How to Maximize Self-Care in the New Year
With the indulgence of the holidays nearly over, many of us face our New Year’s resolutions with dread. Instead of focusing on sacrifice with transformation, try focusing on self-care to ring in the new year. If you start with creating a foundation of mindful practices in your daily routine, this could naturally lead to the success you desire.
Where to begin? Take time to slow down from the busyness of the season and follow these six tips to avoid holiday and resolution commitment fatigue.
- Reflect on the past year
Write down what you learned this past year, what worked and what didn’t, and what self-awareness led you down new paths. Evaluate your daily habits and how you might change them for future success, whether with your health, friendships, or career. What challenges did you encounter and how did you deal with them? Don’t forget to celebrate the victories and courage you took to face a difficult event. It can be easy to regret our past but don’t forget to celebrate all you’ve achieved as well. Positive thinking is key to self-motivation and progress.
- Simplify your home
Decluttering is a popular trend for a reason—eliminating mess and chaos around you can create a calm, peaceful place to live and support growth. Organizing your living space also provides a sense of control that brings with it clarity of mind. Throwing out or donating old things you’ve been holding onto for sentimental reasons can help relieve negative emotions associated with these items and clear the mind of old memories that may be holding you back.
- Listen to music
It’s fairly accepted that music can immensely boost our mood, or even inspire us to dance. Play tunes while cooking, folding laundry, cleaning, or walking. If you haven’t already, create playlist sets of different upbeat songs whether its jazz, acoustic, instrumental, or classic rock. Purchasing a portable speaker that connects to your phone’s playlists can bring music alive in any room of your house—and make you feel more alive.
- Add one new ritual to your day
This could be a cup of warm tea each afternoon, meditation, morning yoga, journaling, reading, or taking a walk. You might want to start that creative project you’ve been meaning to do and work on that a little each day. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying too many new rituals at once time. Pick one that speaks to you and add it in your schedule. Experts say it takes three weeks to establish any new habit. Aim for three weeks and if one routine doesn’t stick, try another one.
- Plan ahead for future self-care
Get in the habit of blocking out self-care time. When you start making appointments with yourself to improve your body and mind, you are choosing to make yourself a priority. It could be one evening a week or 30-minutes a day. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing self-care over doing for others. Taking time to nourish yourself not only eases daily stresses and anxiety and prepares us to face the world, but also makes you a better friend, parent, child, or spouse—and a better friend to you.
- Surround yourself with a support system
Attempting self-care can be challenging when faced with unsupportive people in our lives who don’t understand the need to take time for ourselves. Choose to surround yourself with people who understand the importance of the art of self-care. Better yet, create a network who can help provide you the alone time you need such as with babysitting or errands. Offer to do the same in exchange for them. This could require making hard choices in cutting out negative influences in your life, but your body and spirit will be thankful.
A new year can be a promising time, but also a stressful time with pressuring ourselves over self-improvement goals. Rather than feel anxious about failing new goals, choose to feel exhilarated over possible new achievements. Treating yourself with compassion and kindness can only bolster your confidence to face the new year with wonder and hope.