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The New Year is an exciting time. It’s a time to start fresh, make resolutions, and set goals and ambitions for the year ahead. The New Year is also a time of year when it’s extra-important to include self-care in your daily routine.
Practising self-care in the New Year is crucial.
Particularly if you want to succeed in making positive changes in your life.
Because keeping resolutions, building habits and working towards goals isn’t always easy or straightforward.
It can be hard!
There can be obstacles, doubts, wrong turns and stops and starts along the way.
I’m sure you know the drill. You start the New Year with energy and optimism about the changes you are going to make in your life to create a new-and-improved you.
For the first few days, or even a week or two everything is great. You’re motivated and enthusiastic.
But then it starts to get harder. Your enthusiasm and motivation wane. Life gets in the way, and the novelty wears off.
Now it can go one of two ways:
- You can give up, or
- You can regroup, re-assess, and decide to keep moving forward
It’s at this point that self-care plays an important role. Particularly self-compassion, or in other words, being kind to yourself.
But let’s back up a bit. What exactly is self-care?
Self-care is what you do daily to protect, maintain and improve your health and wellbeing.
- staying fit and healthy
- being aware of what depletes you and taking steps to replenish your mental and physical health
- treating yourself as kindly as you would treat others (self-compassion)
Think of self-care as refuelling your gas tank. You can’t run on empty, right? Because if you try, you won’t get anywhere. Or worse, you’ll damage the tank. And what you can achieve with a damaged tank? Not much.
Why is self-care & self-compassion important for success?
When you practice self-compassion, you apply the same understanding and kindness that you have for other people in the world to yourself.
What would you say to a friend who was struggling to make a positive change in their life? Would you tell your friend that they were useless? That they may as well give up because they’ll never succeed in making changes stick?
No! Of course not.
You would show your friend compassion.
You’d offer support and encourage your friend to stick with it. You might brainstorm tactics or solutions to roadblocks or problems they were facing. You would help them to make progress.
It’s self-compassion rather than self-criticism that keeps you moving forward.
When you encounter obstacles or setbacks being self-compassionate makes you more likely to get back on track, and more motivated to do better next time.
New Year self-care is also important because:
Self-care will fortify you
Keeping your self-care tank topped up enables you to keep moving forward.
Self-care will give you energy, and sustain you during the challenges that happen when you make changes in your life. When you feel discouraged, or despondent self-care will pick you up.
Practising self-care will build your self-esteem, confidence and resilience.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, the New Year falls in the middle of winter. A time when it’s common for our mood to dip, making it even more challenging to make positive changes in our lives. During winter self-care is more important than ever.
You can find out more about winter self-care along with some specific winter self-care activities in:
Self-care will prevent you from burning out.
Making positive changes in your life is exciting, but it can hard work too. Particularly when you add it to everything else that you do in your day-to-day life.
Daily self-care will help you to reduce the risk of burnout. It helps you to check-in with yourself. To listen to what you need – whether that be rest, exercise, socialising or solitude.
But I don’t like bubble baths
Neither do I. And that’s okay. Self-care can look different for everyone.
And it’s not just about bubble-baths, mani-pedis or spa days. It’s about activities that nourish and recharge you – daily habits that support your health and wellbeing.
I don’t have time for self-care!
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Take a look at:
Remember, self-care doesn’t need to take a lot of time. In fact, there are many self-care activities that take 5 minutes or less. If you need some quick self-care ideas, take a look at:
Think of self-care as essential, not optional (in the same way brushing your teeth twice a day is not optional).
If you don’t have time for self-care now, you may need to make time for being exhausted, burnt-out or unwell in the future.
So, just to recap…
If you’ve created resolutions or goals for the New Year, practising self-care will help you reach them.
Because it can be challenging to reach your goals. There are often obstacles along the way.
Through practising regular self-care (and particularly self-compassion) you’ll:
- boost your physical and mental health and well-being
- build self-confidence and self-esteem
- be more resilient and able to deal with setbacks and challenges
All crucial components for reaching your goals and making positive, lasting changes in your life.