As another year has come and gone, you may be sitting back reflecting on 2018 and thinking about how you want 2019 to look different. But are you making the same promises that you made last year at this time? Are you longing for contentment only you can't find it?
It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotonous trap of making the same resolutions year after year and struggling with the same challenges. Sadly, most people fall short of fulfilling their personal commitments and resort back to their old habits. In fact, research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology shows that only 8 percent of people actually meet their New Year’s resolution goals. Although this data can put a damper on an age-old tradition of making resolutions, it shouldn’t keep you from striving to improve yourself.
Self-care is one of the greatest ways that you can make positive changes in your life. Attending to your personal and emotional needs is vital to your wellbeing. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, too often people neglect and overlook the importance of self-care. If you truly want to make a change in 2019, begin the year by making a promise to the one person who is with you day in and day out – you!
This year instead of resorting to your old resolutions make a commitment to put the spotlight on you and the things that you like to do. If you don’t know where to begin below are five simple ways to help you get started. It’s time that you put first things first, change your attitude, boost your health all while improving your life and it all begins with self-care!
Five ways to practice self-care.
1. Do what you love and love what you do. Identify some talents or activities that you truly enjoy and do them. Stop wishing that you had the time to go for a walk, run, paint, cook, or read a book and start making it happen. If you can only spend ten minutes doing it then great - if you have an hour even better. You aren’t in a race against the clock to spend time with yourself, you just have to make it happen.
2. Embrace each moment. Too often life is spent looking back to the past or jumping too far ahead in the future. Whether you’re attending a loved one’s wedding or having your favorite beverage at the coffee shop, stop and take time to embrace each moment. Make a conscious effort to place the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the background by focusing on the present moment. As the Dalai Lama XIV so astutely stated, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.”
3. Get plenty of zzz’s. Sleep is a basic need that too often gets neglected. Did you know that adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night? According to a recent study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of Americans are sleep deprived. Coincidentally, lack of sleep has been linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and mental distress. Sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
4. Begin each day with gratitude. As Tyler Trent, the twenty year old inspirational Purdue superfan, who recently lost his fight with cancer wrote, “Though I am in hospice care and have to wake up every morning knowing that the day might be my last, I still have a choice to make: to make that day the best it can be. To make the most of whomever comes to
visit, texts, tweets or calls me.” We could all learn something from Tyler about making a choice to make each day the best and that all begins with a little gratitude.
5. Celebrate your victories both big and small. Don’t brush off your accomplishments. When was the last time that you took time to celebrate your successes? It’s so easy to accomplish something, brush it off, and move on to the next item on the list, but don’t sell yourself short. Instead, take time to acknowledge what you achieved. Life’s too short to not celebrate each victory big or small.
Don’t let another year come and go without making your well-being a priority. Make a commitment to actively engage in self-care. You owe it to yourself to put first things first – and that begins with you.