9 Ways to Practice Self-Care This Year

Feeling run-down, frenzied, and overwhelmed? Often-ignored but totally necessary, it's finally time to take self-care off the back burner.

This year, instead of making one big, sweeping resolution, consider setting smaller, more achievable micro-goals that will have a much bigger impact on your life. Strive to care for yourself better, not only by scheduling checkups with your doctor, but also by taking some ‘me time’ to indulge, rest, reflect, and enjoy your life.

Below are 9 proven ways to improve your happiness, and practice better self-care – so go ahead – #treatyoself!

#1: Get Outside

Simply being in nature can have a calming effect on your mood and boost your physical wellness, but you can take it a step further with an outdoor workout, like a hike, bike ride, or alfresco yoga. If you can’t make it outside as often as you’d like, bring the sights of nature to you with a small herb garden or potted tree. Even a small addition of green space can have profound effects on your wellness.

#2: Have more fun

It can be easy to get so tied up in setting healthy goals that you forget to relax and have fun. However, these are also important elements for happiness and overall wellness, so don’t be afraid to dance around the house, laugh more freely, and indulge in the urge to goof off and have fun occasionally.

#3: Write more things down

Not only is it therapeutic to reflect on your day through writing, but writing positive memories down can help you focus more on the good things that happen throughout your day. Journaling also allows you to work through stress and vent when you’re irritated, which can help you approach stressful situations with a refreshed state on mind later on.

#4: Reward yourself

Positive feedback is always welcome, and it doesn’t have to come from somewhere else. When you accomplish something you feel good about, reward yourself with a special lunch or modest shopping trip. This can work when you need a pick-me-up as well, since putting on new clothes can immediately boost your self-confidence and make you feel good.

#5: Reward others

Not only should you treat yourself from time to time, but make it a point to help others, too. Donating money to causes you care about is one step, but being more hands-on with volunteering in your community can be much more rewarding. Those who volunteer tend to feel a greater sense of fulfillment in their lives, which tend to be longer and happier.

#6: Read more often

Your physical and mental health are both important, so don’t forget to work out your mind as much as your body. No matter how old you are, reading is a great way to boost your brain power, and it can be a rather relaxing habit as well.

#7: Spend more days doing nothing

Self-care doesn’t just mean going all the time. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and do nothing. Make time in your schedule for days when you lie around the house for a day of rest. Unplug your devices, turn your phone off, and simply enjoy your home or a relaxing space outdoors.

#8: Slim down your schedule

If reading this list makes you think “I’ll never have time for any of that,” this is a sure sign that you need to cut down your schedule. Giving yourself too many obligations throughout the workweek can be an instant recipe for stress, so don’t hesitate to say no or reach out for help when you’ve got a lot on your plate.

#9: Hug it out

People tend to feel better in the presence of those they love, especially when sharing physical contact, like a hug. Not the touchy-feely type? You can still reap the benefits of human touch with a professional massage, or feel the same release of oxytocin by spending some quality time petting your four-legged friends.

Of course, part of taking better care of yourself is recognizing when you need medical care. If you aren’t feeling 100%, MeMD can provide an immediate medical consultation from anywhere, anytime.