At the turn of each new year, we reflect on the previous year and think about how we want to improve in the new one. For some of us, that means creating resolutions around eating healthier or losing weight. But have you ever thought about creating new habits around your self-care?
Forget the traditional new year resolutions if that sort of thing doesn’t motivate you. Instead, aim to practice some sort of self-care every single day. Not sure where to start? In today’s blog post, I’m sharing 9 self-care challenges that you can consider trying in 2022.
1) Book a monthly massage
Massage therapy is a fantastic way to treat your body to some much needed TLC. New research shows that we hold emotions in our muscles so getting a regular massage can help you to release them before they have a chance to negatively impact your health. Go ahead and call your massage therapist (or ask a friend for a recommendation) and ask them to put you down in their schedule once a month for the next 3-6 months. Scheduling this in advance means you’ll be less likely to forget. Start getting your childcare taken care of so that you don’t have any excuses.
2) Begin a yoga practice
Studies have proven that yoga helps promote relaxation and it reduces stress. You don’t have to practice daily but aim to sit on your mat 2-3 times per week to start. Schedule it. Start with just short, 10-minute practices.
For more tips on beginning a yoga practice, read this post here.
3) Avoid scrolling social media before bed
Oh, the love-hate relationship we all have with social media. Because we don’t really have full control over what our followers share and what we see in our feed, avoiding social media before bed helps protect our emotional state from potential triggers. This helps play an important role in relaxing our mind so we can unwind from our day. Instead of mindlessly scrolling feeds, use the time to do a self-care activity. (See, I just found you some precious time for yourself. You’re welcome.)
4) Aim for 7-8 hrs of sleep
Blah, blah, blah. Everyone says this. We all know we need to prioritize sleep, but somehow we always find more things we need to do or we give ourselves a pass because we are watching a favorite show to help unwind. However, without enough sleep, our bodies will produce more cortisol (a stress hormone) the following day. Besides, mama, no amount of self-care can replace good sleep habits. Make 2022 the year that you finally go to bed earlier.
For more tips on getting a good night’s sleep, read this post here.
5) Plan your self-care each morning
If you aren’t actively thinking about your self-care every day, you’re more likely to keep putting yourself on the back burner. You don’t have to create a long list of things you’ll do for your self-care each day. The point is that doing this exercise keeps you mindful of your desire to prioritize yourself. Also, if your day is extra busy, be sure you add extra self-care to counterbalance or make time to recover the following day.
6) Create a cozy space just for you to relax
I remember making the decision in early 2020 to create a space in my home that was just for me. And it was one of the things that helped me survive the early months of the pandemic. It doesn’t have to be a big space. Having somewhere inviting means you’ll be more likely to use it as part of your self-care practice (ie to do things like meditate and read). Keep this area of your home relatively free of clutter so that it can always give off peaceful vibes when you step into it.
7) Start a daily journaling habit
Journaling doesn’t have to be this huge scary thing that you never have time for. You might have heard about journaling in the morning and before bed, but also consider when you might have time during the day. Perhaps during your little one’s nap time. Or while you’re waiting in the carpool line. You can journal your thoughts and feelings or just recount the day’s events. You could also simply list out a few things you’re grateful for or state an affirmation for the day.
You can purchase a guided journal, like this one from JMB Living, or use a simple lined notebook.
(Side Note: I’ve personally really been enjoying the Winter 2022 issue of the JMB Living Journal. The above link goes straight to their quarterly subscription page, but you can also choose to just purchase one issue. At the time of this post, I’m unsure if there are any more Winter issues left. However, the Spring 2022 issue (where I will be featured (*eekkk*)) should be available for purchase soon.)
8) Do something you enjoy
An often overlooked method of self-care is to just do something that you love! Enjoy reading or gardening? Have you been making time for it lately? No? Well why not, mama? Think about what fun activities you enjoy and don’t be afraid to schedule them into your days. Walks in nature, playing sports or watching the sunrise or sunset all count – so long as they bring you joy.
9) Meditate 5 minutes everyday
A quick meditation break during your day (no matter when it happens) allows your brain the chance to recharge and recover. The world is a very stimulating place, especially in 2022. Breaks (even a short 5 minutes one) give your brain a chance to catch up and process everything that it’s been absorbing.
For more details on why meditating is great for moms, read this post here.
Self-care doesn’t have to be an afterthought. And you don’t have to do self-care perfectly to reap the benefits (as if anything in life can be done perfectly).
To recap, here are 9 self-care challenges to consider in 2022:
- Book a monthly massage.
- Begin a yoga practice.
- Avoid scrolling social media before bed.
- Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Plan your self-care each morning.
- Create a cozy space just for you to relax.
- Start a daily journaling habit.
- Do something you enjoy.
- Meditate 5 minutes every day.
By deciding to prioritize your self-care in 2022, you’re investing in your future self. You understand that one of the keys to managing stress is to routinely put in the work of taking care of your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
I hope that this post was helpful to you and that you’ll consider one or more of these in your self-care practice in 2022. Feel free to let me know which one of these you’d like to work on the most so I can cheer you on! Leave a comment below or send me a DM over on Instagram.