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From money and health to stress and happiness ... what advice do these six gurus give you for 2019?


Keeping fit: spending 20 minutes four or five times a week on a workout is recommended
Keeping fit: spending 20 minutes four or five times a week on a workout is recommended
Staying positive: eating healthily, looking after your money and avoiding stress will improve your happiness
Haemin Sunim
Shahroo Izadi
Joe Wicks
Rangan Chatterjee
Louise Parker
Laura Whateley

Rosamund Dean finds out how to make this year your best yet.

How to be happy by Haemin Sunim

"Text your parents to say you love them: though we always wish our loved ones to be happy and healthy, we often do not express it, assuming that they already know how we feel. However, we all live busy lives, and you - like me - may find yourself sometimes wondering when you last said the words "I love you" to them. Do it today, you never know what change it might make.

"Forgive someone who has hurt you: one of the reasons forgiveness is so hard is that we try to suppress the rage or hatred, but the feelings will always come back. Instead of doing this, imagine the person who hurt you is in front of you.

"Imagine talking to them directly about how they made you feel. You may find yourself confronting deeper emotions, and eventually even learning to understand and become compassionate towards the person.

"Harness the power of hugs: research from the University of North Carolina found that if a couple hugs for 20 seconds before leaving the house in the morning, their stress index will be half that of couples who don't. In other words, a warm morning hug with someone we love provides us with a protective layer from the stress of the day.

"Be courageous: many people who try to forge their own path come up against strong opposition.

"But you must live the life you think has meaning, even if others try to dissuade you. They are not living your life for you. Even if you fail, you will learn from your mistakes and do it differently next time. As long as you are prepared to take responsibility for the consequences of your choices, you can follow your heart."

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  • Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection by Haemin Sunim, published by Penguin Life, £6.99

How to be fit by Joe Wicks

"If you over-indulged at Christmas and spent the past two weeks vowing to eat differently, mid-January is the time of reckoning. You may have started and stopped a new diet, or maybe you've just taken out a membership and are spending hours in the gym.

"Every January, thousands of people make big resolutions which they can't stick to. This is why diets don't work. Instead, here are my three steps to a fitter and healthier you.

"First, you need to eat! Aim for three meals a day and two snacks.

"These meals need to have a combination of fats, protein and carbohydrates - think curries, stir fries, omelettes, protein pancakes, even homemade pies. My new book, Veggie Lean in 15, is full of delicious recipes that will keep you full and help you burn fat.

"Secondly, dedicate 20 minutes, four or five days a week, to do an HIIT workout: you can do this in your living room, bedroom, park or even the office. Push yourself as hard as you can for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Take it at your own pace and after two weeks you'll see your fitness level improve.

"Thirdly, drink more water: getting through two or three litres a day will make you feel incredible. Your skin will glow, you'll have loads of energy and feel more alert.

"So ditch the diet. Eat more food, exercise less and burn more fat!"

  • Veggie Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks, published by Bluebird, £8.49

How to be better with money by Laura Whateley

"If greater self-care is your motivation in 2019, start by analysing your relationship with money. A third of Brits say their finances control their life, according to insurer Aegon, yet we don't consider keeping "financially fit" as integral to our wellbeing as yoga.

"First of all, stop farming out decisions about your money to other people (eg, your dad). How you want to earn, spend and save is up to you. Check your bank balance as often as you can bear, and get yourself an account that alerts you to how much you're spending. Then get rid of subscriptions that you signed up to and forgot about (the Bean app can help with this).

"You can save without really noticing by taking on the 365 challenge: put aside £1 on Monday, £2 on Tuesday, and so on, up to £7 on Sunday before starting again the next week - and you'll have about £1,500 by the end of the year. The IFTTT app paired with Monzo will do it for you automatically.

"If you are saving for your first property, stick it in a Help to Buy Isa or Lifetime Isa, or miss out on as much as £1,000 a year from the Government.

