From economic disruption to political madness and everything in between, 2020 was a tough year for us all. People lost jobs, had their relationships tested, and combated personal problems as well. That’s why everyone should take self-care more seriously in the year to come.
We hear the term thrown around a lot, but what does self-care really mean? It’s a nice concept, yet when it comes time to put it into practice, many of us fall short on the fundamentals.
Let’s take a few minutes to talk about the true meaning of self-care and how to make wellness a priority in 2021 and beyond.
Putting Health Above All Else
How many people say that they’re on a diet, but don’t follow through with calorie-counting and daily exercise? Do you know you need more sleep, but still struggle with a schedule for early bedtime and wakeup? These are common examples of simple strategies in self-care, and now is the time to make them a reality.
This is the year to take control and commit to better health for good.
“A lot of activity has definitely decreased in most of our lives, especially while we have been shut indoors for the majority of last year,” said Daniel Shapiro, Founder and CEO of Fourlaps. “Our physical health must be taken very seriously, now more than ever. Therefore, wellness programs should always include an innovative way to promote activity and exercise.”
The laws of physics state that momentum is hard to slow down and even more difficult to generate from a stagnant state. Whether you need to put an end to bad habits or begin new ones, take this opportunity to identify your goals and set a plan in place to get started.
Self-care and selfishness are not the same things. In fact, they’re polar opposites. We need to care for ourselves before we can make a positive impact on the lives of others, so view self-care as a prerequisite for being a good family member and friend.
“It’s been a tumultuous year,” said Benjamin Smith, Founder and CEO of Disco. “The mental toll of isolation and social upheaval has weighed on most of the world. Because of this, wellness resources are all the more important to our daily lives.”
Be the one to initiate healthy eating at home or trips to the gym a few times a week. Your loved ones may not be happy about it at first, but they’ll thank you down the road.
Mapping Out a Future Strategy
When’s the last time you examined your five-year plan and asked yourself what you want out of life? 2020 may have derailed your plans in the short term, but don’t forget about the long game.
Be realistic about your goals but don’t be afraid to aim high, either. Just having a set of small, doable self-care strategies can program your mind to stay on track with greater ambitions.
Even little things like chores, hygiene, and sleep can put you in a better position to succeed, so don’t forget about the basics.
“We all should aim to start 2021 with a renewed attitude towards treating our bodies and minds right,” Smith suggested. “Invest in your self-care; you deserve it during this trying time. Skincare is a fantastic way to preserve the vitality of your skin and pamper yourself when the weight of your responsibilities set in. Disco offers an array of products filled with clean, vegan formulations that are sure to promote, not only your skin’s wellness, but also mental wellness.”
Build a Bond with Your Dog
Lots of dog owners have struggled this year to keep their pups active, but this is an opportunity to create new memories and stay healthy on a mental and physical level. Dogs can provide strong emotional support, so treat them right and the love will come back to you.
“Get your dog a chew toy to help it satisfy its natural urge to chew and snag while keeping its teeth healthy,” said Dr. Tim Shu, Founder and CEO of VETCBD Hemp. “Play tug with your dog as it helps with bonding and is a great activity to stimulate your dog’s brain while also teaching it self-control. Additionally, understand what type of toys and games your dog likes to play and try to keep things fresh.”
Just like people, every dog is unique, and certain breeds thrive with different activities. Come up with fun games that everyone can enjoy and make the most of your time together at home. When you can get outside for a walk or jaunt in the park, don’t take it for granted!
Consider a Healthy Diet Change
What you eat has a major impact on how you think and perform each day. If your diet got off track in 2020, this is a great time to reset yourself with healthy foods. Plant-based eating is hugely popular, so consider cutting down on animal products as a start.
“The most important thing for sustaining a plant-based diet is getting enough clean, plant-based protein every day,” said Jeff Goodwin, Senior Director of Marketing at Orgain. “Organic plant-based protein powders and ready-to-drink shakes that are high in plant protein and are low in sugar are ideal for sustained energy and health. Clean, organic food-based ingredients are crucial in ensuring the body is fueled with the best nutrient-dense calories.
You don’t need to make drastic changes to your diet to feel better and get results. Just focus on real, organic foods and get rid of the junk you know is holding you back.
Ending Procrastination for Good
We tend to think of procrastination as a time-management issue, applicable only to work-related tasks and administrative obligations. In reality, it goes way deeper than that, and it’s tied in closely with the art and science of self-care.
Consider personal finance, for example. You might know that budgeting, saving, and investing are the right things to do, but you keep putting off the work necessary to get on track with these goals. This can take a toll on you mentally, throwing off other areas of your life including healthy habits and relationship building.
“Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis,” said CEO and Shark Tank Star Robert Herjavec. “It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
By waging war on procrastination, you do your mind and body a big favor. Tackle your problems immediately rather than leaving them on the back burner, and that chronic stress you face will start clearing away.
This doesn’t mean doing everything at once – address your goals piece by piece and everything will start coming together before your eyes.
Leading by Example for Others
Maybe you aren’t the next social media influencer with millions of followers, but you certainly have an influence on the people you see every day. By embracing self-care and conquering old habits, you set an example that others will follow subconsciously, improving the people around you by improving yourself.
This is especially important in the workplace, where a positive mindset will take you far.
“Employers appreciate a can-do attitude,” said Assaf Kostiner, Founder and CEO of Paint Your Life. “Offering yourself to be of service in any way wherever and whenever possible will distinguish you as a reliable person they can give more responsibility to and an employee they can trust as an integral team member. The ability to take on more responsibility and produce efficiently is a vital tool to have in the workplace.”
Optimism and initiative will come back around to help you in the future, so view self-care as the ultimate investment and commit to your wellbeing for the long term.