Setting Self-Care for the New Year
It’s official! We’ve made it to the end of 2020, and although many of us are happy to see the end of this tumultuous and historic year, we need to not only thank ourselves for getting through but plan for what we can do better for 2021. I know it may have been close to impossible to envision what the year had in store when you thought about 2020, but rest assured, there is no pressure to set concrete plans for the new year just yet. If the last 365 days taught you anything, it should be to take things slow, which is why we need to shift the narrative towards ensuring ultimate self-care. Now, we all know self-care can mean various actions from an excellent booked one hour massage (daydreaming right now) to a nice bubble bath with your favorite bath bomb. Still, as we peek into the new year, let’s look into more intentional habits that will set you off on the right foot, no matter what 2021 brings our way.
The morning time is crucial in order to set yourself up for a great start to the day. Now, although I’m a frequent rider on the snooze train, I noticed how essential the morning could be if executed with intention. With a typical feel of slug and darkness, take back your mornings in 2021 with self-care practices that are not only doable but enjoyable as well. Whether it’s waking up an extra hour, or maybe even two, find a set time to wake up each morning and conduct a full self-care routine.
Your thoughts can often be scrambled as soon as you wake up and, in an effort to combat any morning stress before the day even gets started, give yourself time for prayer or meditation. By scheduling in this designated silence, you’re able to provide yourself with the awareness you need to take control of your thoughts and, ultimately, your mood. Whether it’s a meditation video or a favorite scripture in the bible, make time to check in on your mind and set it up for the great day ahead. Implementing this quiet time can also be accompanied with your favorite tea or glass of lemon water to bring your body the hydration it needs to start thinking clearly. Although it may take some time at first to get used to the early rise, you’ll find that your days aren’t the same without it.
I think I speak for everyone when I say there was a great “attempt” made this year when it came to wellness. By attempt, I mean thought. I’m sure we all know people who made tremendous strides towards a healthier lifestyle, but like many others, it fell flat the longer we stayed inside, with our new air fryers (if you know, you know). For some people, the routine went from celery sticks and salads to flaming hot Cheetos and homemade cakes, lots of cakes, and that’s perfectly okay. We learned many dos and don’ts for our bodies, and now it’s time to solidify more healthy habits and pair them with strategies you know work for you. Whether that means a nutrition app, an accountability partner, or a consistent YouTube pal, this new year presents an incredible opportunity to get a hold of some long-term results without the stress of falling off the wagon. The most important part is doing what your body can and take it one step at a time. Giving yourself a good-for-you goal to reach can also help guide you in the direction of wellness that you want to maintain throughout the year. Start with what you know and build on new experiences that will add to your mission. Remember, it’s your wellness journey, and you know what you need to do to make it your best year yet.
For many, this year has presented an incredible amount of loss and stress. While there is not much that can repair the damage of the year, it is crucial to seek healing and understanding to move forward in 2021. With grace and an open heart, seeking help to unwrap emotions and heartache is precisely what we need to make the best of the new year. For some, this may be leaning into their church community. For others, it may be one on one time spent with a specialist who can unpack and help engage you with the right resources to heal and grow through adversity. By seeking out guidance, you are already choosing to be a better you in the new year, and that is an incredible step for so many reasons. Therapy is a tool to help uncover the parts of you that may be hidden right now. What many find hard to understand is that you have the power to not only change your thought patterns but uplift yourself to live beyond the fear and anxiety that may be inside of you. Although it could take time to find the right fit, and it’s a process you should not skate through, it opens you to a familiar world that you may have been missing out on, and you deserve to enjoy it with all of your heart. Finding your inner peace is the true definition of self-care.
This unwinding time in the night may be just as important as the energizing one you have in the morning. Allotting yourself with a designated time to reflect and cleanse the day away presents a great opportunity for self-care. No matter what type of day it may have been, you are back in control of your own environment, and with that understanding, you can let go of the day and prepare for a new one. Now, this is the time for those luxurious bath accessories, a beautiful silk scarf, and skincare regimens to make yourself feel impeccable after a long day. Massage an oil into your scalp and release the stress from your body with a nighttime yoga pose or back massager. What makes this time sacred is the impact it has on the next day. The energy you give yourself is the energy you will be able to offer to others. Whether that your career, your family, or schooling, you need to set time to recharge and reflect.
In your favorite comfy Rhea Cherie lounge set, take an extra moment to stare at yourself in a full-body mirror, and think about the person you are and who you want to continue to be. Perhaps there was something you could have done better in, forgive yourself and try again tomorrow. The purpose of self-care is to give yourself time to do what makes you happy. While wearing soft, beautiful pajamas with a headscarf on for the night, grab a book that will help you to let go of the day and get ready for a new one to begin.
I know it can be a bit daunting to even think about the new year after the one we’ve all just had. But as the days wind down and we inch closer and closer to 2021, I encourage you not to dwell on what you weren’t able to accomplish. We all had our share of ups and downs, more downs than we can probably count, but don’t let it seep into what could be the best year of your life. With true self-care techniques and treating yourself with kindness, there is no limit to what is in store for you if you make the change to cultivate better systems, habits, and routines. It won’t be perfect, it never is, but it is your chance to make a real difference in your life and set yourself up for a prosperous new year, whatever that may entail. May this year not only bring us the opportunities for self-care but also the empowerment to encourage those around us to do the same as well.