Many of us don’t take the time for self-care, and it’s really too bad. In this age of depression, anxiety, and stress overload, taking the time to reset and recharge is especially important for your mental and physical health. Here are 15 new ideas you can use to make self-care a priority this year.
1. Start a Yay List
Go out and buy yourself a cute new journal so you can start a “Yay” list! Each night before you go to bed, sit down and think about all the little things that made you happy throughout your day. Maybe you got a phone call from a long-lost friend, you discovered a great new place to grab lunch, or you found five bucks in your pocket. Whatever it was, add it to your list to remind you of all the great things going on in your life and take the focus away from anything negative.
2. Listen to an Inspiring Podcast
With today’s on-the-go lifestyle, we spend so much time in the car, no to mention standing in line or sitting in waiting rooms. Why not spend this otherwise wasted time listening to an inspiring podcast? The things we listen to can totally change our moods and mindset.
3. Create a Mantra
Think about your goals over the next year, month, week, and even the next day and write them down in your journal. Then, come up with your own personal catchphrase that will help motivate you to complete your goals and make a real change.
4. Try Acupuncture
According to New York City acupuncturists & Chinese Medicine experts at the Yinova Center, acupuncture is a fantastic way to take of both your mind and body. It promotes healing by stimulating organ function, improving circulation, and reducing inflammation. The treatments are also very relaxing, so they’re extremely beneficial for those suffering from anxiety and stress.
5. Surround Yourself with Healing Scents
Aromatherapy is a great way to reduce stress and help you unwind. Try diffusing a few drops of lavender essential oil before bedtime to help you sleep. During the day, try lemon essential oil for a burst of energy and mental clarity.
6. Make Time for a Relaxing Bath
Most of us speed through a five-minute shower in the morning. If you can find the time to soak in a relaxing bath once in a while, you won’t regret it! Baths are incredibly relaxing and indulgent, especially if you incorporate a glass of wine, some scented candles, and soothing music.
7. Get Creative
If you don’t already have a creative hobby, consider taking one up. The act of being artistic or creative boosts your mood and self-esteem, so try to set aside time for it every day. It could be drawing, writing, crafting, or even trying a new recipe. Whatever it is, it should be an outlet for you that you look forward to and enjoy.
8. Give Your Bedroom a Makeover
Sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health, and many of us don’t get nearly enough of it. Give your bedroom a makeover that invites better sleep by removing all electronics and blue light from the room. Splurge on some new sheets, pillows, and a comforter that make your bed more inviting.
9. Detox Your Newsfeed
We all spend so much time on social media these days, and that time should be filled with uplifting people and brands, not stuff that brings you down. Go through your friends lists and stop engaging with anyone who regularly posts negative content that doesn’t make you happy.
10. Stop Saying Yes to Every Invitation
If you say yes to every invite for dinner and drinks, eventually you (and your wallet) are going to be stretched too thin. Learn to embrace the joy of missing out and don’t let it bother you when your friends do stuff without you. Prioritizing a little “me” time can be a great way to practice self-care.
11. Let Yourself Do Nothing
Society tends to make us feel guilty for spending a day on the couch watching our favorite show but doing nothing is a great way to reboot and recharge. Whether you spend an hour or two reading a good book, zoning out to Netflix, or listening to some music, allowing yourself time to do nothing is perfectly okay.
12. Schedule Time for Self-Care
Let’s face, life goes by fast and before you know it a whole week can go by without you taking any time for yourself. Instead of thinking “I have no time for myself!” make self-care a priority by setting aside time in your calendar and sticking to it. Putting yourself first is good for you mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is not selfish, so don’t feel guilty about it!
13. Practice Mindful Breathing
Practicing mindful breathing is a great way to lift your mood and improve your focus. To do it, make an L shape with your right forefinger and thumb. Then inhale deeply, closing off your right nostril with your right thumb. Exhale, then repeat the process with your left nostril. Repeat as many times as you like.
Did you know that laughter actually releases feel-good hormones called endorphins? Watch a funny movie or go see a comedian with your friends. It turns out laughter really is the best medicine!
15. Buy Yourself Some Flowers
Nothing can lift your mood faster than coming in from work to a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table. Instead of waiting for someone else to buy them for you or saving them for a special occasion, treat yourself to fresh blooms each week.
Simply incorporating a few of these ideas into your regular routine can make a tremendous difference in your mental and physical health. Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be expensive or take up a lot of time, but it can have a huge impact on the quality of your life. Let this be the year you make self-care a priority!