Over the years there has been a negative stigma attached to New Year’s resolutions. People tend to start the new year with unrealistic or over-ambitious self-care goals with no real plan linked to them. A goal without a plan of action will almost always fail, which is why you should start the new year with simple, tangible and realistic goals and build up from there.
Self-care is an important part of a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle and practicing it shouldn’t add stress to your life. Below are a few tips on what self-care practices you should focus on and how to maintain them this year.
1.) Limit Time on Social Media
Start off the new year with a digital detox. This doesn’t mean giving it up completely; just give yourself a daily or weekly time limit. It’s easy to mindlessly scroll through platforms and waste an hour or two or to be on your phone at inappropriate times. That being said, you should be aware of how much time you’re spending on social media and you should be present and engage with those you are with rather than those who are posting.
Research has proven that constant connection can cause anxiety and depression due to lack of sleep, related to staying up late and exposure to blue light. It also suggests that social media has the ability to create unhealthy and unrealistic expectations for life, which further contributes to social media-related anxiety and depression. With this in mind, be aware of your daily activity on social platforms and set a daily time limit to help minimize your use.
2.) Wear Blue Light Glasses
As mentioned above, scrolling through social media on smartphones or computers can potentially harm sleep schedules due to blue light exposure. According to Healthline, digital devices emit a blue light wavelength, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime and disrupts your brain’s natural sleep-wake cycle. You should try to avoid adopting a disrupted sleep cycle, which can cause heart disease, depression, and obesity. You can avoid this by limiting screen time, especially before bed, turning on Nightshift mode and wearing blue light glasses when using digital devices.
3.) Practice Meditation with Essential Oils
Another common practice that can help you avoid an irregular sleep schedule, as well as stress, weight gain and anxiety is meditation. It’s a practice that many people are hesitant to try because they’re living fast-paced, busy lives, but it can be incredibly beneficial to your overall health. Not only can meditation help you relax but it can also potentially lessen loneliness and help you better understand yourself, your thoughts and your feelings. It allows you to decompress and think about things in a calmer, more rational way, which can benefit you in the long-run. Meditation can be simply clearing your mind in a quiet room or it can be an experience filled with relaxing music and essential oils. How far you take it is completely up to you!
4.) Stay in More or Go Out Less
There are two typical lifestyles in today’s society: always on the go or always relaxing. Some people have managed to find a happy medium when it comes to balancing work, relationships and self-care. However, a lot of people are still trying to find it. If you’re more of a busy body, try to spend this year focusing on yourself. Yes, of course, you can still be a social butterfly and accomplish everything you need to, while also focusing on you! If that means canceling 2-3 events a month that aren’t all that important, then so be it! Your happiness comes first so, set aside some time to be well-rested, meditate and relax.
If you fall more toward the other end of the spectrum, this might be the year to put yourself out there. Rather than canceling 2-3 events a month, accept 2-3 events a month. Agree to something you wouldn’t normally do, make a plan with someone you normally wouldn’t or call up some old friends. Self-care is about taking time to take care of yourself but it’s also about taking time to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. You never know what the new year will bring!
Self-care is an important process for being the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. It often falls to the wayside as it’s pushed back behind other daily tasks but if you try to make self-care a priority for yourself this year, you will surely see the benefits!
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