There’s no way to sugar-coat it, it’s been a tough year. Now that you’ve (hopefully) stuffed your face with Turkey and got all the Christmas merriment out of the way, it’s time to start preparing for the New Year that we all need so badly.
Now is the time to wind down, take stock and reset. The small things in life can make us feel that little bit better. Here are some self-care practices that won’t take long but that will help you reset:
Enjoy a relaxing bubble bath
“Take a relaxing bath” is advice that’s about as old as time – and for a reason. Aside from being a nice way to chill out, baths have tonnes of proven therapeutic benefits. They can help you breathe better as warm water helps increase your oxygen intake. They can speed up muscle recovery if you have been exercising or have an injury (Epsom salts are a great aid to this). Baths can also help you sleep better, balance your hormones and boost your immune system. Who knew? We’d recommend dimming the lights and dotting some candles round your bathroom to really amp up the ambience. You won’t regret it.
Opt out of news and socials
Realistically, there’s not a single person in the western world who doesn’t get a little bit pissed off with constant notifications, beeps and clicks. The good news? They’re not mandatory. You can switch off your notifications. You can even switch off your phone if you so please. Why not take some time leading up to the New Year to have a bit of digital detox? Whether it’s as small as not having your phone by your bed at night, or as big as committing to not reading any news for a couple of days – we can wholeheartedly tell you, you deserve a break.
Go for a stroll
There really is nothing like a good old stroll to raise your heart rate, oil your joints and clear your mind. There’s a reason why some of the best thinkers, including Aristotle and William Wordsworth, would take a daily walk – because the act of walking prompts lucid, un-clouded thinking. If you are lucky enough to have company this Christmas, walking with a housemate or relative is a great way to blow off some steam and have a natter. If you’re alone, spend some time indulging in the beauty of nature and the deserving company of your own mind. Go on, we dare you.
Start a gratitude journal
When so much has been taken from us this past year, it’s easy to feel like there’s not a lot left to be grateful for. However, a gratitude journal gives us the chance to get back to basics. Taking 5 or 10 minutes out of our day each day to reflect on the positives can have significant health benefits, including lowering stress levels and helping with sleep. It could be as simple as showing gratitude for a delicious breakfast, or as profound as expressing gratefulness for your families’ health – noting these things down will embed them in your mind. A gratitude journal not only helps us focus on what really matters, it gives us clarity on what is important to us, what we would like more of in our life and what we could cut down on. If you count your blessings, they may just stick around.
Yes, we know, it’s not the 1960s anymore, but spreading love is still a thing – promise. Acts of kindness have proven health benefits, not just for the receiver but for the giver – doing something kind releases oxytocin in our brains, a hormone that makes you feel warm, fuzzy feelings and reduces stress and anxiety. So – compliment your housemates, call your grandma, hug your parents, leave your sister an appreciative note. The small things in life are often what matter the most. You heard it here first [wink emoji].
How do you intend to welcome in the New Year? Let us know I the comments below. If you like our blogposts, you’ll love our Instagram.