As much as I love the holidays, I also love the knowledge that a new year is coming. It’s comforting to me to be able to feel like I have a chance to start fresh, even if it’s technically just another day.
A good goal for any new year is to start practicing better self-care. I haven’t always done the best job with my self-care routine in previous years.
One of my goals for the new year is to start practicing better self-care. I did a horrible job with self-care for most of the year. I was working at a job I hated, and as a result I wasn’t taking care of myself properly at all.
Hopefully these six self-care tips will help you kickstart your self-care routine!
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health professional and am not qualified to provide medical care or diagnose illnesses. If you have a serious emergency, please seek professional assistance.
6 Tips to Practice Better Self-Care This Year
#1: Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.
I know I tend to feel guilty when I unfollow people. But it’s always okay to unfollow a social media account for any reason, including a mutual follower or even a friend. If someone’s account makes you feel icky, get away from it.
If you don’t want to outright unfollow someone, you can also mute their instagram story, hide their posts on facebook, mute their tweets etc. And it doesn’t have to necessarily be permanent… I’ve done this a couple times when my mental health couldn’t handle certain people’s tweets, but I knew I didn’t want to distance myself forever.
#2: Distance yourself from toxic “friendships.”
You know that “friend” who never listens to you and always makes everything about them? That friend who is radio silent when you’re struggling, but when they have a problem suddenly they’re always right there?
Try to distance yourself from that person. You don’t have to drop them overnight but gradually distancing yourself is going to be the easiest way to end that relationship. Anxiety can make this feel daunting and impossible, and you can take the smallest, tiniest baby steps you need to. It might be something as small as only talking to that person every other day instead of every day, for instance.
It’s probably going to feel like a mixture of sadness and relief at the same time… that’s normal! Protecting yourself from people who drain your energy is a form of self-care, even if the person is someone you were once close to and have a history with.
#3: Reflect on yourself.
Take some time to think about the energy you put into the world. Do you need to honk your horn at the driver who cut you off? Are you inconsiderate of another person’s struggles? Do you joke about things that aren’t actually funny if you truly sit down and think about them? Are you judgmental of others for living a different lifestyle than what you chose for yourself?
A lot of people learn how to be this way and aren’t taught to consider the harm it causes! But it honestly feels much better to practice kindness and compassion.
Related: 8 Self-Care Ideas for Beginners
#4: Be gentle and be patient with yourself.
Try not to beat yourself up for making a mistake. This can be challenging, especially if you’ve been abused and/or if you have any type of mental illness. It isn’t something you’ll be able to achieve overnight, but it gets easier with practice. It’s okay to forgive yourself. It’s human to make a mistake.
This includes trash-talking yourself in an attempt at “motivation.” It’s exhausting and doesn’t lead you to a good place mentally.
#5: Stop negative self-talk.
This is the hardest one for me, because I’m overly critical of myself. I think I developed this habit as a defense mechanism when I was younger and felt like everyone was judging my every move.
Start by identifying the negative thoughts. You might be so used to thinking poorly about yourself that you don’t even realize. I know I was like that for a time! Something that helped me a lot is to think, “Would I say this to a friend?” If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself! I know that sounds CHEESY but it works for me.
Related: Self-Care for Low Mood Days
#6: Listen to your intuition.
I’m grateful that I’ve had a strong intuition my entire life. My intuition has protected me for as long as I can remember. But if you’re out of touch with your intuition, you may need to tap back into it again. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts and gut reactions. The more you do it, the easier it will be to tune into your intuition when you really need it.
This also ties into listening to what your body is telling you physically, whatever that may mean for you.
Some Closing Thoughts…
Some days will be easier than others. You don’t need to “punish” yourself for “failing” because you have a couple setbacks.
Some of these self-care tips are easier for some people than others. Some of them can take a LONG time to get the hang of, and that’s okay.
Bear in mind that you truly are worth it! It might take a long time for that to sink in, but it will happen if you keep at it.
Do you struggle with any of these?
What are your favorite self-care tips?
What negative thoughts/behaviors do you want to leave in the past?
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