The countdown to the new year has begun. As we move towards the end of 2019, it is time to whip out your notebook and consider ways to improve your life next year. If you’re hoping to be happier and healthier than ever (and who doesn’t?), Then be sure to add some self-care to your list.
Christopher Ryan Jones, PsyD, told POPSUGAR, “Self-care means taking part in activities that improve your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.” “We live in a very busy world. There are so many things bidding for our time. Many people are so busy that they often forget to take care of themselves.” Next thing you know, you have overcome the stress of your day to day life. “It’s harmful to your health and well-being and actually makes you less productive in the long run,” he explained. With this in mind, here are seven simple ways you can turn the tide this year.
1 Read each day for at least a few days
“A University of Sussex study found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress by up to 68 percent and is more effective than listening to music, walking, playing video games, or drinking hot tea or coffee.” Sharon Weltfried, Ph.D. a licensed clinical psychologist, told POPSUGAR.
There are many modes to choose from that can help you escape for a few minutes or learn something new. “Another added benefit of reading is that it can help us fall asleep, so it’s great if you can make a book part of your bedtime routine,” Dr. Weltfried said.
2 start your morning
Dr. Jones said, “Many people try to stay in bed for as long as possible. Sleep is good, so it’s important to start your day.” “By giving yourself enough time to wake up and get ready for your day, you avoid getting ready for a late walk or run, which only increases the stress in your life. You have yourself with a cup of coffee. There is also time to spend some time with. You will think about the day ahead. ”
3 make sleep a priority
Of course, getting up earlier does not mean that you should remember those precious hours of sleep. “Getting enough sleep is probably the most important thing we can do to take care of ourselves,” Dr. Weltfried explained, noting that sleep helps restore your energy, reduce stress and improve your mood. “Most adults require seven to eight hours,” she said.
While there are lots of habits that can help you get better sleep (such as lowering your appliances in the evening and keeping your bedroom cool), Drs. Weltfried emphasized the importance of nighttime routines. “I recommend clients engage in pre-sleep activities that promote relaxation before bedtime, such as meditation, reading and listening to music.”
4 learn to say no
“Setting limits is a form of self-care. How many times have you agreed to a request when you wanted to say or didn’t step back to consider the implications for you?” Dr. Weltfried asked. “Saying yes can be indiscriminate, there is no short time for yourself and you need to live a balanced, happy and successful life. When we say yes, again and again, we are exhausted, sad, angry, overwhelmed. , Feel sad and powerless. ”
It won’t be easy at first, so there are some reactions in the back of your mind that you can fire if needed. “For those requests, you need time to think about, you can say something like, ‘I’ll need to go back to you,'” Dr. Weltfried said. “When you are clear that the answer is no, then say, ‘Excuse me, but my schedule is packed, or’ I wish I could help, but I can’t on that day. ‘
5 speak kindly to others
When you make kindness a habit, “you’ll feel better not only about yourself but about your world,” Dr. Jones said. This is not a grand gesture. Instead, focus on small acts of kindness that you can do regularly. He said, “When you’re in line at Starbucks, buy someone else’s coffee, offer to volunteer at a local charity, bake something and take it to a neighbor, or buy one when needed during the holiday season.” Help the family. ” “There are so many possibilities.”
6 practice meditation
“Intentionally our focus in Mindfulness is to keep on the present moment without judgment,” Dr. Weltfried explained and is known to help reduce stress and anxiety. You can practice Mindfulness Meditation anytime and anywhere.
This is a good place to start meditation: “Just assume a comfortable upright position and close your eyes or soften your gaze downward. Add to the sensation of your breath and out-breath without attempting to change it Be, “Dr. Weifrid said. . “When you notice that your mind has wandered, which it will be, you will slowly focus on your breath.