Self Care Resolutions for 2018
With 2018 quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to begin thinking up some new year’s resolutions. From making an effort to sleep more to scheduling in some weekly me-time, here are some self care resolutions that are guaranteed to boost your mind, body and soul.
Unplug for at Least an Hour a Day
You may not realize it, but being constantly connected is going to end up having some negative effects on your health.
Research has shown that being constantly connected has a strong link with anxiety and depression, while also compromising quality of sleep.
Unplugging for just an hour a day can make a huge difference, especially if you replace your phone time with leisure time.
Want to do even more?
Here are a few tips to help you to cut back on your digital dependency:
- Disable push notifications – these are those constant alerts that you get on your phone from your apps, whether it may be from Facebook, Instagram, news websites or anything else. Try disabling these, and then set aside a specific time each day for you to check those sites yourself
- Swap your phone for a real alarm clock – many people use their phones as an alarm clock, but why not try switching this out for a real alarm clock? To make this even better, once you wake up, try to refrain from checking any of your devices for the first hour, so that you can start your day on your own terms
- Make use of airplane mode – also known as do not disturb mode, you should make use of this during times when you do not need to be disturbed, such as when you are working out or are in the shower. You may want your phone to listen to some music, but that does not mean that you need to be constantly connected to everyone else as well
Once you have gotten used to this, you can gradually work your way up to unplugging for entire days at a time. Pretty soon, you will not know how you lived without doing so.
Schedule in Some Weekly Me-Time
Me-time might sound like an unnecessary indulgence to some, but making time for yourself is actually extremely important.
Well, here are just a few of the reasons that psychologists would agree on:
- Helps the body to unwind
- Reboots the brain
- Improves concentration
- Increases productivity
- Gives you time to do some deep thinking
- Helps in problem-solving
- Enhances relationships with others
If you are currently in a relationship, making time for yourself is even more important…
Studies have shown that a lack of me-time is actually the biggest cause of an unhappy relationship, even more than an unsatisfying sex life.
Don’t have much extra time to spare?
That’s ok, because me-time is all about quality, not quantity.
Even if you can only set aside half an hour a week, spend this doing something that you enjoy, whether this may be a sport, watching a movie, reading a book, or simply spending time doing nothing.
Make Sure That You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Around 35% of adults don’t actually get enough sleep, and this can lead to a number of issues.
This does vary from person to person, but should be at least seven hours, and not more than nine hours.
Here are just a few of the benefits that quality sleep can have:
- An improvement in memory
- Longer life span
- Lowered inflammation in your body
- Increased creativity
- Increased physical performance
- Sharper attention
- Easier to maintain a healthy weight
- Lowered stress levels
- Reduced risk of depression
You might be thinking…
“But can’t I just make up for lost weekday sleep on the weekends?”
Yes, it is possible to make up for a sleep debt by sleeping in on the weekends, but this brings about a new set of problems…
By altering the time that you go to sleep and wake up so significantly, your natural sleep-wake cycle will have a hard time returning back to normal on Sunday night, or waking up early enough on Monday morning.
This is why sufficient, quality sleep, on a regular basis, is the best way to go.
Find a New Physical Activity That You Love
Everybody knows that exercise is good for the body, but do you know why exactly this is?
Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Exercise has been proven to improve the mood while reducing depression, anxiety and stress
- Exercise is key when it comes to building and maintaining healthy muscles and bones
- Six weeks of regular exercise can significantly reduce feelings of fatigue
- Regular exercise will reduce your risk of chronic diseases
- Exercise boosts the health of your skin while slowing down the aging process
- Maintaining a healthy weight is much easier with regular exercise
- Exercise can improve brain health and boost memory
- Exercise helps the body to relax, improving sleep quality
The key point to remember here is that exercise triggers the brain to release endorphins, which will make you feel so good.
Rather than looking at exercise as a tedious chore that you need to do, it is important to find a way to make exercise fun.
By finding a physical activity that you really enjoy doing. This could be anything from walking a friend’s dog to learning a team sport to signing up for a dance class. As long as it gets your heart pumping, and you love doing it, anything is possible.
Drink More Water
Between 55% and 65% of your body is made up of water, so you can imagine how important water is when it comes to keeping the body healthy.
How much water should you be drinking?
