Start Your New Year With Some Self-Care!

            Neglecting ourselves and our mental health is something that we are leaving in the year 2022! Especially with the holidays wrapping up, you deserve to take some time for yourself in the new year. In the throws of the holiday season, sometimes it is hard to slow down and spend that time focusing on your physical and mental health, but you can not water anyone else’s grass with an empty well. The same way that we are instructed to “Put the mask on yourself before assisting others” during an airline flight emergency, we need to always remember that recharging our batteries is a NEED, not just a want.

            Self-Care doesn’t have to be lavish and time-consuming. It only needs to be intentional and fulfilling. Yes, a spa day or a vacation are a FANTASTIC way to practice self-care, but we should not limit relaxation and peace to a few times a year, or month. There are plenty of ways to recharge on a day-to-day basis. What are the things that bring you joy, that put you at the center of focus? What are your hobbies? What are some meals that you love, but you don’t get to enjoy as much as you would like? What is an activity around the house that you really like doing? What are some local places you have been wanting to check out, but have not yet? In the last few years, I have been really focused on getting rid of the guilt and the feeling of sacrifice that can be associated with spending my time and energy on me, and I am here to help you do the same!

  • STEP ONE: Romanticize Your Life

I know this sounds silly, but think about yourself as the main character of your life’s story! Invest your interest in rooting for yourself! Have you ever felt connected to a character in a television show, or a book, that you find yourself crossing your fingers for their good fortune? It is time to look at yourself the same way! Become your own cheerleader! Start looking at even the little mundane tasks that you do in your day-to-day life, and thinking “How could I make myself feel like a superstar doing this?” Sometimes it is as simple as drinking your orange juice out of a fancy glass in the morning, getting your car detailed so that you feel like you’re driving around a brand new car while running errands, or adding a few drops of essential oils in the shower to make it feel more like a spa. Take a moment to think about ways that you could possibly elevate your daily routine in a way that makes you feel like a celebrity!

A study performed by the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that “Even 20 minutes a week of household cleaning reduces feelings of stress and reduces the risk of psychological difficulties.” There is a pressure that we can subconsciously put on ourselves when we are surrounded by clutter. Your environment can often feel like a reflection of your life, and when it is messy, it can cause an anxiety. Whether it is doing a load of laundry, finishing the dishes, making your bed, or wiping down the countertops, cleaning projects (small or large) can have an extremely positive effect on your mood! Being in a clean space, makes it easier to relax, since your mind will not wander to the list in your head of things that you still need to get done. If you are interested in learning more about how to organize your space, do not forget to keep up with our blog, and keep an eye out for our blog post about organizing your space! Most importantly, don’t forget to implement Step 1 during the cleaning process. Light a candle, put on your favorite music or television show in the background, and remind yourself as you are cleaning, that you are not doing it as a chore—you are doing it for YOURSELF!

  • STEP 3: Find and Do a Hobby That Makes You Happy

Do you have a hobby that you wish you had more time for? Do you have an interest in a hobby that you would like to explore, if you had more time? It is time to make time! Whether you love to read, quilt, scrapbook, play or listen to music, garden, work out, catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite television show, take your dog to the dog park, or whatever else it is that you love to do/have been itching to do, carve out the space in your schedule to do those things! Make it an event for yourself. Put in your headphones, sip on your favorite drink, and do those things that make you happy!

  • STEP 4: Get Outside

The fresh air and sunshine can be absolutely mood-stabilizing. Even taking a few minutes out of the day to walk down the street and back can influence your mood. If you are struggling to fit time outside into your schedule, try to incorporate being outside into an activity that you are already planning on doing. Take that long phone call with the bank outside while you take a walk, take your laptop onto the front porch or back deck if you need to do something on the computer, eat your lunch outside. Any way that you can add even TEN minutes of outside time to your day, is a win!

  • STEP 5: Treat Yourself

While most of these suggestions are small ways to practice self-care, I would still like to challenge you to take 2 days out of this year and have a “ME DAY.” On this day you will schedule a massage or hair appointment. Or maybe, you will take a day trip to a museum or aquarium that you have been wanting to visit. Perhaps, you spend this day shopping around for a couple of things that you WANT but might not necessarily NEED. Use those holiday giftcards, and call in that babysitting offer from your parents, and do something you and your spouse have been wanting to do for date night. YOU DESERVE IT!