Happy New Year! As we enter into the first few weeks of the new year, it is essential to remember to prioritize our well-being. But, that can sometimes be challenging - especially if you’re someone like me who has multiple roles to play. Whether you’re a college student, full-time employee, content creator, manager, or business owner, you must take care of yourself to maximize your potential as an individual. I know it can be so easy to put your own needs on the back burner, which is why I want to provide you with some tips for prioritizing your well-being in the coming year:
It’s great to have ambitious goals, but make sure they are achievable when you are setting them. Setting goals that put too much pressure on yourself only causes excess stress that isn’t needed. Start small and build up to those bigger goals. For example, it is my goal to save more money this year. Maybe this is a goal you have also set for yourself, but you’re not sure where to start. I would encourage you to start small, such as buying one less coffee a week or cooking at home instead of going out. Remember, small progress is still progress!
Make time for activities that nourish your mind and body. Some examples include exercising, getting enough sleep, and monitoring what you eat/drink. Self-care also includes making time for the things you enjoy like hobbies and spending time with friends or family. Self-care isn’t selfish - it’s essential.
Whether it’s through meditation, journaling, or talking to someone about your feelings, find healthy ways to cope with stress that work for you. It’s important to have healthy outlets for stress and emotions, rather than bottling them up or turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse. I like to turn off my devices and get lost in a good book when I get stressed.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to stay connected and keep on top of the latest trends, but it’s also just as important to take breaks from the constant stream of information and comparison on social media. Set limits for yourself and take breaks when you need to. Social media can be a great tool for staying connected, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only source of connection. Be present with the people around you, and even power your devices off if you need to.
It is perfectly okay to say no to things that don’t align with your values or that don’t serve your well-being. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with friends, family, or colleagues to protect your time and energy. Remember the importance of prioritizing your needs and ensure that you’re not overextending yourself. For example, your friends want to go out for drinks but you’re trying to cut back, however, you still really want to go out and have fun with your friends. Consider offering to be the designated driver. Not only is it safer for your friends, but you would also be setting that boundary while still getting to go have a fun night out with your besties.
Take time to reflect on yourself and your life. This can be done through journaling, therapy, talking with a friend or loved one, or simply taking some time alone to sit with your thoughts. Self-reflection can help us gain insight into ourselves and make changes for the better.
Of course, it’s important to work, but it’s even more important to make time for leisure activities and things that bring you joy. It can be challenging to not allow one aspect of your life to consume all of your time and energy. Make sure to set aside time for rest and relaxation, and to take breaks from work when needed.
It’s easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of life, but taking time to focus on the things that we’re grateful for can have a large, positive impact on our well-being. Whether it’s through journaling, sharing gratitude for friends, or simply taking a moment each day to think about what we’re thankful for, practicing gratitude can help us cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
Trying new things can be both intimidating and exciting at the same time. Try a new hobby, travel to a new place, try new food, or even go skydiving (if you’re brave, LOL). Stepping out of your comfort zone can help you learn and grow as a person.
It is okay to not be okay all the time. If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone for help. A therapist, school counselor, or trusted friend or family member can usually provide the support you need. It’s important to have a support system in place to help us through tough times.
Remember, it's okay to prioritize your well-being. By taking care of yourself, you'll be better able to take on the challenges and opportunities of the new year. Don't be afraid to make yourself a priority – your mental and physical health is worth it. Happy New Year!