Five Self-Care Ideas to Try in 2021

By:  Michelle Scruggs

There are so many resolutions that we find ourselves making right before a new year starts.  Some of us say we will reach our goal weight.  Some of us say we will find a new job.  But life is hectic.  Things happen unexpectedly.  We find ourselves feeling guilty if we set goals that we do not meet.  This does not mean that we aren’t enough.  Everything happens for a reason, including waking up in the morning.  We all have a purpose, whether we can see it or not.  The items I have listed below might help us to feel better about ourselves by realizing our worth, discovering our talents, and remembering our purpose.

  1.  Get Crafty!

One of the best ways to distract yourself from life’s problems is to do something crafty.  You may say that you aren’t crafty or talented in that area, but the thing is, everything is art!  If you make it, you own it even if you don’t think it’s museum-worthy.  Your unique and individualistic touch to any artwork you produce makes it truly one of a kind and worth praise from yourself and from others.  And if you really believe that you are unable to come up with your own idea, there is no shame in buying a coloring book or something of a similar concept.  Sometimes it helps to have a guide for being creative, and that’s okay!  Coloring has been proven to be very therapeutic and relaxing.  This is a great New Year’s resolution to try because it doesn’t demand too much, and it can be done almost anytime anywhere.  There is no rigid schedule to being crafty, and this is another part of this resolution’s beauty in simplicity.

  1.  Dance Like Nobody’s Watching!

Whether or not you believe you can dance or not is beside the point with this one.  The goal here is to let go and dance without caring if you’re “good” or not. After all, who even defines “good?”  As long as it makes you happy and brings out your silliest side, you have absolutely nailed this resolution.  There are no standards to meet here.  No contests to win.  Simply freeing your spirit and going where it takes you.  The way that this resolution helps you care for yourself mentally is by helping to let go of any pent up tension.  This will allow you, if only for a moment, to shed the weight of the baggage on your shoulders.  

  1.  Practice Self-Affirmations!

This resolution might make you feel very silly at first, but trust me, it works!  Too often we are so quick to criticize ourselves when it should be the other way around.  We should find the good things we bring to this world and give ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back.  These affirmations can be broadened in some ways.  For example, some affirmations can be telling yourself that you’re proud of something or that you admire one of your traits.  These do not have to be huge things.  You can tell yourself that you’re proud of telling someone to have a good day.  You can say out loud or write down that you have a beautiful smile.  Another way that these affirmations work is you can take something about yourself that you may feel down about and completely turn it around!  For example, you may feel like during a brief encounter with a stranger that you should have stopped and asked them how they are doing rather than smiling during a passing glance.  But what you may not know is that your kind-hearted smile may have been the one thing that person needed to get them through the day.  So be proud!  If there is something you are self-conscious about, affirmations work here too.  For me, I have always been insecure about my nose of all things.  But I repeatedly tell myself that my nose is perfect that way it is and that it makes me unique.  After a while, I began to truly believe this.  The most important thing with any type of affirmation is repetition.  So go ahead and try it!

  1.  Do an Unexpected Favor for Someone

Now please do not feel intimidated by this one.  By no means does this mean to run out and buy someone a car or to donate an organ.  The favors I have in mind can be seemingly small to an outsider but absolutely precious to the one who receives it.  A good example of this is to create a handmade card and send well wishes to a neighbor.  Or take the time to wish someone a good day.  Meaningful favors do not require money. The most precious gift is time, and to take even a moment to do good for the well-being of another person is so rare that it is valued more than anything.

  1.  Set an Unrealistic Resolution Just to Prove It’s Okay!

The charm in this resolution is the pure irony of it.  Coincidentally, this is another way to get creative!  Set a resolution for yourself that you know is absolutely ridiculous in the fact that it just isn’t feasible.  Tell yourself that you’ll walk on the moon by the end of the next year.  Now if you actually do this then please let me know!  But in most people’s cases, I think it’s safe to assume that this resolution is irrational.  Now what happens if you don’t meet it?  The end of the world, right?  Not even close.  So why is it the end of the world when we don’t meet any other resolution?  It’s okay!  Not to make this about myself, but when I was in high school, I simply had to make perfect grades on everything because if I didn’t, I thought the world would come crashing down on me.  One day, my mom dared me to flunk a math test just to prove that it would be okay.  Sure enough, I walked out of class the next day scoring a 50/100 on my exam.  Faced with the reality that this actually happened, I felt an unexpected calmness as I did in fact realize that everything was still okay.  As silly as this resolution may seem, you might be surprised by the results!

If you take anything away from this, I hope you will let it be that New Year’s Resolutions should not be intimidating.  They should be light-hearted, joyful, and helpful to your mental wellbeing.  Remember that we are all in this together and that no matter what life brings, you can overcome it.  If you are feeling like you can’t do this or that or that life is overwhelming you at the New Year, remember to always reach out to someone, including your friends here at NYC Nature, HOPE.

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