Given that the benefits of self-care are best achieved with some measure of a daily practice, here are 9 ways to soothe your soul on the regular, release any lingering stress from last year, and take better care of yourself in 2019!
1. Try something new just for fun
Don't underestimate the power of fun for busting up negativity and the too-seriousness that can come upon you when your stress levels are high. Want to try a new dance class, host friends for a get-together, or even change your fashion style?
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Whatever makes you smile, laugh, or just feel better counts, so make sure to make fun part of your self-care routine.
This is a habit that is going to challenge you to try something new or at least give you a new experience. Helping you to step outside of your comfort zone.
If there is something you can challenge yourself to do every day, think about all you will have achieved and learned by the end of 2019.
2. Get social support and communicate
Adequate social support and mental health go hand-in-hand, so it's important to stay connected with your crew in real time. Toxic friendships and relationships can also ramp up your stress levels, so nurture yourself by building community in healthy ways.
In the day-to-day routine, it’s easy to rest on what is comfortable in relationships. Take your significant other, your mother or your brother to dinner this week, and open up a deeper conversation about your goals or your problems. Sharing your thoughts help.
3. Get any kind of exercise in
Exercise is pretty fundamental when it comes to health and stress relief. And the good news is, you've got so many options to choose from.
Whether you like yoga, dance classes, running marathons or simply going to the gym, there's most likely a form of exercise that works best for you. So, experiment a bit and find something you’d love to do.
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By stretching your muscles you’re allowing your mind and creativity flow and from a spiritual point of view, ensuring all your energies are aligned.
4. Spend time with pets
Research shows that spending time with pets is a powerful way to lessen depression and anxiety, while improving overall mental health. Pets are a wonderful source of comfort, companionship, and simple, unconditional love in an often-complex world.
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If you don't have a pet of your own, but are able to adequately care for an animal, consider adoption. Otherwise, offering to walk a friend or neighbor's dog, pet sitting, or volunteering at a local animal shelter are great ways to spend some time with animals.
5. Choose yourself too
You won’t always be a priority to others, and that’s why you must be a top priority to yourself. Learn to respect yourself, take care of yourself, and become your own support system.
Love yourself first and foremost every day, instead of simply loving the idea of other people loving you. Your needs matter. Start meeting them. Don’t wait on others to choose you—choose yourself! And remember that once your needs are met, you will be better equipped and capable of meeting the needs of those few people who matter most to you.
Happiness doesn’t start with a relationship, a vacation, a job or money. It starts with you. If you want life to be happier, you need to be mindful of your present response. It’s how you deal with stress in each little moment that determines how well you achieve happiness in the end.
6. Allow yourself to be imperfectly human
You can disappoint people and still be good enough. You can fail and still be smart, talented and capable of success.
You can let people down and still be worthwhile and deserving of love and admiration. We all make mistakes sometimes. Take a deep breath. It’s OK to be human. We are at our best when we are growing.
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7. Invite gratitude into your daily life
Gratitude is the number one most under-rated emotion that we humans experience. With gratitude, one contextualizes their life, which in turn helps you to step into your power and take ownership of your life and circumstance. There is happiness to be found if you decide to see it - because not everything is bad.
We’re not talking about the obvious things that we all know that we’re supposed to say like: “I’m grateful for my family.” While allowing yourself to be imperfectly human, you also allow others to be too.
Sometimes people make mistakes, but when you realize they’ve done good things for you, at the end of the day you’re grateful for the times you’ve been with them. Yeah, that. Gratitude gives you that. Make sure the special people in your life know how much they mean to you. Put a reminder on your calendar—even one occasion of expressing gratitude each month. It’s key to honing purpose.
8. Create a bucket list and set yourself free
Fear and self-doubt hold too many people back. If you’re worried about something on the horizon, think back to another time you rose to the occasion, and let that memory give you peace of mind.
Make a list of things you want to do, like a new hobby or go on an exciting vacation. One of the most rewarding things about a vacation is the excitement leading up to it—it’s something to look forward to. Take that fear and disappointment and put it all behind beautiful new memories. Take your life away from all the dreariness and be free.
9. Embrace the journey
Life is full of things that doesn’t necessarily bring a smile to our faces. To experience everything at its fullest, you just have to take all of it and embrace it. Charge ahead and soak it all in. Never mind if it’s good or bad, everything happens for a reason. It’s a learning experience that will strengthen us in our journey in life.
At the end of it all, we’ll all look back and remember all the good and the bad and reflect that all these that made the person we are at the end of 2019.
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To wrap up, by devising a regular self-care practice that works for you, you'll be strengthening your resilience day by day. And that helps make life just a little bit easier to roll with when challenges strike. So 2019 here we come! 🥳