Are you feeling the post-holiday letdown, aka the January blues? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us feel a sense of disappointment after all the decorations have disappeared, the gifts have been opened, and the holiday festivities have ended. We’re often left feeling empty and depressed.
But did you know that one of the best antidotes to the January blues is self-care? By taking care of ourselves, we become more able to deal with disappointment, stress, and conflict.
Prioritize your self-care
Even though we may find it difficult to do, we should make self-care a top priority. According to mindful.org, self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting our own well-being.”
This means that all of us need to put our health and wellness first without feeling guilty about it. To the overworked office manager, the stressed-out caregiver, or the anxious breadwinner, this can be a difficult task. But making time for ourselves–even in small ways– helps us maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Create a self-care plan
One sure way to work self-care into your routine is to create a customized self-care plan. For each area of your life–work, physical activity, emotional conditions, relationships–think of a technique you can call on to help you face challenges. It’s important to plan methods that work for you.
Make a list of self-care activities
Consider the following checklist of small ways that you can add self-care into your life.
- Listen to calming music or an engaging podcast on your drive or commute to work.
- Schedule lunches or morning coffee dates with friends. Even a phone call with a friend can perk you up.
- If you work at a desk or computer most of the day, get up and move around at least once an hour.
- Find a few minutes each day to be alone and quiet–enjoy morning coffee, a midday walk, or sunset from your own porch by yourself.
- Create a spa in your own bathroom with a steaming hot shower or a bubble bath.
- Read a book. It’s been proven that reading can help you relax, reduce stress, and increase your focus and memory,
- Purge! Get rid of excess stuff at home. Clean and reorganize. This can make you feel happier and more in control.
- Get outdoors. Weather permitting, go for a walk, a bike ride, or a run in a park.
- Unplug from your phone and other devices a few times a day. Remind yourself that every text, email, or phone call isn’t urgent.
- Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for past mistakes. Realize that change starts with baby steps, and acknowledge your own efforts to improve.
Take time for yourself
Whatever your situation, we hope you’ll take some steps, no matter how small, to make self-care a part of your routine.
Maybe Lucille Ball said it best: “Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”