Okay, the new year is here, and it’s time to start the new year with self-care ideas that prioritize you. Be the star of your own darn life and don’t apologize for it. It’s true.
When you prioritize your own self-care you are a better happier person and more of a pleasure to be around and I am sure your family will appreciate that. That’s why self-care is not selfish.
So the question is, how can we take care of ourselves this year?
What self-care practices can we start to improve our lives and make this our best year yet?
Let’s take time this year to really focus on our whole selves through self-care and self-care routines that will renew our spirits, and boost our emotional health as well as our physical health.
Remember health is wealth.
Why is self-care so important?
Yes, I know you may wonder why all the fuss about self-care. Perhaps it’s because, for the longest time, many of us have really sacrificed ourselves for family, jobs, society, whatever. Because we thought we were being generous by doing what needed to be done at all costs.
You know taking work home, cooking cleaning, and so on and so forth till we were the last on our to-do list. It’s good to give of ourselves but not at our own expense. There needs to be a balance.
So when it comes to self-care we look at the following categories and when we have nourished all of these we are practicing self-care.
Physical self-care includes good sleep hygiene. That means sleeping at least 7-8 hours, eating healthy, exercising, and resting when we are tired.
When we talk about emotional self-care we focus on how we feel. This includes finding ways to express how we feel either by talking to someone or writing it down. Emotional self-care also means acknowledging when we feel bad and dealing with that emotion in a healthy way.
Mental health self-care
Mental health care includes allowing ourselves to heal, taking meds if we need to, seeking therapy if needed, resting, eating right, and being around people who we love and who love us back.
Being strong to end toxic relationships is a big part of mental health. As you can see these areas of self-care overwrap. And that’s okay because as humans we are complex and every part of our life is connected somehow to another.
Making sure we are not isolated and that we are surrounding ourselves with friends and people who are good for our mental health is a big part of social self-care.
It means being brave enough to establish healthy boundaries to protect our emotional health and mental health. Social self-care means setting time aside for those meaningful relationships.
Dont be too busy to talk to friends and family. Isolation eventually costs our mental health.
Loneliness can lead to loneliness and depression. If you are feeling lonely, please reach out to a therapist and they can help you figure out why your relationships are suffering.
So as you can see, self-care encompasses all your life and it calls for balance.
When you take care of your health you are vibrant, and you avoid getting sick, you stay out of the hospital and those you love and care for won’t be left stranded when you are unable to care for them.
So this year keep your self-care as a priority. Schedule it so you do it often, even daily.
Taking care of yourself ensures you don’t end up with burnout and excessive exhaustion that can lead to illness.
You know there is a relationship between high stress and a weak immune system.
And now more than ever we need to boost our immunity. Some serious diseases like cancer also take advantage of when the immune system is low when we are burning our candle on both ends.
So as we head into this new year, what can you do to practice healing? What elements of self-care do you need to rejuvenate your life so you can have a better happier healthier year?
Let’s look at some self-care ideas for a great healthy new year.
Self Care Ideas for the new year
#1Connect with your deeper self
This year get down to the basics of who you really are.
If during the events of the past year or the years before have left you feeling sort of lost and maybe lost touch with who you really are, get reacquainted with your deepest inner self. What makes you tick? What makes you happy? What inspires you? What do you dream about?
Start the groundwork now to start reconnecting with yourself. As we go along in life, different things, ideas and attitudes, and encounters can change who we are.
We can get lost in the mayhem of life.
Find yourself again this year. I have a step-by-step guide to show you how to find yourself when you feel lost and stuck in life.
Ask the big question. What would make you feel most fulfilled in life? Set some goals this new year and start implementing them. Find yourself again this year.
This really is the essence of self-care. It is time for new beginnings. Time to come home to yourself.
#2 Stay positive
Staying positive is a very big part of self-care. Protect your mental health with positivity. Spread positivity around. Bring joy to those who may not have it. Make people smile.
Share good things and positive messages on social media. You will feel happier and also bring others some joy. We need more joy now than ever.
