Starting Off the New Year Right: 5 Areas of Your Life to Implement Self-Care

Fireworks on fourth of July in Seattle WashingtonAs we start off the new year it’s important to remember the value of taking care of ourselves and engaging in regular self-care. Our mood, anxiety, substance use and relationships can be greatly impacted by stress levels and self-care is an important way of supporting ourselves in both reducing and managing stress as it arises.

Take some time to ask yourself what ways you already practice self-care and what ways you want to start practicing more self-care. This can be a great way to start creating healthy habits in the new year. Ask yourself, which areas of your life are you best at implementing self-care strategies and which areas do you have goals around growing self-care practices:

  1. Physical Self-Care: eating regular meals, eating healthy meals, regular exercise, regular medical check-ups, getting medical care when needed, regular sleep routine, taking time off when needed
  2. Psychological Self-Care: making time for self-reflection, seeing a therapist, writing in a journal, reading, practicing mindfulness, being curious
  3. Emotional Self-Care: Spending time with others whose you enjoy, staying in contact with important people in your life, asking for help when you need it, giving yourself affirmations and praise, re-reading favorite books or favorite movies, identifying comforting activities, places or people and accessing them, allowing yourself to cry, allowing yourself to laugh, playing with children and/or pets
  4. Spiritual Self-Care: meditating, praying, singing, having experiences of awe, contributing to causes you believe in, reading inspirational literature, making time for reflection, finding spiritual connection or community, spending time in nature
  5. Professional Self-Care: taking breaks during the work day, taking time to chat with other co-workers, identifying projects that are exciting and rewarding, setting limits, arranging your work space so it’s comfortable, negotiating your needs (vacation, pay, benefits)

Creating balance in our lives and finding ways of caring for ourselves is essential in managing our well-being and mental health. Remember, by taking the time to care for yourself, you are able to be more present in caring for those you love and work towards your long term goals.