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It’s been a long year. Some of us experience this kind of thought at every year’s end, but if the end of 2021, in particular, has you feeling a little (or even a lot) more burned out than usual, you’re not alone.
People are a lot like plants. We’re capable of giving so much to others, but without enough of the essential things we need to stay healthy and thrive, it’s no wonder we start to wilt.
If you’re looking for ways to get a fresh start in 2022, stick with us. We’ll inspire you with 6 ideas for self care practices to get you feeling your best and brightest in the new year.
#1 Find Your Calm
Whether you often find yourself overwhelmed by too many thoughts or you simply don’t have a spare moment to think, taking time to practice mindfulness is a good self care habit to consider starting.
Mindfulness entails taking active stock of your surroundings—without distraction. It can encompass a range of practices, including:
- Eating a meal in silence without a laptop screen or cellphone in front of you
- Going on a walk without your headphones and noticing what arises
- Sitting with your thoughts in meditation for five minutes or a full day
Studies have shown that taking time to meditate and be mindful has a whole list of benefits, including:
- Better focus
- Improved mental clarity
- Decreased anxiety and depression
- Heightened mood
- Greater self-esteem
While many find their calm in mindfulness, there are other ways to give yourself a little mental space. Maybe you can instead find relaxation in listening to music, reading a book, or going for a walk and listening to a podcast. Maybe for you, it’s taking some extra time for your skin care routine with skin care products like facial mist for sensitive skin or squeezing in a bubble bath once the kids are in bed.
Regardless of what you choose, the important part is to take a moment to focus on the present and clear your mental garden of all the thoughts that have it feeling cluttered. If you do so regularly, that mind of yours could start to feel like springtime.
#2 Scale Back Your Screen Time
While our digital devices can be powerful tools, they can also give us a lot of grief. In one study, 86% of Americans reported constantly feeling the need to check notifications, while 18% said they felt their digital devices were a significant source of stress.
Just like we want to keep a growing garden free of toxins and pollution, it’s probably a good idea to give ourselves a digital detox now and then. So, what’s the best way to reduce all that digital noise? Some advise planning extensive, technology-free “digital detox weekends,” and if your life allows you to do so, by all means.
However, we have a few suggestions for how to reduce digital overwhelm on a smaller, more sustainable basis:
- Plan it out – Schedule yourself some time each day that’s free from notifications, such as right after you wake up in the morning or before winding down for bed. Use this time for a self care activity instead.
- Peruse with purpose – Before you pick up your device, define your purpose for using it. Even if you’re just there for entertainment, mentally stating why you’re online will help you cut down on times you pick up the phone for no other reason than boredom.
- Just stop scrolling – Likewise, try to notice the time you spend scrolling mindlessly on your phone when you could be doing something else, like reading a book, checking in with a friend, or going outside.
- Designate phone-free areas – Decide when it’s simply not necessary or even preferable to not have your phone at your side, such as when you’re at the dinner table. All the better if the rest of your family is willing to participate, as that means more of your focus will be on each other.
#3 Go Outdoors
Just like a growing plant needs plenty of sun and fresh air, so do you! Spending time outdoors can be a fantastic act of physical self care.
According to the American Psychological Association, spending time in nature is associated with all kinds of positive effects, including “improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even upticks in empathy and cooperation.”
Getting some outdoor time can include anything from sipping your coffee out on the porch in the morning to planning a family hike or picnic. Either way, increasing your connection with nature is sure to lift your spirits.
Our tip: If you’re going to be spending lots of time in the sun, just make sure to apply some moisturizer with SPF, as well. SPF is self care, too!
#4 Make a Playdate—For Yourself
If you’re a parent, you know how much time goes into coordinating social get-togethers for your kids. Meanwhile, our own social lives can sometimes fall by the wayside.
What if we planned social activities for ourselves with the same level of intention?
If this sounds exhausting, hear us out—a grown-up play date doesn’t have to be a big deal. You can even incorporate it into other parts of your self care goals. Try planning self care activities where you and a friend can both unwind and relax together, such as:
- Eating lunch at a new restaurant
- Meeting for coffee in the park
- Planning a spa day at home with mud face masks and manicures
- Taking a meditation workshop
- Attending a yoga class
- Learning a new craft or skill
Studies suggest that loneliness can affect our mental health, physical health, and even our lifespan. In essence, we need companionship just as much as a flower needs water. If you’ve been feeling lonely, definitely give this one a go—chances are, your friend will thank you for it.
#5 Set Some Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries can be one of the most helpful ways to self care, but it can also be one of the hardest. We want to be generous when others ask for our time, energy, and emotional space, but without limitations, we may end up with nothing left for ourselves.
If something or someone is taking up more of your life than you desire, it may be time to define some healthy boundaries. That way, when someone or something gets close to that line, it will be easier to know when you need to take a step back or say no.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to get started:
- Who or what do I need boundaries for?
- What are their expectations of me?
- What am I willing or not willing to do?
- What else in my life does this boundary affect?
- How will I communicate and uphold my boundaries?
If, like the act of self care, setting boundaries feels too selfish or indulgent at first, remember: even a tree can struggle to grow back when over pruned. In order to be generous in the first place, you need the space to stay strong and resilient.
#6 Make the Time
Finding the time for self care can be difficult, but in itself, it’s one of the most important self care tips whether or not you are in the midst of the holiday season. Here are some ways to start prioritizing self care:
- Reinvent your routines – Take an inventory of the various routines that make up your day, such as morning, lunchtime, and evening. What other habits could be replaced with an act of self care? Re-evaluate your facial or body care routine, reassess your daily habits, or incorporate a new self care practice in place of the time spent scrolling through your social media. This is a great way to give your regimen a refresh.
- Schedule it in – Instead of leaving self care for when you spontaneously have a spare minute, try scheduling it into your day. If you use a planner or digital calendar, enter in your self care time just as you would any other event—and attend it with just as much commitment.
- Ask for help – If you have little ones and need time away to practice self care, don’t be afraid to communicate to your partner, family member, or friend about needing some time for yourself. You can offer to provide some self care time for them in return.
A skilled gardener wouldn’t skip the watering, fertilizing, and weeding and still expect their garden to thrive and give as much as it would if it were regularly cared for. In the same way, your commitment to maintaining self care will shine through to those around you.
Grow Healthy and Happy With Honest®
The idea of a self care routine can sometimes have a connotation of luxury or indulgence. Yet, research shows that taking time to better care for yourself is vital not only for your individual health and wellness, but also for your family’s well-being.
If you’re like a plant, then think of practicing self care as being your own gardener. It involves taking small, daily steps for your well-being that seem insignificant in the moment, but which help you grow more resilient in the long term.
At Honest®, we have the skincare essentials you need to flourish and thrive. When you’re ready to take some time for good self care, our products will leave you feeling bright and blossoming both inside and out.
Abramson, A. (2021, October 1). The impact of parental burnout. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2021/10/cover-parental-burnout
The Science of Mindfulness. (2020, September 7). Mindful. https://www.mindful.org/the-science-of-mindfulness/
Stress in America™ 2017: Technology and Social Media. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2017/technology-social-media.pdf
Nurtured by Nature. (2017). American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature
Seppälä, E., King, M. (2017, June 29). Burnout at Work Isn’t Just About Exhaustion. It’s Also About Loneliness. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/06/burnout-at-work-isnt-just-about-exhaustion-its-also-about-loneliness
We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.blog_review_statement