"All of this is pointless, however, if you are paying as much as 20 per cent interest on a credit card. Move all debt to a 0 per cent balance transfer card, and pay that off before you do anything else."

  • Money: a User's Guide by Laura Whateley, published by Fourth Estate, £5.75

How to reset your habits by Louise Parker

"The key to optimum health - the side effect of which will be your best body - is to reset your habits. Take your focus off "dieting", which is a boomerang of disappointment. I know, as I spent 10 years on every diet going - gaining and losing the same 10 pounds. I created the Louise Parker Method because I wanted to be free from the tedious roller coaster of dieting and unhappiness that yo-yo dieting brings.

"Coaching clients on how to reset their habits is a process. The trick is to align what is good for you with what you love. You have to create a lifestyle you relish - one that won't burst. No one programme is the same but the goal is always the same: to take our method and bespoke fit it to each client's life. There's a moment in each programme when it just "clicks" - and it's usually when a client is wearing the programme loosely, no longer thinking of it as something "they are on", but just a part of them. What they do now; their New Normal. Ultimately, you have to love what you do. Habits last only if they work - in terms of pleasure, results and longevity."

Programmes start from £1,800 and the Transform 360 (Annual Support) is £8,500. Available from Louise Parker clinics in Walton Street or Harrods (

  • Louise Parker: The Six Week Programme by Louise Parker, published by Mitchell Beazley, £6.99

How to manage stress by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

"Free your mind and take a partial digital detox: if you have an iPhone, switch on 'greyscale' - it turns your screen to black and white, which makes your phone a lot less desirable. It's hard to believe until you try it, but it really works. When I feel my phone usage starting to climb, I flip it into greyscale mode for a few days and it's much easier to resist.

"Eat to boost your mood and feed your gut microbiome: try new foods, cook new recipes and find new tastes and textures. Stop eating the same old foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"Sleep away stress: minimise exposure to blue light in the evenings.

"It suppresses production of melatonin, the all-important, sleep-inducing hormone our bodies release naturally after dark. Turn off devices - such as laptops, smartphones and tablets - around 90 minutes before going to bed. The magic of scheduling: when you're feeling overwhelmed with jobs to do, people to see, social events to attend, make yourself a schedule. That might sound like adding one more task to your already busy day but trust me, it will create time for you.

"Reconnect with your partner: schedule regular time to connect and converse. Date nights may be a bit of a cliché, but they're a fantastic way to prioritise intimacy.

"It could be a commitment to spending 30 minutes with each other every evening or simply a daily walk holding hands. If you're single, schedule in time to see a friend and share an activity together."

  • The Stress Solution by Dr Rangan Chatterjee, published by Penguin Life, £8.49

How to be kinder (to yourself) by Shahroo Izadi

"Many of us have developed an unkind internal dialogue, made up of outdated, self-limiting and self-defeating beliefs about who we are and what we're capable of. This holds us back from achieving ambitious goals.

"A good way to work out whether self-sabotaging thought patterns might be holding you back from making difficult changes is simply to tune in to your thoughts the next time you do something you're not so proud of.

"Listen to what messages you give yourself, and consider whether you're speaking to yourself the way you'd speak to someone you cared about. Many of us are shocked to discover that the messages we give ourselves when times are tough are not only unkind, but also unhelpful in terms of making us feel motivated and resilient again.

"I've worked with a number of people who, upon hearing my suggestion of self-care, feel that I'm suggesting they be selfish. They're right, I am. Because I've seen over and over again how allowing ourselves opportunities to be "selfish" in the short term can enable us to stay as selfless as we'd like to be long-term. Practising kindness towards ourselves helps us feel more able to practise kindness towards others.

"It's the same logic as putting your oxygen mask on before that of your child. When we show our bodies and minds kindness (ie, respect, compassion and consideration), they feel resilient, strong and positive. Therefore more able to be generous and helpful to others in a way that can remain meaningful long-term."

  • The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi, published by Bluebird, £7.78

Belfast Telegraph


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