There has been so much negativity in the last year. The last year threw at us so much to handle and it is so easy to turn to negativity.
So instead, put the effort to be a more positive person, and look for the positive to focus on even in negative situations.
One way of doing this is looking for the good and being grateful for that.
There is always something to be grateful for. There is always something positive. We just need to find it to focus on it instead of all the negatives around us in our world all the time.
Need a little more help in positivity? Read How to Get Rid of Negativity and find Joy.
#3 Start a journal
If you are not already in the habit of journaling, this is a great time to start. Journaling is an essential part of self-care. Journaling helps you to reflect, move forward, and to let go and grow. It is great for mental health, and to ease anxiety and stress.
When you write your thoughts in a journal it allows you to unload them from your mind. It is almost like sharing with a trusted friend.
So instead of bottling all the emotions in your mind, this year start the practice of journaling as part of your self-care.
It will help you see things more clearly, and help you to feel lighter and happier.
Start every day by setting intentions in your journal and writing at least 3 things you are grateful for.
And end your night by reflecting in your journal about your day and especially writing 3 things you are grateful for at day’s end. You will see a phenomenal difference in your life when you add journaling to your self-care this year.
Such a small word with so much impact and implications. Lack of rest, being on the go-go, and doing all the things all the time are really bad for you. It can lead to adrenal fatigue and excessive stress. It is bad for your mental health and physical and emotional well-being.
I have first had the experience of what happens when you don’t rest.
Lack of sleep makes me feel stressed plus my body aches too. And I have found when I am doing too much and I am too stressed my immune health also suffers. Taking time to rest is essential and resting is the ultimate in self-care.
Set aside times to rest and take a break.
Do whatever pleases you when you need to rest. Take a nap even. Naps are good for health as long as they don’t interfere with a real night’s sleep.
#5 Step out of your comfort zone
Do something new this year. Is there something you have wanted to do for a long time but you have been letting fear hold you back? Learning something new boosts your sense of self-worth and confidence. And it can lead to some amazing opportunities.
It is time you put yourself out there. Do you want to leave your job and strike out on your own to be your own boss? Go for it. It is time.
Lay the foundation this year so that in a few months, you can have the career you always wanted. It is so inspiring and life-changing when we get off our comfort zone.
You might find the thing you are afraid of is not that scary after all. One thing to remember about doing something new is that, even if you are bad at it at first, it is okay.
Keep in mind that you are not really bad at it, you are learning. And that is okay. Self-care is also facing our fears and believing in ourselves and our dreams. Go for those dreams now.
Now is the time to start overcoming those limiting beliefs. Realize the phenomenal life you were always meant to have by going after it this year.
#6 Optimize your sleep.
If you want a healthy balanced and happy life this year you need to take your sleep seriously and take steps to ensure you sleep well every night.
Sleep is part of your biological makeup and it is essential for overall good health. So when you don’t sleep enough or well you will notice so much goes wrong.
And what is really important to more is that sleep is synchronized with other essential metabolic functions that determine you’re well-being.
For example, the sleep hormone melatonin is produced at night and levels go down in the morning while cortisol levels spike in the morning to prepare you to face the day.
Messing with these processes leads to metabolic dysfunction.
This includes excessive hunger increased insulin levels and blood glucose, weight gain, and likely metabolic syndrome. And that becomes a vicious cycle.
The result is health problems like diabetes, mental health issues, obesity, heart disease, and more.
Additionally, research shows sleep is essential for a good functioning immune system.
And we really need a healthy immune system this year more than ever before, and every day really.
A few things to do:
- Sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time
- Keep room fabulous neat and cool and comfortable and dark
- Don’t take the screen to sleep with you
- Find a form of meditation to help you sleep better and fast.
I find that this sleep hypnosis really helps me fall asleep quickly.
See all the tips for a good night’s sleep in these posts:
- How to Sleep Better at Night Naturally
- Simple Calming Nightly Routine for Anxiety
- How to Cope With sleep Anxiety Naturally: Practical Tips for Better Sleep When You Have Anxiety
Practicing gratitude is great for self-care.
