Put your wellbeing first in 2022 –
5 self-care practices that you can implement right away
Starting a new year always inspires me to come up with a bunch of resolutions. Sometimes, however, they turn out to be a tiny bit too ambitious and get dropped by the end of January.
But I do love setting goals and intentions, especially when it concerns my wellbeing and self-care, and I try to be gentle with myself to avoid running out of steam two weeks in.
In case you’re still wondering how to take better care of yourself in 2022, here are five self-care practices that you can easily implement right away (no need to get a gym subscription) to improve your mental and physical health.
If you’re thinking now, great, this list starts off in a negative way, don’t stop reading. This one’s important. In our fast-paced world, we’re usually in some sort of hurry. We’re often overworked and spread too thin, which can result in anxiety and exhaustion.
Taking care of work, home life, health, family, friends, pets, etc. day after day is not easy. Feeling obliged to do something else on top of it, because we’re afraid to say no to friends, colleagues or loved ones will often lead to irritability, anxiety, and burnout. That’s why it’s important to intentionally stop sometimes, say no, and prioritise our own wellbeing.
So go ahead and say “No” to things along the way that just exhaust you, which means you’re saying “Yes” to your happy and healthy self. And if you are happier, everyone around you will benefit too.
At times when everything gets a little too overwhelming, I like to close my eyes and take a few deep breaths. This helps me feel grounded when my head is spinning a million miles an hour. If you can make this a daily habit, even better.
It just takes a few moments, but those moments are entirely yours. You can also sit down to meditate for a few minutes and see how you feel for the rest of the day.
Get your body moving
I’m a big fan of exercising in the morning. I either go for a run, do some yoga (I use this app), or go for a walk. Sometimes (ok, most days) it’s hard to get out of bed (especially in winter), but once I do and I get going, I feel like I’ve already accomplished something. Once I’m in the shower I feel good after having moved my body and then I’m ready to start my workday.
It doesn’t have to be an hour of hard physical exercise first thing in the morning. You can go for a ten-minute walk every day and see if your mood changes and you feel different during the day. Or you commit to a daily five-minute dance party with yourself while listening to your favourite songs at night. Whatever it is, some form of physical movement will boost your mood and help you cope with daily stress.
Put your phone away
It’s difficult, I know. You can get carried away scrolling on your phone and before you know it, it’s 45 minutes later. To get better sleep at night, it’s good to disconnect from your phone (and your computer, iPad, etc.) for some time before going to bed.
Creating a night-time ritual can help with this. You could put your phone away at a certain time every day and then light a candle, prepare some tea, hop into the shower (take a bath) or settle in with a book. This way you have something to look forward to once you’ve retired your various devices for the day.
Create a self-care ritual
It’s easy to drown in your to-dos of the day just to feel completely depleted and exhausted at night. That’s why it’s so important to carve out those tiny pockets of me-time throughout the day.
Just like I mentioned before, creating a ritual that you look forward to every day will help you prioritise your wellbeing. This ritual can be anything that brings you joy like savouring your morning coffee or tea in peace, reading for half an hour at night, or going for a walk in nature first thing in the morning.
Whatever you choose for your self-care ritual, this little act of kindness towards yourself will help you feel more grounded and ready to take on whatever life throws at you in 2022.
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