How to Take Better Care of Yourself in The New Year
The ball has dropped. The New Year is officially here. Now what? We all know New Year’s resolutions don’t live up to the hype. Under the glitter of the silver and gold lights, streamers, and high-energy parties, we believe that anything is possible, and we’re going to make it happen. Then New Year’s Day reality hits.
What if you could approach this New Year differently? According to the online Oxford Learners Dictionary, the word resolution means “a definite decision to do or not do something.” Whereas lifestyle means “the way in which a person lives and works. For example, a comfortable/healthy/lavish lifestyle.” Does ditching the word resolution and replacing it with lifestyle modification feel more attainable?
The following suggestions will take the focus off resolutions and place it on modifications:
- Make your goals attainable.
- Define why the goal is important to you.
- Practice one new goal at a time and practice that goal daily.
- Repeat step three until you feel you’ve created a habit or nailed the goal.
- Move on to the next goal and practice one day at a time. (Are you seeing a pattern?)
In this article, we will focus on you and your self-care lifestyle modifications. We want to help you reach your goals at your own pace while keeping the focus on you. We’ll give suggestions on how to practice a daily self-care lifestyle. Who knows, maybe self-care will make it on your list of New Year’s lifestyle modifications this year.
Eight Self-Care Lifestyle Modifications for the New Year
- Sleep well. Note that your mattress can play an important role in how well you sleep at night. Not only does the number of hours you sleep at night affect you in a positive or negative way, your quality of sleep is also tied to multiple health-related issues. Check out this blog on “The Impact of Sleep on Mental Health.” It’s important to acknowledge how you feel and accept yourself right where you are. Not only does lack of sleep disturb mental health, sleep (the number of hours, quality of sleep, and your circadian rhythm) will affect the following body systems:
- Hormone regulation
- Brain development
- Body restoration
- Digestive systems
- Metabolism and weight
- Physical body
- Set an intention for the day. When you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? If your mattress is so comfortable you don’t want to get up right away, don’t. Mindful.org recommends starting your morning before you get off your mattress with, “May I be…” You get to fill in the blank each day. Throughout the day, you can set some clarity on how to reach that intention. But first thing in the morning, you can snuggle into that warm, comfortable mattress for a few minutes longer to set your intention.
- Establish a state of gratitude. When you are happy, you tend to be healthy. A good way to create happiness is to establish a habit of gratitude. Along with setting an intention for the day, we can list several things we are grateful for before we even get off the mattress in the morning. Establishing a state of gratefulness helps flip our perspective to a positive mindset. When we are positive, we tend to feel happy. This is a powerful and effective cycle.
- Take time to stretch. Bed stretches might sound funny but there are actual benefits to doing yoga in your bed. Yoga stretching can energize you before you to help you get out of bed in the morning or relax you when you get into bed at night.
- Restful mind. Stay in a state of mindfulness and meditation. This is tough. As some days go, there goes your mindfulness—right out the window. Despite every intention we set and gratitude we say, the day goes haywire, leaving us fighting fires and consoling co-workers. A good way to get that restful mind is to take a break, find a place where no one will disturb you—such as your mattress—and meditate. Set a timer for ten minutes and zone into the peace and quiet space. Remember you are in a space with no judgement. All that chaos will still be there when you return, but you will be able to handle it better after a Zen meditation session.
- Love yourself. Give yourself the gift of alone time. Where is your favorite spot to be alone with yourself? If you get interrupted by work, kids, animals, or life in general, find a place to be alone with yourself where no one else will follow. How about your mattress? Find a comfortable position and tell yourself all the things you love about yourself. Throw in a few that you don’t believe now but want to. For a nice challenge, write the words down and put them somewhere you see daily. That way the positive words of affirmation start to come easily to you. Soon, you’ll believe the words and really enjoy spending time alone with yourself.
- Read a book. Nothing is more relaxing than reading a book. According to Reading Partners, “Reading is proven to reduce stress and increase relaxation.” This article goes on to quote eighteenth century essayists, Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steel, who wrote that “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Fiction is especially important because it taps into our imaginations. While reading at any point in the day is relaxing, reading while lying in bed on a comfortable, supportive mattress at the end of the day is a good way to release tension and prepare you to relax into a full REM cycle for the night.
- Take a Nap. Taking a nap during the day isn’t bad. Sometimes we label nappers as childish, boring, lazy, or depressing. This judgement of self and others isn’t helpful and often, it isn’t the case. According to “Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep,” an article by WebMD, sleeping can be responsible for a:
- Sharper brain
- Mood boost
- Healthier heart
- Athletic achievement
- Steadier blood sugar
- Germ fighting
- Weight control
Still not convinced? Check out this blog: “Benefits of Napping and How to Nap Properly.”
Establish Self Care. Sleep Well. Wake Up and Be Happy in the New Year.
Speaking of sleep, if you’ve tried all these self-care lifestyle modifications and you still have trouble sleeping, maybe it’s time to consider your mattress. The role your mattress plays in getting to sleep and staying asleep is important. Upgrading your mattress might be a lifestyle modification worth looking into. Regardless, we want you to establish self-care, sleep well, wake up and be happy in the New Year with Beautyrest Sleep Gallery.
Reading Partners.com, “Four Compelling reasons to shut off your screen and open a good book”
Mindful.org, A Four-Step Practice to Awaken Your Intention
Oxford Online Dictionary – resolution word meaning