Set a Morning and Nighttime Routine You Enjoy
Waking up and winding down are both equally important in setting the tone for a productive day and a restful night's sleep. Write down your ideal morning and nighttime routine that will leave you feeling ready to take on the day or hit the hay!
These routines should consist of things that make you happy; for example, making time to sit and savor your morning cup of coffee, enjoying a morning yoga session, cuddling with your puppy (or kids) before bedtime, or committing to a period of no phone time before bed.
Commit to following your ideal morning and nighttime routine for January, to ensure these routines turn into habits and that you start and end your day on a positive note.
Say No and Don’t Feel Guilty When You Do
Feeling spread thin and overwhelmed with little or no time for yourself is the opposite of self-care. Since we cannot create more hours in the day to squeeze it all in, we have to stop saying yes when what we want to say is no.
Starting now, pay attention to how you feel when you get an invitation from friends and family or are asked to take on additional responsibilities. If the initial feeling you get is dread, anxiety and stress, take a deep breath and politely say no.
Take Care of Your Mind
Our minds deserve a little pampering, set aside time each week to enrich your mind with activities you find enjoyable. Set up a puzzle and work on it after dinner instead of mindlessly scrolling social media or watching TV, journal or read, or simply take 10 minutes and meditate.
Take Care of Your Body
The anti-diet diet. Instead of cutting out carbs or committing to a juice cleanse, focus on making healthy choices: drink your coffee at home instead of the sugar-loaded beverages from a coffee shop, eat fruits and vegetables every day, enjoy a home-cooked meal instead of eating out several times a week, or aim to eat a salad with dinner.
With all the energy you’re going to have from making healthier food choices, you’re probably going to want to get active! Instead of pushing your body to the limit with a new workout, try to focus on gradual, sustainable changes. If you are new to exercising, start with something simple like a morning yoga practice or an evening walk with your pup.
Spend more time outside
Sunshine makes everything better; many studies show how beneficial it is for us to spend time outdoors. Spending time outside not only promotes happiness and lowers stress, but it also helps you get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Spending more time outside doesn’t have to mean that you spend weekends camping or hiking, there are simple ways to get outside more often. Go for a midday walk a few times a week, taking a break from the busyness of your day will help you take on the afternoon with a clearer mind and a more positive outlook. Opt to eat outside, whether you are eating at a restaurant or home, it is easy to combine two great things: food and the outdoors! Not only will eating in the fresh air feel good and help you get your vitamin D, but you will also be more intentional at mealtime if you are outside versus in front of the TV.