About eight glasses of water a day, with the glass being an eight-ounce measure.
Even if you already drink around that amount, drinking even more will only benefit you, and everything from your skin to your hair to your immune system will thank you for this.
Find water a little boring?
Research has shown that tea has the ability to hydrate the body just as much as water does, so do not worry if you want to swap some of your recommended water intake for cups of tea instead, whether this may be black, white or herbal.
Another option is fruit-infused water, which will also give your body a boost of antioxidants from the fruit.
Self-care does not only refer to taking care of your body and your mind, but also to other ways in which you can look after yourself.
One of these is by being financially secure, which is something that can really make a difference in a person’s life and confidence.
However, many people find it so difficult to save money…
Even if maths is not your strongest suit, there are still a few lifestyle changes that you can make which will probably end up saving you more money than you would have imagined:
- Teach yourself some DIY skills, so that rather than calling a plumber or electrician to fix a minor issue, you can tackle the problem yourself
- Stop making impulse purchases. If you want something, walk away and come back to it a couple of days later. If you still want it, then buy it
- Prepare your meals in advance, as this can save you so much money over time. It is also a great way to encourage yourself to eat healthier
- Learn to be happy with what you have, because this will stop you from over-indulging on material goods
Give Up a Bad Habit… For Just One Day a Week
Whether it be smoking or soft drinks, giving up a bad habit is one of the most common new year’s resolutions out there.
However, it is also one of the most commonly failed new year’s resolutions out there…
For many people, going cold turkey only makes things harder, which is why it can sometimes be better to slowly train your body into going without something.
Rather than completely giving up your bad habit straight away, try giving it up for just one day a week.
Not only will this give your body a small break from your bad habit, which is likely not doing your body any good, but it will also show you that you can, in fact, survive without it.
Once you are no longer batting an eyelid at giving your habit up once a week, try increasing this to twice a week, and then thrice, until you have completely given up your bad habit altogether.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Due to modern day lifestyles, people tend to be spending more and more time indoors.
However, spending time outdoors actually does your body a world of good…
Green spaces provide your body with a calming effect, by increasing oxygen levels and reducing the amount of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, in your body.
In fact, the Japanese have even created a therapy technique called forest bathing, which simply involves spending some time around trees.
Just 15 minutes is all you need for your body to begin experiencing some of the incredible benefits that nature can have.
Stop Neglecting Those Health Checks
While many people are completely dedicated to ensuring that they never miss a doctor’s appointment, others are more laissez-faire about this.
However, health checks are so important, as these are often the time during which serious health issues can be caught early, meaning that something can still be done about them.
Not sure what health checks you need?
Here are some guidelines:
- Perform a self-exam on your breasts once a month, and schedule a mammogram appointment once a year
- Visit a dermatologist once a year to be checked for any moles or freckles
- Visit your gynecologist once a year for a pap smear
- Have a general health check performed by your doctor once a year
- Once you reach the age of 50, make sure that you have spoken to your doctor about diabetes screening, as well as a colonoscopy
- Make sure that you are aware of your BMI, your blood type and your blood glucose and blood pressure
Make Small Improvements to Your Diet
Just like with giving up a bad habit, drastically changing your diet could only leave you with some serious cravings, and you may be more likely to give up on your good intentions.
Instead of making a dramatic change, start off gradually.
Not sure how?
Begin by adding in one extra fruit or vegetable to your diet each day. This may seem like a small change, but this on its own will have huge health benefits.
You can then move on to slowly cutting out the unhealthier foods that you eat, from cakes and cookies to processed meals.
Another fun way to improve your diet is by trying new foods. Whether this may be an exotic vegetable or a foreign bread, buying ingredients that you have never tried before will also help you to push your own culinary boundaries, giving yourself a bit of a challenge.
You should also ensure that you are practicing portion control. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a dessert once in a while, but what really matters is the size of the dessert that you are eating. Rather than stopping yourself from eating desserts, and then going all out eating an entire cake one evening, eat what you enjoy, but just keep the portions small.
If you are someone who tends to skip breakfast, then this is another resolution that you can make. Breakfast is referred to as the most important meal of the day for a reason, and it will really help your body to stay alert and wide awake for the rest of the day, so long as your breakfast is a nutritious one.