Soaking up the warm winter sun, splurging on a tote you've had your eye on the past month, and pampering yourself to a soothing spa day—all constitute self-care. But when it comes to *truly* taking care of yourself, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, there's a lot more you can, and should, do.
As you step into 2022, hopeful, as you are every year, for a fresh, new start, why not vow to unwind, recharge, and replenish the mind and body? And the first step in doing so is to let go. Leave behind matters of the past and the negativity, trepidations, and insecurities associated with them. Just. Let. Go.
This year, while you may fail to live up to all the other—perhaps, unachievable—resolutions you've set up for yourself, try to follow through with the ones we've jot down below. In the words of Anne Lamott, "Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
Clear Out the Clutter
Oh boy, have you got some cleanin' up to do. Decluttering your space encourages a clutter-free mind. So, if you're a hoarder, let go of the things that you don't need. And instead of discarding them, consider donating them to a charitable organisation (a lil' gratitude will only do you good). The idea of decluttering is also synonymous with the idea of a fresh, new start. Regulating your immediate environment may unknowingly have a significant impact on your mental state, so it's worth a shot, no?
In pursuit of keeping up with a fast-paced lifestyle, it's important to switch off every once in a while. Cut down on your screentime and devote the extra hours to more meaningful activities such as spending quality time with a pet, an elderly member of the family, or just being with yourself. Meditate, take a nap, paint a picture, doodle, do what your heart desires. Unwind.
Learn to Say No
While saying "yes", in more instances than one, may open up a world of opportunities, foster growth, and perhaps, broaden your horizon even, saying "no" every once in a while has perks of its own. Be it in your relationships, at work, or to yourself, say no when you feel the need to take a breather or just be. Prioritising yourself will lay the foundation for self-love and self-care. In simpler words, the "I must do everything, for everyone," attitude needs to go. Stop pleasing others. Instead, shift focus to the things that please you.
Count Your Blessings
No matter what situation you find yourself in—however f**ked up it may seem at the time—there's always a lot to be grateful for. So, instead of whining about what you don't have, and comparing yourself with 'the ideal' version of what you'd want to be, take a moment to count your blessings. Perhaps, start a gratitude journal this year.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
As they say, growth lies in the unknown. If you've been afraid to travel the world or pursue an unconventional hobby, now is the time. Break the shackles of your rigid boundaries—there's a beautiful world waiting for you. Scribble down five things you've always wanted to give a shot but have been too afraid to do. Through the course of the year, work towards each of them. Even if you don't manage to achieve all, at least you'll know you tried.
Journal Your Thoughts
Introspecting on your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and penning them down on paper, lends the opportunity to self-reflect, especially if you've been experiencing an emotional burnout. To get greater clarity on your needs and wants, jot down the daily happenings in your life. That'll help you figure out what's working for you, what needs to change, and perhaps, how to go about that change.
Let Go of the Idea of Perfection
Let us break it to you: nothing—literally nothing—in this world is perfect. Striving for perfection is a dangerous trap, and once caught in it, it's tough to break free. But you've got to start somewhere, right? It's now or never, lads. If you've developed the habit of re-re-writing texts, re-re-reading work presentations, and re-re-doing your eyeliner, just stop. Find beauty in the little imperfections, because that is what life is all about.
Hone Healthy Habits
Swap the fries for fruits, drink up to eight glasses of water a day, work out at least five times a week for 30 minutes, sleep for a minimum of eight hours, and indulge in mindful meditation. Voila! Leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle will up the 'happy hormones'. Remember, you are what you eat, drink, feel, and think.
Breathe in the +ve, breathe out the -ve; a fresh start is all you need.
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