Self-Care Guide to Starting the Year off Fresh

By Jennifer McDougall

As this year and decade come to an end, we are overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude. We look forward to a brand new year of endless possibilities, opportunities, and a substantial amount of self-care. While preparing for a fresh start, we have decided to take a few moments to write down a helpful guide to declutter, refocus, and spark creativity in our fellow readers.

With the year ending, it’s essential to take inventory of everything you need no longer want to bring into this new decade, such as toxic relationships, bad habits, worn-out clothes, and harmful thought patterns. Maybe it’s time to go through your closet and get rid of clothes that no longer fit you, don’t make you feel good about yourself, or are just plain dull.

A new you is waiting! So let’s start preparing for a great transition into the new decade with some helpful self-care tips so that you can look and feel your very best!

  1. Evaluate your friendships. Have you ever spent time with someone you’ve known for a while and felt absolutely drained afterward or regretted your decisions due to their influence on you? This is a prime example of a toxic friend, and there is no better time to put some space between you and that other person than right now! There don’t have to be any hard feelings. Sometimes people simply grow apart, or maybe you’ve been hanging on to this friendship because you’ve known the person for ages and you have a history together, so you feel attached. Time to let it go. It’s time to move forward, make new friends and connections, and start new traditions with healthier bonds. Don’t feel bad if you know and feel that the time has come to break it off with a longtime friend. This is your life, and there is no room for people who belittle, misguide, take you for granted, judge, or weigh you down.
  2. Drop bad habits. This goes for unhealthy eating, being lazy about hair care, skin care, skipping workouts, procrastinating, over drinking, smoking, and gossiping. Any kind of negative activity or hobby that you have indulged in this past year time to put an end to it. The new year is a time for creating healthier and more productive habits such as sticking to a morning workout routine, taking better care of your hair, skin, and nails, and dressing up a little more (not to impress others but to feel good about yourself) and asking for help rather than having too much pride.
  3. Tidy up your home, office, and car. Sure this is something many people already know to do often. Still, as we tie up loose ends at the end of the year, we want to be sure to start the new year with a fresh and clean home, office, and car so that all the dirt and funk of the year behind us doesn’t follow us into our new beginning. Hire help with what you need. Take your car to the car wash and have it taken care of professionally while you sit back and read a magazine or listen to a podcast. Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Let other people help you.
  4. Clear your playlist and slowly work on a new one. New year= new music! Let’s be honest, how many times have you played the same songs over and over and over again? Probably a few dozen. Bring in the new year with a new playlist! Slowly grow this playlist using apps like Spotify to choose songs that spark your interest, have a good beat, and make you feel uplifted or zenned out.
  5. Let go of guilt, regret, and shame. We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes, which isn’t okay. There are not too many things worse than feeling truly bad about something you did or didn’t do, what you said or didn’t say, or feeling as though you didn’t do enough of this or that. Most of us have big dreams, and we want to accomplish a lot in life and make the most of the time given to us. That’s a good thing. There isn’t any need to feel bad for something you can’t undo or time you can’t take back. The only thing we can do is to be better, do better in this moment and the next one after that. As long as you are focused on healing, growing, and evolving healthily and positively, the possibilities for great success are endless. So don’t be hard on yourself. Give yourself a break and relax your mind, body, and spirit with some quality self-care!
  6. Create a vision board for the new year. Do you know what you want this year? Even if you are a little unsure about creating a vision board, you can help manifest your hopes and dreams by seeing this board every day and envisioning yourself possessing all the many things on it.
  7. Reflect on everything and everyone you are grateful for. So many incredible things happened this year, and we have much to be thankful for. Some of us experienced many challenges, ups and downs, and surprises. We overcame many obstacles, but that’s what makes life so exciting. There is never a dull moment, and there is always something to be thankful for. Take a few moments to write out a list of the top 20 things you are grateful for this year, place it somewhere you can see it often, and be reminded of how blessed you are. We all need this reminder, and what better time to do it than right now!?

We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season! Cheers to the New Year! May you all be blessed this new year.

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