Two female friends laughing over coffee

Practice Self-Love This New Year

Got some New Year's resolutions this year? Why not resolve to care for yourself? Learning to love yourself is the first step toward improving your well-being—and your health.

Make self-love a priority this month—and all year long—by taking time for yourself.

Practice Self Care

You have lots of demands on your time. While you’re busy slaying at work or caring for your family, your emotional and physicals needs sometimes get ignored. It’s hard to be your best when your basic needs aren’t being met. So, make self-care, (or taking the time to maintain your physical and mental health), a priority to increase your well-being.

Here are acts of self-care you can do in 15 minutes or less:

  • Take a brisk walk—exercise increases circulation, reduces stress and increases positivity.
  • Meet a friend for coffee—spending time with friends is a great way to decompress and gain perspective.
  • Take a breath—pausing and taking a breath may sound like a cliché, but deep breathing does relieve stress, for real.
  • Center yourself—find a quiet space and close your eyes. Let sounds, feelings and thoughts wash over you. Just focus on being calm and quiet for a short period.
  • Grab a healthy snack—fresh fruits and veggies give you a natural boost of energy.
  • Get to bed—getting to bed just 15 minutes earlier can help you wake up feeling more refreshed. Getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Take a break—focusing too hard on a task can lead to burnout. Give yourself a break and go relax for a bit.
  • Set your pace—when you feel rushed, you’re bound to make mistakes. You’ll feel a lot better if you cut yourself some slack. Take a more relaxed approach to work and you’ll feel the difference.
  • Find your balance—where have you been putting effort in your life? If work and the needs of others are always on your plate, take some much-deserved “me” time.

Practice Prioritizing Your Health 

Want an easy way to make your health a priority this year? Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.

A primary care provider is a great partner for your well-being. Your provider will learn about your life and keep an eye on your health trends over time. Making an annual appointment is a no-fuss way to take time for your health each and every year.

Practice Disconnecting 

With new information coming at us constantly on our phones and on TV, it can be hard to not get overwhelmed. You might feel anxious, upset or stressed about any number of things that are beyond your control. Just know that it’s okay to disconnect.

Try turning your attention away from things that have a negative effect on your mental health. That can mean watching a show you enjoy instead of the nightly news or choosing not to visit certain websites. Let your mind take a break and refocus your energy on things that make you feel positive.

Practice Self-Compassion

You are your biggest critic. Beating yourself up over a mistake is a natural part of being human, but self-love means having compassion for yourself.

Think about it this way: How would I treat a loved one who made this mistake?

You’d probably give them a break. You’d let them know that mistakes happen. Letting yourself off the hook for errors can lift a big weight off your mind, and help you think more freely and creatively.

Practice Self-Control

When you’re down on yourself, it’s easy to overindulge. Whether that means having a couple more drinks or cookies than you would normally consume, self-control is generally the last thing on your mind when you’re thinking about troubles in your life.

When you focus on self-love, control of what you put in your body comes naturally. It doesn’t mean cutting out all of the guilty foods you enjoy. It means making health decisions intentionally. When you take that extra scoop of ice cream every once in a while, you can rest assured that you did it purposefully and from a place of control.

Learning to treat yourself better is a great change for your life-long health. Start your journey on the right foot by making happiness your health goal.