First, let’s learn to be grateful for all we have. Let’s notice more about how lucky we are this year and every year.
Yes, you are blessed. It is amazing how gratitude multiplies your happiness and attracts more blessings. Gratitude manifests joy. And when e are grateful we notice the good things we already have. So let’s start being thankful for what we have. Sometimes it is the simplest things that bring you joy.
Take time to really count your blessings.
The more grateful for what you have the more you manifest. Plus the more joy and happiness you have. What a concept huh! Manifest by appreciating that you are already blessed this year.
Move your body and strength train
Movement is essential for a healthy body and mind. Walking, and aerobic exercises like swimming are some great ways to move your body.
The benefits of moving your body are many including improved mood, mental health, and better sleep.
Physically, movement helps you lose weight, strengthens muscles, and improves metabolism including the all-important glucose metabolism and energy production. Remember energy begets energy.
And the opposite is true. The more you sit the more tired you feel. But when you move and exercise you feel energetic and vibrant and much happier. Let’s move more this year as part of our self-care.
This improves nearly every part of your health. And to this add weight lifting. Lifting weight will strengthen your muscles and increase bone mass.
Of course, this is a great thing for your health because well, weak bones are bad. They break easily. Weak bones lead to osteoporosis increased debility and pain. Plus more muscle also means more fat burn and a lean body.
So make it your goal this year to boost your overall health by exercising at least 30 minutes every day.
I know you can do it.
#8 Clean your environment
Can you just visualize a clean house and a well kept tidy spaces in your house? Goals! You just feel light and happy when there is no clutter and mess.
Your brain craves order. An orderly environment eases stress. Clutter causes stress and anxiety.
I have to say I am no cleaning expert but I know how relaxing it feels to have a tidy environment. For expert advice on tying up pick up this book. And here is a guide on cleaning when the mess is overwhelming that is step-by-step and easy to follow.
In the spirit of cleaning, you may even want to revamp things up. Improve the look of your space. We are likely to continue spending more time at home this year too as the pandemic fight goes on.
So make your home pretty and homey so you can enjoy it more. And there are so many ways to make your home cozy. For example, you use some new throw pillows.
Throw pillows are always fun.
Sometimes putting a new rug on the floor changes the whole vibe of the room. Perhaps new picture frames to give your walls a new look. I love inspirational quotes and wall art. They provide nice messages and look great as well. And there really has never been a better time to get some inspiration than right now.
#9 Schedule doctor visits
Prioritize your health this year. An unhealthy body means pain and suffering. If this can be prevented why not do it by keeping up with regular exams and physicals? Also, have things checked when you think something wrong as opposed to waiting till things have gone way wrong.
Schedule regular visits with specialists including eye doctors, mental health practitioners, dentists, and regular personal doctors.
Neglecting health problems or not catching medical issues early can lead to major health problems down the line.
So keeping up with your physical and mental health this year should be a priority when you think of self-care.
#10 Care for your mental health
This year, take time to care for your mental health. Pay attention to how you feel and attend to the needs that will help you thrive mentally. Don’t ignore mental health issues.
It all starts in the mind. You may also need to adjust your mindset.
And sometimes you need help doing that and that is why it is important to see a therapist.
Sometimes we try to carry the weight of the world and it can be so very heavy to carry alone.
You want an impartial person, a professional to guide you to pull yourself out of situations, to perhaps adjust a perspective or let go, or move forward. Life is complex.
And if you have mental health illness, then it is more important that you see a mental health professional regularly.
There is no shame in seeking help.
It takes courage to let another in and to admit there is a problem you need help with.
Try also to be more mindful in everything you do. Be intentional with your routines to eliminate stress. Start a nighttime routine and a morning routine to eliminate stress.
Protect your mental health as part of your self-care this year to ensure you have the best happiest year ever.
#11 Revaluate and nurture relationships.
The last year likely did shed some light on the relationships that you value and the ones that you may need to let go of. When you can’t be with the people you care about you know for real how much you care. So it is time to reevaluate your relationships.
