New year, new you, right? It seems like with every passing year, we’re hoping to create new resolutions and stick to them to become our best selves. For some of us, it’s achieving a mega weight loss goal. For others, it’s introducing money-saving hacks to bulk up savings accounts. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with resolutions like these, here at GenTwenty we hope your resolutions revolve around self-care in 2019.
What is self-care? Self-care is any activity that takes care of your mental, physical, and emotional health. Think about how exercising is a stress relief, or how meditating can induce relaxation, or how writing in a journal can help reduce anxiety and purge emotions. These are all forms of self-care that positively impact your overall mental, physical, and emotional health.
10 Self-Care Tips For The New Year
Self-care is a big part of leading a healthy, stress-free, and fulfilling lifestyle. Here are simple ways to add self-care into your life in this year:
- Take more “mental health” days from work. Just like any physical ailment, our mental health sometimes gets “sick.” Sometimes we need to use a paid time off (PTO) day from work to take care of our mental health. You cannot perform at 100% if you’re overworked, overtired, and burnt out. Don’t be afraid to call out of work when you need to mentally recharge.
- Reduce screen-time. You might feel that social media is an innocent space for sharing posts, or that swiping on dating apps is relaxing, but truthfully we all need a break from our phones and tablets. According to the Center for the Digital Future, the average adult spends 24 hours per week online. That adds up to an entire day! We spend far too much time scrolling through newsfeeds, like photos, posting updates, binge-watching Netflix, and swiping on dating apps. Give your brain a break this year by reducing your screen-time.
- Read more. Reading can be an extremely relaxing hobby and keeps your mind thinking outside of school and work. Rather than going for your phone to unwind after a long day, dedicate time to picking up a new book of interest. Get lost in a fictitious world and let your brain escape on a literary adventure. Try committing to reading at least 1 book each month this year!
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- Exercise on a regular basis. One of the best forms of self-care for your physical body is exercise. Exercise is proven to relieve stress by improving your mood, releasing your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters (endorphins), and giving you a physical outlet to take your mind off of anything nagging you. Try dedicating at least three days per week to exercising, whether it be at the gym, going for a walk, meditating, or joining an athletic team to get regular exercise.
- Practice good hygiene. It seems silly to have to say, but make this year the year you’re clean. Floss and brush your teeth every single day. Practice good hygiene by wearing clean clothing, brushing your hair, and making sure you’re getting regular check-ups with your doctor/dentist/etc. Practicing good hygiene is bound to improve your confidence and make you feel better about your body. It’s a big part of taking care of yourself!
- Fuel your body with the right foods. We all need days where we splurge on ice cream, chocolate, and eat an entire large pizza by ourselves. But, as good as it tastes to enjoy these delicious foods, it is more important to your physical health that you’re eating the right foods most of the time. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, eating your greens, and sticking to a balanced diet. Fueling your body with healthy foods will help you perform better. It’s self-care at its finest!
- Get plenty of sleep. Nothing is going to make your body function better than consistent sleep. Try to get into a routine where you get a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Being well rested is going to fuel you each day, giving your physical health exactly what it needs to be in tip-top shape.
- Be kind to yourself. When we are out in the world setting goals, crushing it at work, and shaping up our lives to be the best they can be, it can be hard to remember to be kind to yourself. You’re going to have highs and lows in life. Like any year, this year is bound to bring you milestones, memories, and some misfortune. When you’re in the midst of a bad experience, be kind to yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others and try to remain optimistic even through failure.
- Learn to say no. If you want this year to bring you joy, you need to learn to say no to the things that make you unhappy. Your emotional health needs to come before the happiness of others. Say no when you feel others are abusing your generosity, expecting too much of you, or asking for favors you just cannot commit to. Practice saying no more to the things you don’t enjoy to make room for the things you do.
- Practice gratitude. Nothing is more humbling in life than being thankful for all that you have. Assessing the good fortune you have is bound to put things into perspective and make you appreciate the things, people, and places around you. Get in touch with your emotional health by practicing gratitude. Whether this involves writing in a journal, praying, or giving back to others less fortunate through volunteer, practice gratitude to keep your emotional health in check.
Make this year a year dedicated to your self-care! How does self-care work into your goals for the year?
And as a fun bonus, be sure to check out this 30 Day Self-Care Challenge!