Whoever came up with the quote "new year, new me" should have said "new year, improved me" because the obvious truth is that no one changes over night. The word "improve" seems to be a better fit because we all know that improvements take time. Flowers don't bloom right away, houses aren't fixed in a day, and broken bones don't mend as quickly as we'd like.
If you've been looking for the time to start taking better care of yourself, there is no better moment to start than the beginning of a new year. Put an end to those strict New Year's resolutions, endless excuses, or feelings of failure. Like I said, improving yourself is a process. It's not done in one year, but over the course of a lifetime. Taking part in self-care is one way to truly improve your life and nourish your mind, body, and soul. So, join me in practicing more self-care in 2018, and try out these tips:
1. Turn off your electronics
One of the worst feelings ever is the helplessness that accompanies a dead phone battery. Whenever I'm out and about with a dead phone, I always find myself reaching for that dang device even though I know it won't turn on. It's really just a sad habit. We could go without phones and laptops years ago, and we can surely do it again.
2. Take care of your body and your skin
You're stuck with the same body your entire life, so you may as well love and nourish it. It's totally acceptable to splurge on bath bombs, face masks, and skin sprays; show your body a little gratitude! It's also important to eat a well balanced diet and get plenty of sleep.
3. Remove toxic people
You don't have to be rude or blunt about it, but if someone in your life is doing more harm than good, it's best to cut him or her out of the picture. It's easier said than done, of course, but you'll feel as though a weight has been lifted.
4. Become OK with saying no
I've always found it difficult to turn down plans or leave people hanging, but I've also found that life goes on even if you do say no. If you already have too much on your plate, or you're simply against something, there's no shame in saying no.
5. Accept compliments (and give more of them)
Compliments have a tendency to make us feel uncomfortable, but let the kind gestures flatter you! A humble thank you and compliment in return can go a long way, trust me.
6. Be productive in the morning
I'm not much of a morning person, but I figured if I'm going to get up early, why not use my time wisely? That way, no matter how the rest of the day goes, at least one thing gets checked off of the to-do list.
7. Find your mantra
A mantra is a word or phrase to live by, essentially like a motto. Pick something that you can repeat to yourself in order to get through tough times.
If you can, try to write down one thing you did each day, even if it seems like you didn't accomplish any big tasks. Every accomplishment should be recognized.
9. Laugh more often
Whether you want to hangout with your best friends or watch some YouTube videos and Vines from the comfort of your bed is up to you, but both are no-fail options.
10. Complain less
It's so incredibly hard to get into this mindset, but most of life isn't necessarily about what happens to you; it's about how you react. Try to have more positive reactions than negative ones.
11. Improve your posture
Seriously, I'm too young to have back pain...
12. Set reminders ahead of time
Be sure to utilize alarms, post-it-notes, planners, and calendars more often in order to stay on top of things.
13. Limit your night time snacking
For some reason, the weirdest cravings seem to kick in after 11 P.M. I totally get it, but there are lots of negative effects associated with eating late at night.
14. Have dance parties or car jam sessions
Dance and sing like no one else is in the room; it will be sure to heal you.
15. Cook or bake something that makes you happy
Yes, it's important to eat a well-balanced diet, but if homemade mac and cheese or chocolate chip cookies will make your day a little better, why not indulge once in a while?
16. Live a more minimalistic life
They say the way you keep your space is an accurate representation of your thoughts or headspace. If you look around and all you see is clutter, you know it's time to clean and instead, live simply.
17. Listen to your "gut feeling"
I'm talking about your intuition, that little voice that you ignore because it tells you not to do something. You should listen. It's usually right.
18. Bring balance into your life
No one's perfect, but I think one of the best talents one can have is the ability to balance the different aspects of life: family, friends, health, school, work, and leisure.
19. Make plans so that you have things to look forward to
Even if you only make the smallest of plans, this will still give you a new reason to get up in the morning. You could arrange a breakfast date, go hiking, go to the Farmer's Market, order something in the mail, or take a road trip.
20. Move around
Maybe cardio is your thing, or maybe the thought of running makes you want to curl up in the fetal position. However you choose to workout will be sure to benefit you greatly. The options can range from cardio, to yoga, the gym, pilates, swimming, or biking.
21. Let your emotions out
It's so so important to let yourself feel (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) it's good to feel it all. Bottling everything up is dangerous for your well-being.
22. Count your blessings
Whether you're religious or not, it's important to be thankful for what you have in life. All too often we don't know how good we have it until something is taken away.
23. Take a break from everything and relax
All in all, don't work too hard or overwhelm yourself with these tips. These tips are not the same as "typical" New Year's goals or resolutions. There shouldn't be much pressure involved. These tips are simply to help you transition into your healthiest self over time!
Self-care is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Don't let yourself get swept away in the stress, monotony, or exhaustion of everyday life this year, or the years to follow.