Nurture those that are important to you.
Take time to talk to those you care about. Spend more time with them even if it is virtually.
Make them know often how much you care and that you love them.
I don’t want to hammer the point but we have seen how fragile life really is. Treasure your loved ones.
The people who you can safely spend time with invest in the time.
But for those who you can spend time with safely find other ways to stay connected.
Do video chats and check-in messages often.
Go into the new year with good relationships that help you to feel anchored, safe, and with a renewed sense of belonging. This is really important for your mental and even immune well-being.
#12 Set boundaries
If you have been giving too much of yourself, and overstretching yourself till you feel burned out, it is time to change that. As part of self-care, this year commit to drawing boundaries that protect your time and your health.
Some people in relationships whether it be friends and family are time, emotional, and even financial vampires.
They take and take and take and leave you feeling worn forlone, and broke. ( I may have some experience with this.) It is time to stand firm and protect ourselves from such vampires.
As part of self-care, this year lay down those boundaries and let people know you are not going to do all of the things, all of the times, all of the people are asking.
You are going to prioritize your own needs first. But if you are a mom with little children, of course, you have to care and do all the mom thing but as a mom take time for yourself too, and limit how many other things you are doing elsewhere. How many extra curricula things can you really do and maintain your wits?
Setting and maintaining boundaries will decrease your stress level, feel lighter, calmer, and happier this year.
#13 Eat healthily
One great and important way to be happy this year is to eat superfoods and keep your nutrition clean.
Healthy food and avoiding junk not only keeps you healthy but it makes for a better mood.
Research is clear that food and mood are connected. You can eat to boost your mood.
No, I don’t mean comfort food. But eating brain health foods such as eating food that reduce depression and anxiety symptoms is the key to good health.
Read more about the mood and food connection in the posts-14 foods for anxiety and the best nutrition for depression.
Relates post: 20 Powerful Superfoods for BrainHealth
Eating junk food may feel good at the moment but later it comes to haunt you making you unhappy. Processed food is full of toxins.
These toxins cause hormonal imbalance, and mood disturbances, also make anxiety worse, and increase, even cause depression.
So cut processed foods and other unhealthy foods out this year. This will boost your health both your mental and physical health. Commit to self-care by eating healthy this year.
#14 Drink More Water
Hydration is so important when it comes to feeling your best. Many people are living a life dehydrated. Many are drinking the wrong things or just not drinking enough.
Being dehydrated can cause many problems including feeling anxious, depressed, lethargic, fatigued, and even confused. And all the cells in your body including the brain need proper hydration to function best.
If you don’t like water one way to drink more is to infuse fruit in your water to enhance the taste.
Find a good bottle to infuse your water so you can boost hydration. It is best not to add those little chemical enhancers.
When you are hydrated you have so much more energy and even clarity of thought. And you will feel happier. This will also help you to have more zest to go after big goals and crush them every day.
#15 Break bad habits and start new healthy habits.
One of the best things you can do for yourself this year is to finally break bad habits. Toxic habits can cause many problems in your life.
They can make you more stressed and anxious and even depressed. Bad habits can ruin relationships and just wreak havoc in life. Bad habits lead to unhappiness.
Are you drinking too much? Are you staying up too late and always tired? Do you spend hours on social media? Are you sending money you do have?
Increasing debt? Eating too much junk?
Engaging in casual relationships? You get it. There are many habits out there that can really make life miserable.
And while it is hard to break habits, once we do it and start healthier habits, life changes for the better. Make this year your year of growth by changing habits that are keeping you stuck in a quagmire of misery.
Leave toxic habits behind and enhance your life with better habits that will manifest a life you are proud of. Make new habits part of your self-care by committing to practicing better habits.
This is going to be your year of growth and manifesting a life you will be proud of. And when you do, I would love to know how things are going for you.
Which of these elements of self-care will you practice this year? What dreams and goals do you have for a fabulous year?
Let’s manifest greatness, joy, happiness, and phenomenal growth this year.
Let’s make this year shine. Yes. SHINE ON!!