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Self-Care Habits to Start the New Year

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Self-care has become a regular topic of conversation over the past few years. There is broad recognition that prioritizing your own wellness can be very challenging when family, work, friends and community also require your attention. While putting yourself first may not feel natural, it’s essential because it will ultimately help you bring your best self to the other relationships and priorities in your life.

By creating daily self-care habits, you can lower your stress, decrease your risk of illness and increase your energy levels. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life, that realistically fit into your schedule, can have a big impact.

Some easy ways to get started:

  1. Create a sleep routine: Sleep affects how you feel emotionally and physically. Sleeping less than seven hours per night can increase your stress levels and affect your mental health.

    • Self-Care Goal: Strive to get 7-9 hours a night and create a bedtime routine in a quiet, peaceful environment. Check out apps like Calm for guided nighttime meditations to help you get to sleep.

  2. Learn to say “no” to others, and “yes” to yourself: When you feel obligated to say “yes” to something when you don’t have the time or energy, it can lead to stress, anxiety, irritability or even burnout.

    • Self-Care Goal: Give yourself permission to pass. Practice saying "no" to small things that drain your energy, and use the time and energy for your self-care goals.

  3. Prioritize self-care in your daily routine: While it can feel challenging to find time throughout the day for self-care, it’s important to make the time for yourself.

    • Self-Care Goal: Whether you have five minutes or thirty, step away from the daily grind to take a breath. Go for a walk, read a book, listen to a podcast, call a friend or take some “mindful” minutes to relax your central nervous system.

      Block time on your calendar just for you, just as you would do for a meeting or other commitment. Then hold to it. Set an alarm, or ask a friend or family member to be your self-care accountability partner. This buddy system can help you stay on track.

  4. Move your body: Incorporating movement daily benefits your mood and reduces stress and anxiety. You may not be able to go to the gym every day, but you can include movement in simple ways.

    • Self-Care Goal: Each day, do an activity like taking a walk, 10 to 20 minutes of yoga, gardening, playing basketball with your kids or even sneaking in a few body-weight exercises like squats. Do one activity (walk in place, squats, plank, jumping jacks) for one minute every hour to give yourself a break and get moving.

  5. Practice gratitude to keep it front and center: It’s easy to lose big-picture perspective when the days are long and busy, and run together.

    • Self-Care Goal: Take the time to remind yourself daily of the things you are grateful for. Try writing it down in a journal so you can go back and read as a reminder.

It might take some time to build these practices into your daily routine, but the more you can work self-care into your life, the move you’ll grow and thrive!


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Dimensions Newsletter

Financial, Health and Well-Being Information

Dimensions Newsletter

Financial, Health and Well-Being Information