One of the most difficult things to do is find the time to take care of ourselves. There’s always another email to send, another chore to do or another event on the calendar. Unfortunately, staying busy and taking care of others can leave us feeling drained—physically, mentally and emotionally—and this can end up harming our overall health.
It’s hard to put ourselves first sometimes, especially when there are people in our lives that need support. However, prioritizing self-care is necessary when it comes to nurturing our health and wellness. Without giving ourselves time to recharge, we might get sick more often, succumb to mental disorders like depression and anxiety or struggle to work through stress effectively.
As the new year approaches, you might be considering which new year’s resolutions you want to implement to refocus on your health and happiness. If you’re one of the millions of people who feel worn-out, drained or down, it’s clear you could use some extra self-care. Use January 1st as a clean slate and take the opportunity to renew your self-care!
Here are five self-care-focused new year’s resolutions designed to help you look inward and bolster your wellness all year long.
1. Schedule “me time” weekly
If you use a calendar to keep track of your work, family and social commitments, take a look at it and notice whether you have anything scheduled for yourself. Chances are, “you time” is nowhere to be found!
In our increasingly busy world, it’s tough to find time to relax and enjoy yourself. If you’re someone who relies on their calendar to keep everything straight, make a new year’s resolution to schedule time for yourself once a week. Block off an extra hour or two to do whatever brings you joy. Just having this little extra time for you can help you relieve stress.
2. Learn to say “no”
Overcommitting is one of the easiest ways to burn yourself out, leading to stress, fatigue, concentration problems and illness. Unfortunately, saying “no” to people and commitments sounds much easier than it is!
If you found yourself swamped with commitments this year, a great new year’s resolution to emphasize your self-care is to say “no” more often. Commit to learning when you need a break and when you have capacity to help others out, then listen to those signs. By turning down just one social event or favor every so often, you might save yourself a world of stress.
3. Move your body
“Exercise more” is a common new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, all too many people go into the new year with unrealistic expectations for their new workout routines. Pushing your body too hard, expecting to see rapid results or putting unnecessary pressure on yourself can lead to premature burnout, stress and shame.
Exercising is still extremely important for physical and mental wellness, though! Instead of making a new year’s resolution to hit the gym every day, focus on being more intentional with your movement. Make a plan to sign up for a yoga class with a friend or commit to an afternoon walk with your partner or children. There’s always room to build on this intention, which gives you the opportunity to tailor your new-year exercise plans more thoughtfully and carefully.
4. Dive into a new hobby
Hobbies are great ways to care for your mental and emotional state. Hobbies are often stress relieving and fun, allowing you to follow your passions and fuel your creative desires, making you feel more fulfilled.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn or try, make next year the time you finally do it! Get the necessary materials or equipment and carve out even an hour per week to devote to it. Not only will developing your hobby provide you time and space to focus on your interests, but it can help you feel more accomplished and productive in other areas of your life.
5. Develop a morning and nighttime ritual
How you start and end your days can play a major role in your mood and the quality of your sleep—both of which are crucial for wellness.
At night, developing a nighttime ritual in which you give yourself time to wind down peacefully, enjoy a little self-care before bed and hit the pillow for a full night of rest can improve your sleep quality and duration and make you feel happier and healthier.
A morning routine shouldn’t be forgotten, either. After you get your 8 hours of shuteye, be intentional with how you start your days. Build in time each morning for necessities, but also make sure you have time for a healthy breakfast and a little time for you—whether that’s for reading, a short workout or something else.
Be intentional and care for yourself this new year
After a long and stressful year, everyone can use a little extra self-care. By setting a few specific, achievable and intentional new year’s resolutions, you can help make next year one of your happiest and healthiest yet.