can have a hugely positive impact on your feelings While the usual fruit and veggie food agents will always make an appearance on the happy list, other superfoods include mushrooms, probiotic-rich foods, green tea and yes, the all-time favourites, coffee and dark chocolate. Most importantly, of course, is moderation; a little of something you love, even if it’s deemed ‘bad for you’ is fine. Just remember to eat lots of the good stuff, too!

GET PLENTY OF RESTFUL SLEEP

It’s easy to fall into the trap of rumination, making it hard to shut down the mining activity of thoughts that ultimately leads to sleep deprivation. This isn’t helped by the modern world’s ‘always on’ mentality, with blue lights and bright screens being heavily detrimental to a restful night. The advice is as clear and luminous as that screen; turn it off an hour before bed or, if that seems impossible (get help) install an app which puts your phone on night mode. Regular exercise, an amazing mood lifter, will also benefit a good night’s sleep.

RUN WILD, FREE AND EXPLORE 

The adage of all work and no play still holds truer than ever in our technology-dependent age. The sedentary lifestyle of offices and commuting can make us feel shackled and stifled. It’s so important, then, to get out there, to see some shrubbery, breathe some air free from exhaust fumes and to run through the wheat fields, as it were. You might find a mental burden is lifted. At the very least, you’ll get a tan.

TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS

Where once there was great stigma in admitting to feeling down, thankfully now it carries far less judgment. So open up, and you’ll likely find open arms waiting for you. This could be in the form of friends and family, or something more professional. The NHS offers several options, including one-on-one therapy and group CBT. You could also consider alternative spiritual guidance, perhaps through clairvoyant readings. Do thorough research first though, and consider official medical expertise on the subject; treat it as a bit of fun rather than a life-changing investment.

FIND, DO & KEEP A PLEASURABLE HOBBY

Regardless of how hectic your life is, you should never stop doing things that make you happy. Hobbies are the element that gives life genuine meaning and structure, not the desk and payslip. They can be enriching socially, mentally and physically, so make sure your hobby isn’t sidelined in the pursuit of money.