Wellness: It’s a word often seen and heard, but how often do we really take it to heart and put health and wellness into action? While it can feel difficult to make time to pamper yourself and prioritize your needs, it’s a necessary step in becoming your best YOU. And yes, what better time to start making health and wellness a priority than the start of the new year? It’s easy to say you’ll do it when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, but we find it helps to go in with a plan and tangible habits to start from day one. Here are just a few ways you can incorporate self-care practices into your daily routine:
Relax and Clear Your Mind
There are many activities you can partake in to help calm both mind and body, and spoiler alert: you only need 5 minutes to reset. Studies have shown that meditation can ease stress and improve attention span. 1 But here’s the trick – don’t wait until you are feeling stressed; instead, set aside 5 to 15 minutes each day to meditate. For when you have a bit more time to wind down, yoga has also been shown to lower blood pressure and loosen tense muscles. 2 Whether it’s a quick yoga flow in the morning before work, reading a book, running a hot bath, or taking a stroll around the block, make time every day for an activity that will help you de-stress.
Listen to Bodily Cues
It’s easy to ignore what your body is saying to you, especially when life gets in the way. Make a point this year to really listen to your body and act on what it’s telling you. If you find that you are exhausted every morning when you wake up, maybe it’s time to try a new sleep schedule or reduce your caffeine consumption. It is also important that you flag concerns to your doctor early and often (there is no such thing as a “silly question” when it comes to your health). Which brings us to uterine and pelvic health. It’s so easy to let our below-the-belt health fall by the wayside, so try using a diary or app to track your cycle and note any abnormalities, as well as any pain or discomfort, in your pelvic region. If you begin to see a pattern in heavy menstrual bleeding, irregular periods, and painful cramping, it’s time to call your OBGYN. You can also use our symptom checker to do a quick self-evaluation.
The ultimate self-care, some would say (because who doesn’t love a bubble bath). Carve out some time in your evenings to paint your nails, do a face mask or start the year off right by curating your own skincare routine to help you glow from the inside and out. It’s not about how you look, but sometimes taking care of your skin, hair and nails can put an extra spring in your step!
Thanksgiving is not the only time you can give thanks. Incorporating a gratitude practice into your daily life can have an enormously positive impact on your mood and your interpersonal relationships. Each day, try to practice gratitude in some way (whether big or small). On the weekends, make some time to video chat with your parents or grab brunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. You can also keep and maintain a gratitude jar so you can write down something you’re grateful for each day, and reflect on those things whenever you feel like you need a reminder.
Treat Yourself to a Mini Vacay
If you’re able to, treat yourself to a small trip occasionally. You can use your time away to self-reflect and recharge. Your trips don’t have to be luxurious or extravagant; you can even find a local park to relax in, or stop by the new coffee shop down the street you’ve been eyeing. Enjoy the thrill of trying something new – you’ll thank yourself later!
These are just a few of the many ways to practice self-care. The best part? You can take one or all of these suggestions and find a way to fit them into your lifestyle – your way. For more tips on health and wellness, follow the Change the Cycle community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress. Accessed December 3, 2019 https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
- Yoga: What You Need To Know. Accessed December 3, 2019. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga/introduction.htm#hed3