21 things to do for your health, wellbeing and beauty in 2021

Tick these things off our to-do list – created with help from Jo Stanley, Luke Hines and Gerald Quigley – to make this your most positive year yet.

Experts, including The House of Wellness TV’s Jo Stanley, Luke Hines and Gerald Quigley, reveal the top things you should do to look after your physical health, mental wellbeing and beauty this year.

For your mental wellbeing:

1. Watch the sun rise

Waking up in time to watch the sun rise, be it on the beach, in a park or from the kitchen bench, will transform your life, says Luke.

“You’ll face the day in front, without feeling like the day is chasing you,” he says.

“Use the sunrise as a time to practise mindfulness, and with all this extra time up your sleeve, you’ll always have time for a healthy breakfast, get to wherever you’re going on time, and naturally look forward to going to bed earlier for important quality sleep.”

2. Play every day

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, work, bills, kids, errands.

So amid the realities of adulting, don’t forget to find time to play, says Luke: “It can be as simple as playing fetch with the dog, mucking around with the kids, or doing something childlike on your own such as Lego or a puzzle. Never let go of the fun inside you!”

Jo also values the importance of bringing fun into your life.

“I work long hours, and love my work, so stepping away from it doesn’t always feel necessary. But it is – so that I rest mentally and physically, and also spark more creativity” she says.

“And spending time doing fun things with my daughter and husband is SO important for our family relationships.”

3. You do you

Stop worrying about what other people think of you, and don’t get caught up in other people’s drama, advises Luke.

“When you focus on your world – what you’re creating, your goals and dreams – incredible things happen,” says the nutrition coach and trainer.

“It’s amazing how much time we free up in our lives when we don’t sweat the small stuff and focus on our own awesomeness.”

4. Tune into optimism

“Look for the positive things in everyday situations,” says Gerald, a community pharmacist and master herbalist.

“Try not to let negative events of the past affect the present, and find enjoyment in work.”

5. Start a journal

“I’d be lost without it,” says Jo.

“I write in the morning – my thoughts or feelings for the day. Often I don’t know what will come out, and I’m sometimes surprised what’s lying underneath.”

6. Meditate

“It’s not for everyone, I know. But 20 minutes of stillness every morning, either focusing on the in and out of my breath or sometimes a mantra, is my favourite start to the day,” says Jo.

“It allows me to leave the churning thoughts in my head and reconnect with this present moment. This is my antidote to worries, anxiety and discontent, because in this moment, I am OK.”

7. Foster quality relationships

Focus on giving people your full attention, says Gerald: “Be open and honest with others, and seek out like-minded people who share similar interests.”

“Become an active member of your wider community,” advises Gerald.

“Remain socially active with friends and family, and keep physically and mentally active.”

8. Learn something new

“Explore new ideas and engage with new things,” says Gerald.  “Challenge your own thinking, and be open to change.”

For your physical health:

9. Move your feet

Whether it’s a little or a lot, running slashes your risk of dying, according to Aussie research.

“I love to run, although possibly these days it’s more of a shuffle,” says Jo.

“I love the rhythm of my feet and breath together. I love playing my favourite tunes and being in my own space, I love the fresh air.”

Or if walking is more your thing, step it up a notch with these tips for turning your stroll into a workout.

10. Dine device free

Luke suggests using meal times to take a screen break, with multiple health and wellness benefits.

“It’s a really good way to be more present in the moment, which allows you to chew your food properly, digest better, and listen to your body to tell you if you’re full or not, which all lead to a healthier and happier you,” says Luke.

“You’d be amazed how often we over eat or cause digestive discomfort by being distracted on our screens.”

11. Get adventurous with vegetables

“I get it, we all have our favourite vegetables; mine is definitely pumpkin,” says Luke.

“But the more diverse the veggies we eat, the better, because different coloured vegetables denote different vitamins and minerals. The more we ‘eat the rainbow’ the more our health benefits from all the nourishing nutrient density.”

If you are watching your weight, see what you can whip up with these fruit and veggies that are almost calorie-free.

12. Take a hike

As more Aussies explore their own states, bushwalking has emerged as a popular way to get back to nature.

There are significant physical and mental benefits, including boosting immune function, lowering your risk of heart disease and improving balance.

13. Snack on … exercise

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute physical activity researcher Dr Ashleigh Homer says taking exercise “snack” breaks throughout the day is a good way to stay healthy.

“Short, frequent bouts of activity help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy,” Dr Homer says.

“Identify your danger zones – the times where you sit the most – and set reminders to get up and get moving, such as the first hours of the working day, the after dinner slump, or the weekend Netflix binge are great opportunities to break up your sitting time.”

14. Increase your incidental exercise

If structured exercise is not your thing, remember that every move counts.

“Incorporate physical activity into your day by doing things you enjoy – play with your kids, walk the dog, dance, swim, anything,” Dr Homer says.

“If you can, aim to do 30 minutes or more of activity that gets the heart rate up every day.”

For your beauty

15. Love the skin you’re in

SkintifiX skin expert and corneotherapist Robyn McAlpine says 2021 is a good year to embrace the positive things your skin and body do – and worry less about the small imperfections.

“Skin, this incredible organ is our connection to the outside world. It’s how we feel the warmth of the sun, a soft breeze and hugs and kisses from our loved ones,” Robyn says.

16. Rethink your skincare regimen

Simplifying your routine will dramatically see your skin consistently happier and healthier.

“Gone are the days of excessive skin care and mixing and matching. 2021 is all about reducing your skin care overload,” Robyn says.

17. Seek expert skin advice

Getting an expert assessment of your skin will help you prevent trial and error and will be better for your budget in the long run.

“Your skin deserves the investment with an expert and the knowledge you gain will stay with you for life,” Robyn says.

18. Look after your scalp

Marian’s Petite Salon owner Sonia Parrish says the scalp care trend is gaining momentum with specialised innovations such as serums, exfoliators and rinse-off/leave-in products.

“Scalp care is extremely important, conditioners and treatments paired with a light scalp massage can invigorate and promote blood circulation which will also encourage hair growth,” Sonia says.

19. Get the chop

The 1970s super shaggy cut is enjoying a resurgence.

“It’s flattering on most as it frames a person’s face and is super easy to style – the more unkempt it looks, the better,” Sonia says.

“Bangs are also fabulous. They remind me of summer and always look really fresh – the key is getting the right length of bang for your face shape.”

20. Try a bob

Hair experts are tipping bob cuts will be popular this year.

“My favourite bob is a LOB (aka long bob), it’s so easy to wear, manage and it’s still long enough to tie back on those lazy styling days,” Sonia says.

“But your face shape will determine which length of bob will suit you the most.”

21. Embrace colour

Sonia says there is some serious experimental colour going on.

“Pink is a show stopper, and I have to say, there is a pink to suit most skin tones from baby pink to bright pink,” she says.  “Blue hues have also been very popular.”

Written by Claire Burke and Bianca Carmona.