This year, it’s time to show yourself some love. If you’re stumped for self care exercises, check out these seven fulfilling practicing to start doing now!
Resolutions aren’t inherently bad, but they’re not exactly effective.
In fact, according to research, people stop honoring their resolutions less than two weeks later—the fateful day being January 12th. Only about 8 percent of people follow through with their goals.
Now, don’t let this get you down. This guide isn’t about New Year’s resolutions. It’s about building a routine that you can enact day after day, year after year, decade after decade.
These self-care exercises are essential now and in the future. They’ll foster a feeling of self-love, empowerment, and independence. They’re life skills you can add into your routine for the rest of your life, New Year’s resolutions be damned!
Here are seven exercises to start implementing today.
1. Learn to Say “No”
“No” is a powerful word, and it can be challenging to say—but good things don’t always come easy.
Stretching yourself thin by RSVPing “yes” to every event on your social calendar is a sure way to face burn-out. Learn to pick and choose, stay in every once in a while, and cultivate solo quiet time.
Instagram will move on. Your friends will move on. Your mom will forgive you. So say “no” when it feels right.
This simple, two-letter word is a sign of your integrity, your self-worth, your courage, and your shield against exploitation.
2. Put Down the Phone
It’s becoming harder and harder to get away without using our phone, but we have to unplug every once in a while.
Sure, GPS is essential, and Pinterest is full of inspiration. But ‘boring’ is incredibly meaningful—it’s how we rest and digest, let thoughts marinate, and learn to live with ourselves.
Set a timer that limits your social media activity and stick with it. Or make it a routine to stop checking your phone at least two hours before bedtime. Not only will this allow you to settle down after a long day, but doing without that harsh light can help you sleep better.
3. Exercise Your Body
You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating—a body at rest tends to stay at rest.
Exercise is vital to our well-being. It doesn’t matter the type—a 10-minute walk around your neighborhood, a meditative yoga class, some HIIT—but your body craves it. Exercise is a crucial factor in our mental and physical health; there’s just no going around it.
So, instead of getting a gym membership when you hate the gym or running when you hate to run, do something that you love. This’ll make it easier for you to do, and you’ll be more likely to hold yourself accountable.
4. Exercise Your Mind
Being more mindful is a fantastic way to flourish in the world.
It helps you see more clearly—yourself, your actions (instead of reactions), your thoughts, the behavior of others. Time and again, meditation is proven to help us foster a sense of mindfulness and awareness that is truly life-changing.
Like physical exercise, you don’t have to commit yourself to a strict routine you’re bound to fall out of. Instead, make your meditation practice practical to you.
If you don’t have thirty minutes a day to dedicate to medication, that’s fine! Start with 5 minutes. Move up to 10. Keep increasing with experience.
Several apps can help guide you, too, if you’re finding it hard to concentrate. Breathe+, Insight Timer, Waking Up, and Headspace are all great options. Play around with them until you find one you love.
5. Cultivate Loving Relationships
When was the last time you called your mother?
When was the last time you met up with your best friend for a coffee—instead of texting back and forth or sending stories on Instagram?
And even further, when was the last time you had a meal with buddies sans-alcohol?
To cultivate loving relationships, try taking the booze out of it. Instead, do things that empower each other, like facing a strenuous hike, helping each other develop a business plan, walking their dog when they’re out of town.
As important as being comfortable while solo is, we all need to foster good people in our lives. People we can turn to in times of crisis or accomplishment; people that can reflect on your past with you; and people that can help you build a better future.
Find your team, your tribe, your sisters, your boys, and make it a priority to have real conversations—heart to heart, eye to eye.
6. Get Some Rest
A consistent sleep schedule is essential to a healthy existence—and it’ll make everything on this list a whole lot easier, too.
Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Don’t think you can do it? Think again—our thoughts are notoriously limiting!
Start winding down before you hit the sheets, so your sleep can be restful and rejuvenating. Get up when your alarm clock goes off—the first time. Do everything in your power to get those required 7-8 hours.
For those who say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” well—they very well may have a lot of sleep coming to them. Getting some rest is key to a fulfilling health regimen, allowing you to flourish.
7. Recognize Unhealthy Habits
And of course, what good are these self-care exercises if you’re canceling them out with bad habits?
Take a careful look at your life and understand where you can make improvements.
If you can’t entirely cut out a bad habit, start limiting it first. Wean yourself off of unhealthy habits, people, and ways of living now.
Honor Yourself With These Self-Care Exercises
We could all use a little more self-love.
Instead of practicing these self-care exercises fleetingly, make them a lifestyle. The world could do with more empowered people—those who empower and build up others around them. People that ooze confidence, health, and respect.