January is supposed to be about new beginnings. You’re meant to start the New Year with a new-found vigour and vitality, but let’s face it, for the most part, it’s just exhausting. The weather is rubbish, the excitement of the festive period is long gone, and there’s nothing much to look forward to. Everything is just a bit blah.
It’s times like this when self-care is especially important. It’s easy to get swept back up into the routine of every day life, where you keep on fighting the good fight, automatically putting the needs of everybody else before you, until you’re running on empty. It’s what we do. We owe it to ourselves to keep on top of our self-care.
Here are five little self-care tips that you can adopt right now. No big overhauls or transformative ideas, just helpful hints that you can slot into your daily life to keep you going while we wait for some Spring sun to show it’s face:
1. Drink plenty of water - Dehydration causes mountains of problems. Low energy, low mood, poor memory. Water is vital so make sure you’re getting enough (the recommendation is 8 glasses a day). The classic stuff out of the tap is best but if it’s in tea form or squash, that works too (just watch your sugar and caffeine intake).
2. Social media - We all know social media impacts on our mental health. Constantly making unnecessary comparisons and feeling the pressure of living the picture-perfect life. It’s easier said than done (and not realistic) to cut it out completely, so instead, fill your feed with loveliness. Unfollow anything that brings you down, and start following pages that perk you up. Puppies, kittens, silly memes - whatever puts a smile on your face.
3. Call your person - We’ve all got one. A parent, a sibling, a friend - that one person who cheers us up and is a source of support. Whoever it is, give them a call. Or if a call isn’t possible, drop them a text. Have a rant, share a joke, catch up. It’s simple but it makes you feel better, so don’t underestimate how powerful it can be.
4. Write down compliments - It’s so easy to forget when we receive a compliment, or worse, discard it. But when we receive a compliment, it’s a gift. Somebody has chosen to say something positive about us and we deserve to cherish it. Maybe somebody has told you your new haircut looks nice, maybe your child said how much they enjoyed dinner? Just keep a note of it, maybe in the Notes App on your phone, or on little slips of paper in a jar. Whenever you need a boost, take a look at them and be reminded of all the nice things people have said about you.
5. Relax - The magical R word. Because relaxing is just a case of flicking a switch, right? Of course not. Learning to relax properly is a mammoth task. So start small. Run yourself a bath. Listen to tranquil music. Try some Mindfulness practice. Whatever you choose to do, embrace it and focus your mind on relaxing for those few minutes. Focus on the soothing music, focus on on your breathing, just focus on there here and now and relax.