by Carlene Lehmann, M.A., LMFT
Start the New Year Taking Care of You
With the New Year in its early stages, we’ve heard much about self-care – but why is it important and how do we incorporate it into our daily lives? Self-care is about identifying your personal needs and engaging in activities that help you reach your best emotional, physical and mental health. It helps you recharge, refocus and de-stress. The activities can be small, like taking a deep breath, or they can be big, like going for a run.
Self-care can be added to your regular routine
The best part about self-care is that anyone and everyone can do it. Not sure where to get started?
We’ve put together a list of easy ways to put your self-care first and how to sneak each of them into your daily routine:
- Morning Moment. Take a moment to sit in silence before getting out of bed or listen to a guided meditation that will help you calm your mind before you start your day.
- Write out your thoughts. Go for fifteen minutes on anything bothering you. Then let it go as you burn or trash the paper.
- Imagine you’re your best friend. If you were, what would you tell yourself right now? Look in the mirror and say it.
- Start a compliments file. Document the great things people say about you to read later.
- Take a leisurely walk without a goal. Going outside and moving your body can be a great release.
- Unfriend annoying people on social media. You don’t need people who pull you down. Just click the button and you’ll see how free you’ll feel.
- Describe yourself in 5 words. Fun, loving, ambitious, witty, shy?
- Pamper yourself. Soak in a hot both, reward yourself with a relaxing face massage, get a new haircut or get a manicure and pedicure.
- Close your eyes for a few minutes. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or need a few minutes to just breathe, close your eyes and notice your breath.
- Seek support. Call or text a good friend when you’re having a hard day.
- Smile. Smiling is the best way to brighten your mood, especially on a grim day.
- Create boundaries. Say “no” to others more often and thereby “yes” to yourself.
- Cry. Release your emotions. It’s OK to be sad, feel lonely or hurt. Embrace those feelings as part of you.
- Start collecting energy boosters. Make a list of small, ten minute acts that make you feel better. Some ideas are: putting on music that makes you happy, spending a few minutes outdoors, laughing, hugging someone you love.
- Time for yourself. Schedule “Me” time in your calendar. Make the commitment to yourself.
Start Your Year Putting Your Needs First
There is no better time to put yourself first. Practice living with intention and care for your mental, physical and emotional health. Take time to find what works for you, your body and your lifestyle. There is no right answer, only newfound ideas and motivation for your overall wellness. While these may not solve everything, they can certainly help bring a bit more joy and happiness to one’s daily life.
Carlene Lehmann, M.A., LMFT is a Marriage and Family Therapist at Relationships Matter Austin in Austin, Texas. Carlene can help you make yourself and your self-care a priority. You are worth the investment! To schedule your appointment with Carlene, you can reach her at (512) 994-0432 or request an appointment with her on the Relationships Matter Austin Scheduling Page.