I’m not really a New Year’s resolution girlie but there is something compelling about the new year, new me mentality. I feel like each year I vow to make a few small changes to my life without actually calling them “resolutions” to practice some self-care. And I’ve found, the smaller they are, the easier they are to actually stick to.
It’s December and the small tweaks I made to my life back in January are still going strong. I’m going on early morning walks, taking vitamins and have even picked up a couple of new hobbies. And I’m all the better for it.
Having the time and space to be alone and feel like I’m contributing to my own wellness is really addictive, and I feel a lot happier and healthier than I did this time a year ago.
Out of curiosity I asked my workmates if they’d made any tweaks to their own lives, and boy did they deliver. Our Slack channel went OFF with wholesome vibes, so I thought I’d share them in case you, dear reader, need a bit of self-care motivation.
Time management = an artform
“Grocery shopping is a time-consuming and stressful chore for me. I’ve started ordering everything I need once a week and it has massively reduced the mental load I carry every day. Now I just spend 10 minutes a day submitting my list, instead of an hour or two at the store. Any time I run out of little things, like milk or bread, I use it as an excuse to go for a walk to my local grocery store before or after work so I can squeeze some exercise into my day.” — Bella
“I have been choosing my outfits the night before and it really has improved my morning stress levels.” — Charlotte
Wellness > exercise
“I’ve started doing cold plunges and ice baths regularly. It was definitely uncomfortable at first, but after the first two weeks I really started enjoying it. I even bought myself a popup ice bath. And before anyone comes at me about water usage, once all the ice melts, I reuse the water to water my garden, which has also been a really wholesome addition to my day. My plants are thriving and it brings me joy.” — Bree
“I am pretty time-poor and realised that early morning is my only chance to be by myself and get some exercise. So I started setting my alarm for the ungodly hour of 5.15am and realised I actually function fine on less than eight hours’ sleep. I pound the pavement for 4km and it’s the best start to the day. Once you force yourself to do something for a few weeks it becomes a habit, and now I’m kinda addicted.” — Josie
“I’ve started drinking my morning coffee with or after food and it’s made such a difference to my energy levels and anxiety! No more caffeine jitters just because I’m mainlining coffee on an empty stomach. Apparently, it’s good for your cortisol/hormone levels as well.” — Jasmine
“I have been upping my protein and my goodness do I feel a difference. My hair isn’t falling out as much, I’m not fainting when I push myself at the gym (lol) and I find I’m not intensely craving sweets in the afternoon too. Also matcha every morn in my smoothies has improved my skin so much.” — Marli
“I have started washing my face LESS and my skin is so good right now. I used to do my whole skincare routine twice a day: when I wake up and wash my face before I leave the house, and when I get home before bed. Now I only do it once a day and just rinse with only water the second time and the difference is huge. Turns out less is more for me!” — Soaliha
“I’ve realised how much sleep impacts me these days, or how having little sleep can stuff me up. Aside from actually seeing a professional about it, I’ve started sleep journalling to track patterns and use an app to help me fall asleep easier. And overall just been more conscious of what my body needs, sleep being a big one.” — Georgia
“When I’m trying to pick up healthier habits like exercising more, I’ll pop little reminders in my phone like ‘can you work out today?’ Rather than ‘go to the gym!’ I’m trying to pay attention to how I speak to myself. It’s feedback from my therapist!” – Steph
Everyone’s reso: read more
“Another thing I’ve been doing is carrying a book with me everywhere. I’m trying to actually hit my reading goals for once and banning myself from watching TikToks on the train so I can read is actually helping me so much. I’ve read 26 books this year so far!” — Soaliha
“If I’m watching a telly show with ads (read: Survivor), I’ll always have my Kindle next to me and read during the ad breaks. I’m actually getting through my books so much quicker and it helps me avoid scrolling TikkyTok or watching crappy ads. I actually feel like I’m being semi-productive in my couch potato lifestyle!” — Ally
Just self-care vibes
“I am practising Being Kind To Myself, which is revolutionary. Some main ways are allowing myself to go for a walk just down the road, or to the gym for only 15 minutes, or only read three pages of a book. Instead of things being all or nothing.” — Linley
“I make my bed properly every morning and dance to my favourite songs in the kitchen to appease the serotonin gods. After work I go for big walks in my area listening to podcasts in the attempt to up my presence as a ‘local angel’.” — Ari
“Every morning before work I read and journal at a cafe while I have a coffee. It makes me feel like a) I am a glamorous woman in an exciting city and that b) I am not a soulless cog in a machine. My bestie joins most mornings and we just sit there and don’t say anything to each other and it’s so awesome.” — Joss
“I’ve been clearing out my wardrobe and donating clothes when I know I want to do a massive shop instead of just letting things pile up in my closet. I’ve also been attempting to thrift shop and practising asking myself a lot of questions before committing to a purchase. I had a massive shopping problem pre-pandemic.” — Bek
“I have been doing ocean dips before work in the morning and it’s been literally so nice just to have a little pocket of quiet before the busy day ahead to gather my thoughts and set the tone of the day. I also find my mood is just so much better after doing them! I’ve been going to these community dips at my local on the weekend where literally anyone can just come down to the beach at 8am for yoga or breath work, then we all do gratitude circles together and go for a freezing dip / ice bath — it’s such a nice way to connect with people and do something a little bit out of my comfort zone! ” — Tiff
“I do a meditation for five minutes when I wake up and don’t let myself use my phone (for scrolling, checking notifications) until I’ve fully made my bed and woken up, so there’s no chance of me crawling back in.” — Millie
“I have started blocking out time in my calendar to do nothing. Because if I don’t I’ll overbook myself and end up exhausted.” — Steph
“I work full time and have a toddler, and don’t have much in my life that is just ‘mine’. So one of my vows for 2023 was to get some hobbies! Currently I’m trying my hand at cake decorating — I’m obsessed with those vintage ones you see on Instagram and realised a lot of those people are self-taught. So why couldn’t I do it? It’s been fun up-skilling and having little projects to work on.” — Josie
See? A bunch of (mostly) wholesome and very achievable ways to level up your mental wellness game and practice some self-care. Go forth and slay all day.