As the new year begins, many people start thinking about New Year’s goals and resolutions, or how they can better themselves in the months ahead.
Focusing on taking better care of yourself can make it easier to complete the other goals that are important to you.
Follow these 10 self-care tips as you enter the new year, and you’ll undoubtedly see how much easier it will be to keep up with your plans and goals for the new year and feel great while doing it.
1. Find a Support System
Everyone needs a strong support system in life, no matter what they’re going through. Whether this year has been rough for you, or you just need a group of people you can depend on when you’re feeling stressed, don’t be afraid to reach out for support when needed. You don’t have to go through anything alone!
2. Be Physically Active
You don’t need to have a weight loss resolution to have a reason to hit the gym. Being physically active can help with so many different things—strength, mood, and confidence, to name a few!
Keep in mind that being physically active doesn’t necessarily mean getting a gym membership. Do something that you enjoy to make sure you’ll stick with it. It could be something as simple as an evening walk or joining a dance class. Get moving, and you’ll feel more energized.
3. Be More Compassionate
Being more compassionate toward yourself and others is a great character trait that will not only help you to feel better but will easily rub off on others, too.
When you show compassion and empathy, even when it’s difficult to do so, you’ll feel satisfied and fulfilled.
4. Reduce Stress Levels
Stress is inevitable in today’s world, but it shouldn’t completely take over your life. Too much stress can lead to things like anxiety and depression.
While you may not be able to eliminate stress from your life completely, think about which self-care tips you can implement to reduce your stress levels. Deep breathing exercises and meditation are great options that can help to combat stress each day.
5. Get More Sleep
An important part of self-care is getting more sleep. As a society in general, most of us aren’t getting the sleep we need.
Getting adequate, restful sleep each night will help to give you energy, ease anxiety, reduce stress, and keep you healthier. Do whatever you can to create a calm, relaxing sleep space for yourself, and commit to going to bed 30 minutes to an hour earlier than you typically do.
6. Strengthen Relationships – In Person!
Social media is great for keeping in touch with people and staying connected to friends and family you may not get to see as frequently as you would like.
Even so, strive to strengthen your in-person relationships in the new year. Talking to someone face- to-face will make you feel less isolated, and you might be surprised at how different that person’s life looks (and how your own life looks) when it’s not filtered through a Facebook or Instagram post.
7. Put Down Your Phone
Speaking of more real-world interaction, try to ditch technology more often. Smartphones can be great resources for many things, but they’re also extremely distracting.
By staying off your phone at work, you can be more productive during the day. By putting it away at home, you can focus your attention on your spouse, your children, and even yourself. The less you’re on your phone, the more you can be in the present moment, which can help to reduce stress.
8. Let Go of Negativity
It isn’t always easy to let go of things – especially things that have been holding us down. However, letting go of the negative things in your life, or things you can’t control, will allow you to feel a sense of peace and freedom.
Whether it’s certain people, a specific situation, or something else that’s out of your control, it’s important to put it behind you in the coming year. By prioritizing self-care tips that help you do that, you’ll likely notice your negativity and stress levels go down.
9. Speak Positively To Yourself
A big part of self-care is positive self-talk. You might think it sounds silly at first but think about the things you tell yourself daily. Chances are, you “talk” to yourself more than you realize.
Unfortunately, many people only focus on the negative things they tell themselves. Maybe you tell yourself you’re not good enough, smart enough, etc. Try to turn that negative self-talk into something positive. By speaking positivity into your life, you can build your confidence and self-esteem. Soon, that will carry over into other areas of your life.
10. Take Time to Reflect
It may not always feel like it, but you’re constantly growing and learning. Now that the last year has come to an end and you’re entering a new 12-month period, think about everything you’ve experienced and what you’ve learned. Think about how much you’ve grown from this point last year.
You can take those reflections with you into the new year, acknowledging areas where you can continue to grow, and accepting the fact that you’re getting stronger all the time.
The more you choose to value yourself and practice these self-care tips, the better this year (and many years to come) can be.
Mirela Bitkowski, MA, LPC Intern, sees clients at the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin. Mirela works with both couples and individuals to overcome challenging moments and move toward a purposeful and fulfilling path. For help creating more positive changes in your life, contact Mirela at (512) 270-4883, ext. 103, or request an appointment with her on the RCC Austin Scheduling page.