The start of a new year typically holds of a lot of promise – the prospect of new beginnings, a renewed sense of motivation to pursue goals, an opportunity to start afresh. No matter what your goals are for 2022, it is important to make sure that they add true value and meaning to your life in a healthy way. Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your life to make sure that you are prioritizing your own wellbeing in the coming year.
- Reflect and reconnect – The culture of constantly being on the go can mean that we often don’t have sufficient time to pause and reflect on our experiences. Functioning on autopilot or just going through the motions can mean that we aren’t always able to fully process our own thoughts, reactions, and emotions. Or perhaps we choose to move past unpleasant experiences and not linger on bad memories. But taking the opportunity to really reflect on our experiences – both good and bad – allow us to understand our actions, predispositions and patterns of thought and behaviour. This in turn allows us to feel more confident as individuals and identify opportunities for growth. Mindful reflections allow us to be more authentic individuals and help us form more meaningfully relationships with those around us.
- Practice kindness towards yourself – It is intuitive for us to show kindness and empathy towards others, but we often forget to show ourselves that same kindness, especially during particularly challenging times. Learn to silence the inner critic and refrain from judging yourself too harshly. It is okay to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, have imperfections or to experience failure and setbacks. Treating yourself with compassion and forgiveness will allow you to heal, grow from your experiences, boost your self esteem, and over time can reframe how you view yourself.
- Find what you love … and do more of it – Don’t just set goals based on what is popular or trending, or what those around you find acceptable. Instead, spend more time doing things that align with your own values, interests, and abilities instead of trying to mold yourself to fit into your surroundings. This will allow you to explore your strengths, skills, and passions. Engaging in meaningful activities that you enjoy can elevate your mood, relieve stress, and make you feel accomplished. This also extends to who spend your time with – limit your pursuit of people who sap your energy or bring negativity into your life – instead, surround yourself with individuals who encourage you and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
- Set boundaries – Boundaries can be perceived as unfriendly ways of keeping people at arm’s length. But in reality, boundaries are an important way of communicating your needs, priorities and values to other people, especially when it comes to safeguarding your own emotional and mental wellbeing. It may seem daunting to at first to articulate those needs, especially when we don’t want to disappoint loved ones but don’t be scared to speak up for yourself to ensure that your needs don’t get dismissed. Communicating boundaries in a respectful yet firm manner can help others understand your perspective and avoids setting unrealistic expectations from you. In the long run, it can help build stronger relationships, or unveil unhealthy ones that you may want to reconsider.
- Schedule time for self-care – This may be an obvious one but prioritizing self-care often falls by the wayside when there is an overwhelming number of responsibilities and obligations that compete for your time and energy. Carving out some dedicated time to take care of yourself Is crucial, even if it means setting reminders or blocking off time for it in your daily schedule if needed. This can mean spending time exercising, mediation or yoga. It can involve unwinding with family and friends or spending some quite time alone reading, journaling, or taking a relaxing warm bath. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep can also improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Remember that feeling well rested, both physically and mentally, can feed positive energy into all other aspects of your life.