Many people have New Year's resolutions. But, by the end of January most people haven't achieved them and often give up on them. Instead of setting a New Year's resolution. Look at setting goals for the New Year.
This means you don't give up after one month. They continue throughout the New Year. Most of the time, people set goals around work or making more money. They often forget about themselves, and self-care.
"I don't have time for self-care."
I hear that a lot. When you don't set aside time for yourself, you will eventually burn out. This means you can become angry and even resentful towards others. This can show in your attitude. This can also show in your physical and mental health.
Unfortunately, you have been taught to take care of everyone else first. This means you put yourself last. You may think self-care is selfish. That is not the case. Research has found, you can't take care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself.
Many people think of self-care as getting a massage, or a mani/pedi. Those are nice things, but self-care is something you practice daily. It's taking care of your mind, body and spirit.
Here are 8 easy self-care tips for the New Year:
- Start your own mindfulness practice. You may be thinking you don't have time for this in your life. Simply just pause and take three slow deep breaths. Pay attention to your breath. Notice how your breath feels going in and out. Then take three more breaths. Again, notice how your breath feels. You can add some peaceful music. Work your way up to ten minutes a day. Good work, you now have a mindfulness practice.
- Go for a 20 minute walk. Walk in one direction for ten minutes. This means it will take you ten minutes to walk back. Now, you have walked for twenty minutes. That didn't take too much time out of your day. You may feel like you don't have enough time to exercise, but you do. Walking is great for your health. Exercise can also help with sleep. It's a great way to clear your mind.
- Change one unhealthy snack to a healthy snack, today. Good job, you are eating a healthy snack. When you eat healthy you feel better. Your body needs healthy foods. This will help prevent obesity, heart disease and diabetes. You may also be adding a few years to your life. Which means your family will have you around longer to enjoy.
- Do at least one kind deed today. Simply smiling at someone demonstrates kindness. You can take it a step further, by holding the door open for someone. Donating change to the homeless person you pass by on the street. You can also volunteer at a non-profit or make a donation. But doing this you are spreading kindness to the world.
- Start a gratefulness journal. At the end fo the day, write three good things that happened during your day. They can be simple. A stranger held the door open for you, or you had a pleasant conversation with your dad today. Keep it for a minimum of two weeks. It's easy to get caught up in the business of life, and not notice what is happening around you. Many people have reported feeling better almost instantly, when they started a gratefulness journal.
- Invite a friend out for lunch, or join a new social group. Invite your friend out with the intention of building a closer connection. Join a new social group with the intention of making new friends and becoming more closely connected with your community. When you have healthy friendships, you feel better. It's important to maintain healthy friendships. This means a healthy amount of giving and receiving on both sides.
- Get enough sleep. You need 7-9 hours of sleep. When you don't have enough sleep, it's difficult to focus. It will also come out in your mood. Unfortunately, more and more people are sleep deprived. You cut out sleep to work more, or do more for others. If you have to, block out time on your calendar for sleep.
- Set healthy boundaries for yourself. This means stop saying yes when you mean no. If you continue to do this you will begin to feel drained. This can lead to feeling burned out. Spend time with positive people that don't expect you to always say yes. What are some things you can cut out right now? Make sure to follow through on this. You will feel much better in the long run.
Self care is good for your well being. When you practice self-care, you will begin to feel better. This will help you mental and physical health. Start with one of these tips today. Continue throughout the New Year, and watch your life change.
If you liked this article, there are more in Taking Care of Yourself. Research has found that self-care will help you feel better. Unfortunately, stress is the number one killer. There are many helpful tips in this blog, that will lead to you living a healthier, happier and longer life.
Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.