The band Little Mix who first formed on The X Factor back in 2011 have announced they will be going on hiatus in 2022.
Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall – who recently celebrated 10 years in the band with a greatest hits album – are going to be “taking a break” from Little Mix after their upcoming tour.
The announcement doesn’t come as a huge shock – the members have already been working on their own projects on the side, such as Pinnock making her acting debut on Boxing Day, Edwards launching a luxury fashion brand and Thirlwall collaborating on a make-up palette.
But the news comes at a key time of year – for as 2021 draws to a close, many of us are looking to what’s ahead in our own lives.
If you’re considering trying something new in 2022, here’s why that could be a brilliant idea…
1. Variety is the spice of life
“Novelty and variety are very important to our motivation and energy levels, as well as our overall wellbeing.
But for many of us, these have been seriously lacking over the past two years.
That is why we need to actively make time for them in the new year,” advises Stuart Duff, psychologist and senior partner at Pearn Kandola (pearnkandola.com).
If the pandemic has you feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, 2022 could be the perfect opportunity to do something about it.
It doesn’t have to be something huge like quitting your job – even picking up a new hobby could breathe new life into your daily routine.
2. It could brighten up a gloomy January
You’ll rarely find someone claiming January is the best month of the year – Duff calls it a “notoriously difficult month to stay positive and motivated, mainly because it is the mid-point of winter for many of us, and it signals the end of any festivities we may have been enjoying”.
That’s why pledging to try something new could be a bright spot in a dark month, and focusing on the task at hand could be the distraction you need.
“As a psychologist, I’d recommend investing 30 minutes every day in doing something new for yourself and your mindset.
Imagine having an advent calendar for January 2022 and behind every date is a new and interesting experience,” recommends Duff.
“It could be walking a new route, yoga, learning a new language, trying a different recipe, reading something, sewing, baking…
The options are endless, but the really important thing is that whatever you do gives you a breather from the everyday working routines.”
3. A new year = a fresh start
The new year is a line in the sand, and Jim Rees – emotional intelligence coach and author of Vicious Cycle (theeiguru.com) – calls it “the perfect time for effective goal setting”.
This is “vital so you don’t drift through life”, he explains. “Setting short, medium or longer-term goals can help you to navigate your way through the year and beyond with a sense of purpose.
The significance of a new year and a fresh start means your brain will be highly focused on the goals you set, giving you a greater chance of achieving them.”
4. It could positively impact your mental health
“Trying something new can be a great boost to your mental health,” says Aaron Surtees, psychologist and founder of subconsciously.com. “A lot of the time, apprehension, fear or discouragement can prevent someone from taking their first steps to trying something new.
“Their subconscious mind knows change or trying something different can have a positive effect on them, so listening to your inner voice to encourage you to take action is important for progress.
You can even take it one step at a time to build up your confidence if you feel unsure or scared.”
Surtees suggests there could be a whole host of positive outcomes from trying something new: “Including getting to know yourself better, creating happy memories, feelings of freedom and generating positive emotions and reducing any negative ones.”
Breaking out of your normal routine also works in “stimulating your brain by enhancing your creativity and releasing feel-good hormones,” he says.
5. You could grow as a person
Dr. Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, is a real proponent for trying something new, calling it “an opportunity to grow”.
She says: “Not only do we expand our minds, but we also often learn something new about ourselves – our likes, dislikes, skills and talents. If we stay stuck, we’ll never discover our potential.
There are all kinds of activities that might stimulate and excite us – the only way to discover them is by giving them a go and trying something new.”
Rees suggests it’s important to occasionally step out of your comfort zone.
Only then do we have, “the ability to feel, see, and recognise opportunities which can help us on the path to self-improvement,” he says.
“In addition, trying something new helps us break the monotony of routine and change our biorhythm — jolting and stimulating us intellectually, emotionally, and physically for optimum results.”