You’ve successfully made it through another holiday season. This may not have been an easy feat, considering all the focus on festive food and possibly stressful family gatherings. Now you are looking towards a new year and moving forward in a positive direction.
The start of a new year can be a celebration of recovery, but it can also be a challenging time that can trigger a relapse into old traps. When we are so caught up in pursuing unrealistic expectations, we might only think back on the mistakes we’ve made, and not all of the accomplishments we have achieved. One resolution that everyone should look to focus on is taking better care of themselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When making your resolutions, please don’t focus on a number on the scale, rather focus on what brings you happiness and fulfillment. Prioritizing self-care should be at the top of your list starting in 2019. Self-care can sometimes actually be the same as self-preservation. Now, more than ever, it’s a necessity and also a healthy way to find peace and joy. Regular self-care is also an important part of sustaining recovery from an eating disorder.
Incorporating self-care into your life on a regular basis can decrease the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other emotional health issues. It can help you to efficiently cope with stressors and triggers such as anxiety and fatigue, which you may have experienced over the holidays. Before you choose some self-care activities, listen to your inner self and decide what is best for you at the moment. Do you need time alone or with friends? Do you need to get outside or stay cozy inside? Pay attention to your feelings first and not just what someone else is recommending. You will know best what will serve your needs.
Here are some ways to devote time to take care of yourself:
- Meditate for 5-20 minutes in the morning
- Curl up with a good book while wearing fuzzy socks
- Take a few deep breaths
- Enjoy time with a good friend
- Try a new hobby (learning new activities helps you live in the moment)
- Visit a new place you’ve always wanted to see
- Take a leisurely walk in nature
- Listen to upbeat music or a funny podcast
- Hit a yoga class
These are only a few of the endless possibilities to choose from when you need to reconnect with how you feel and experience self-compassion. It might be fun to keep a list of the self-care practices you tend to enjoy the most to remind yourself which one worked best. for you at a glance.
If a certain podcast made you feel good, tune back in to the other episodes in that series. You can also keep a running list of quotes that encourage or inspire you. That way, when you are looking for a quick way to lift yourself up, you can refer back to those.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. Give yourself permission to choose an alternate plan if it makes you feel comfortable. Your well-being is what is the most important thing. Sometimes self-care might mean shutting off all electronics and just being still and not doing anything for an hour. We are all unique and the important part of our self-care practices is that we make them relevant and useful to our health and well-being.
Now is the time to work on creating a happier version of yourself for the new year. Self-care will not only help improve your physical health, but most likely your mental health as well. It all ties together. Practicing self-care can bring calmness and joy to your life and help you on your journey as you move forward, not backward. From all of us at Veritas, we wish you a happy and healthy new year filled with lots of self-care and happiness!