5 Resolutions for Self Care in 2022 – 2021 is officially behind us, and hello 2022! But what’s a new year if we just keep making the same mistakes? New years are a time for a change, for improvement, and for progress, and there’s no better time than the present to start changing for the better, so what are you waiting for?
…and that’s exactly the kind of language that might make you decide that this year might not be the time for a change after all. There are few things more overplayed than new year’s resolutions. We’ve all tried at some point to say, “this year, I’m making a difference in my life,” but usually life ends up getting in the way, especially when our resolutions are lofty, high-pressure, or just too abstract.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Instead, consider these approachable, practical new year’s resolutions – and maybe don’t call them that, if it helps – so that this year you can actually make a dent in your usual routine.
Rethink Your Approach to Depression
If you’re thinking about new year’s resolutions or bettering yourself, then there’s a chance you’re suffering from depression. There’s no shame in that. Almost 7 million Americans suffer from major depressive disorder, with a massive 40% of Americans living with general anxiety disorders. What’s worse is that up to 30% of depressive disorder cases are treatment-resistant, meaning they don’t respond to the usual treatments prescribed by psychiatrists.
If you have treatment-resistant depression, meaning traditional meds and therapies have not worked well for you, there are newer alternative therapies becoming available in the US. Branch out this year to a new approach. Psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin are being used in controlled settings with effective relief for those suffering from stubborn depressive disorders. Ketamine has actually been used for depression for several years by professionals in safe settings with remarkably fast and long-lasting improvements. Ketamine increases the body’s glutamate which strengthens neural connections in areas of the brain affected by depression. TMS therapy, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is also well regarded for the relief it provides by stimulating parts of the brain that are known to be less active in depressed individuals.
If there’s one root problem that prevents millions of people from making serious improvements to their lifestyles, depression is it. This year might be a good time to explore alternative treatments to improve your mental health, so you’ll be better equipped to make other changes.
Practical Healthy Food Challenges
It’s one thing to say, “this year, I’m going to diet and lose weight,” and it’s another to actually go through with it. You can’t be too abstract with your goals; that open-endedness is paralyzing and unproductive and makes it easier to procrastinate and slip away from the emotions that made you decide to change in the first place.
So if you want to make positive changes to your diet that will reflect in your health and appearance, the best thing you can do is think of specific dietary challenges that are practical and affordable, and implement them one by one in your weekly food routine. Simple things like choosing healthy carbs like brown rice over enriched white rice, sacrificing sweets for fresh fruit, or something as borderline trivial as replacing your usual peanut butter with a totally natural alternative will all add up after a while.
Incorporate Vitamins and Supplements in a Way That Feels Natural
The older we get, the more we can benefit from a daily regimen of vitamins and supplements. Collagen for our skin and joints, B vitamins for energy, probiotics and prebiotics for better gut health – the list goes on. But the problem is this: nobody wants to sit down twice a day and go through a laundry list of pills and capsules to get their daily vitamin and supplement fix, least of all you.
Thankfully, you don’t have to. This year, take stock of the various products available for incorporating vitamins and supplements into your diet in a way that doesn’t feel like such a chore. You might be aware of the classic multivitamin gummies, which come in all shapes and flavours, but did you know there are collagen pancake mixes? As for probiotics, you have an unlimited array of options. From yoghurt to kombucha, there’s a probiotic solution for any picky palate, and a prebiotic one to go with it. Don’t give up on vitamins and supplements, just take the time to plot your course.
And it doesn’t stop at food and drinks. Vitamins are used in a range of health-conscious products. You can have your pick of everything from vitamin B5 lotions to nail polish fortified with vitamins A and E to maintain strong, flexible nails and healthy cuticles.
Use Meditation to Prep For the Day Ahead
New year’s resolutions are easy to proclaim but difficult to fulfil, and for the same reason: procrastination. By assigning our resolutions to the new year, we give ourselves time to slack off and enjoy the status quo. Then, when the new year comes around, we procrastinate for so long that, ultimately, most of us never even attempt to change. So if there’s a resolution that can change this kind of behaviour for the better – to increase our mindfulness and awareness of our own habits – it’s meditation.
Just like with dietary improvements, your meditation regimen should start small. Begin by meditating just once a week, for ten minutes. Think about how much time you spend doom-scrolling on your phone, and ten minutes won’t seem so bad. After a few weeks, take it up a notch to two days a week, three days apart. Once you’re meditating several times a week, you should already notice increased mindfulness, impulse control, decreased anxiety, and a better understanding of not just your mind, but your body.
Decrease Your Screen Time – Or Just Make It Hurt Less
Speaking of doom-scrolling, there’s that ever-present elephant in the room, and that’s screens. Smartphones, laptops, and televisions are so ubiquitous in modern life, we don’t really want to call them out for how damaging they are, not just psychologically – we don’t have to talk about the negative effects of social media – but physically. If you’re someone who works in an office or otherwise uses a computer, your eyes are surely at least a little fatigued.
This year, drop the screen time as much as you can. It’s actually not so hard. While it sounds a bit foggy and abstract, there are actually apps and settings on both Android and Apple platforms that will limit screen time. Game consoles have parental control settings that can be repurposed to remind you, a grown adult, to put down the controller and take a walk. And if you have to be looking at screens, be it for work or sheer lack of will to resist, then change your screen’s brightness and colour settings to lessen the amount of blue light your eyes are absorbing. Bright blue light is what damages our eyes, but your phone’s night light setting will lessen the damage and strain significantly, especially if it has an ultra-dim setting.