Why You Should “Make Up” on Only Minor Personal Care Changes This Year
How many New Year’s promises have you made in your life? How much have you saved ? We all know that the greatest resolutions, if not accompanied by deep commitment and accountability, remain where they started: in our heads. I don’t know about you, but after two years of studying work, family life and study during COVID, the idea of trying to achieve basic goals seems dull.
Instead, I’m here to suggest focusing on taking care of yourself in the little things. I’m not even talking about fun things like massages, pedicures, or solo trips to Target (although all of these are awesome and necessary). I mean ways that are so small that some would consider them “basic needs” rather than self-care: drinking more than a glass of water a day, for example. As a stressed working mother of three who regularly skips lunch in a frenzy to meet deadlines, this is where I am — needing hydration, calories, and a reminder to get some fresh air occasionally.
Rather than redefining your entire life this year, put together a quick self-help checklist. Three to five items, max. Hell, you can start with one thing and build from there. (Just don’t add more until you’ve given yourself 21 days of solid, consistent practice to make the first a habit.)
What’s on this list is entirely up to you. The only recommendation is that you don’t do things every day yet, but they can positively affect your physical or mental well-being. (If your initial list is 20 items, start with the three items that are easiest for you to incorporate into your daily routine.) Of course, there are many decent areas to take care of yourself, including financial, spiritual, and environmental. Here we will focus on physical and mental self-care.
Simple Ways to Improve Your Physical Well-Being
This can be anything from basic nutrition (eat two vegetables, drink eight glasses of water, eat lunch, plan tomorrow’s meal) to exercise (10 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of walking outdoors, 15 minutes of stretching). This could be about limiting or adding certain things to your diet (taking vitamins, eating only one processed snack a day, not drinking alcohol until Friday), skin care (washing your face once a day, applying sunscreen), or improving your sleep habits ( in bed until 22:00, no screens after 21:00).
Avoid vague words like more, less, a little, or earlier. Make each item on the checklist specific and measurable.
Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
Close your eyes, take a breath and ask yourself: what can make my morning easier ? As a person who almost always gets tired and tries to get dressed while a child screams at me from another room, it would really help me to set an alarm and get up 20-30 minutes before it. For you, this could be making something the night before (smoothie ingredients, a work or duffel bag, kids’ meals, or programming the coffee maker to make coffee before you go downstairs).
To improve your mood, it can be 15 minutes of meditation, five minutes of gratitude, or a 10-minute dance or rock-out with an air guitar. If clutter is a concern for you, set aside 15 minutes a day to clean surfaces, fold clothes, and sort reams of paper. Reading, walking, journaling, listening to podcasts, or talking to a friend on the phone all qualify under the umbrella of emotional well-being. And we all make our beds every day , right?
It doesn’t sound sexy or exciting, but instead of shooting for the stars in 2022, what if we reach for water or a sandwich for lunch instead of endless crackers? Choose some simple, simple ways to take better care of yourself. Do them rigorously. Over time, they change the situation and can push us to serious tasks.