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New Year, New YOU!

New Year, New YOU!

The New Year is upon us, and it’s a big one: 2020. It is the end of a decade, and a brand new beginning! If you think about it, 2020 is a very profound number. You have 20/20 vision (or at least hope to). The network ABC showcases its news program called 20/20, which reports compelling feature stories and news (and has been since 1978!!!). Our presidential election will be taking place on November 3, 2020. It is fair to say that 2020 is a very significant year, and it is the perfect time to prioritize something extremely important: YOU.

With all of the noise and chaos that surrounds us on a daily basis; it is hard to make the time and effort for ourselves. But, we have experienced and know the effects of burnout. That is why 2020 is your year to remember to include yourself in your daily to-do list. It doesn’t take tons of time, money, and effort to do something for YOU every day. Even the smallest, simplest pleasures can result in great happiness and satisfaction.

We’ve come up 14 different practices for you to try to incorporate in your daily activities that will help YOU de-stress and feel happier. You don’t have to follow these ideas exactly. You can get creative and tailor these suggestions to fit your needs and lifestyle.

  1. Recite your gratitude list: A gratitude list is easy and can be done at any time or any place. The most popular times to do your gratitude recitations are either first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed, or at night, right before you go to sleep. A gratitude list is simply about all the good things you have in your life right now. For instance, while lying in bed you might say to yourself I am grateful for my health, my children, my significant other, my dogs, my parents, the roof over my head, and the food in my belly. Just going over these things and thinking about all of these positive factors in your life will give you a natural happy boost. 

  2. Take a bath with Epsom salts: Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts helps relieve muscle tension and soreness you might carry in your body. Epsom salts are mostly composed of a mineral called magnesium sulfate, which incidentally is the 4th most abundant mineral in your body! Epsom salt baths promote sleep and stress reduction, as well as improvement with bowel movements, exercise performance and recovery, and reducing pain and swelling. You can buy Epsom salt at almost any store, such as CVS or Walmart.

  3. Meditation: Many of us have heard about the benefits of meditation, and a lot of us have tried it. Meditation can seem a little daunting at first. In the midst of meditating, many of us have asked ourselves Am I doing this right? Do I have to breathe a certain way? How can I stop all my thoughts and clear my mind!? The important thing with meditation is to remember there is no right or wrong way to do it. Make it your own practice by doing things that work best for you. The basics of meditation are to find a quiet spot, get comfortable, and just BE. Take this opportunity to digest your thoughts and process the things that are going on in your life. Be kind to yourself. Feel your feelings. If you begin to think of to-do lists and don’t forgets, just gently bring yourself back to your breath. Always come back to your breath. It is the one constant that will always be there for you while you are alive.

  4. Yoga: Yoga is an active form of meditation. Going through a series of stretches, at your own fitness level, and focusing on your breath make yoga a perfect practice of relaxation and energy elevation. The best part––it doesn't cost a lot for you to get started! Try joining a local yoga studio or practice in the comfort of your own home.

  5. Go outside for a walk: It may be cold outside, but do yourself a favor and get out there for a quick walk. Getting some sunshine and fresh air can make a world of difference in how you feel, both physically and mentally. We recommend a walk in the woods. Surrounding yourself in a peaceful place like the woods can really help relax and re-center your brain.

  6. Exercise: While we are on the topic of going outside for a walk, we have to mention the benefits of exercise. Exercise and physical/mental health often go hand-in-hand. Getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes every day delivers an abundance of health effects, such as reducing blood pressure, reduction of risk of heart diseases, controlling weight, and improving mental health and mood.

  7. Positive affirmations: Affirmations are positive declarations that can help you to overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. Positive affirmations are generally started with I (makes sense since you are talking about yourself!). Some examples are I learn from my mistakes and I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. If done consistently, these positive statements can really help you make meaningful changes in your life.

  8. Journaling: This is a great way to get your thoughts and feelings out! It is also a great place to record positive affirmations! Journaling is a fantastic way to sort through complex thoughts and emotions. Once down on paper, your worries and troubles will look very different than they did when they resided in your mind. Often, we can find solutions to our problems once we write them out. It is also great to read our positive and happy experiences in our journals when we are having down days. It helps us remember the ebbs and flows of life. Everything is temporary and constantly changing.

  9. Read a good book: Picking up and getting lost in a good book is so easy and therapeutic. Find a genre of book you like and be sure to have it on hand during moments when you might find yourself reaching for your phone or remote control. It is much more gratifying to read a good story than to scroll through Instagram. Some books we love are The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee.

  10. Time alone: Sometimes just being simply alone helps us re-energize and de-stress. Doing what you want to do, when you want to do it is so gratifying. If you can, try to find some alone time for yourself everyday and do what YOU want to do.

  11. Deep breathing: Have you ever found yourself running around like a lunatic, trying to get 50 things done in 30 minutes? Have you ever noticed your own breath when you are in the midst of this? Chances are, probably not. Next time you find yourself in this state, stop and breathe. Take a minute to take an 8 second breath in, and blow an 8 second breath out. Being in the present moment, even if only for a few seconds, can help you feel grounded and a little bit calmer.

  12. Visualization: We are giving your permission to space out and daydream! A great time to do this is when you are working out! It is so easy to visualize a painting you may want to do, or a recipe you want to try, or even a hairstyle you want to attempt, while you are running or walking on the treadmill. You can also do some visualization practices during meditation. Some of us like to visualize a better life for ourselves, or even a personal goal we want to meet. Find a time that works for you and visualize your dreams and stories.

  13. Get creative: Tap in to your inner child and complete a creative project. There are tons of things you can do, such as painting, sketching, doodling, coloring a picture from an adult coloring book, or even blasting a good song in your house and dancing it out.

  14. Get a daily planner: Organizing your daily activities helps your overall productivity and reduces stress. Try to make it a positive experience and write out your tasks as things you GET to do, not things you HAVE to do. By making this simple mind switch, you are given the opportunity to look at your daily happenings in a different, positive light.

We hope you have found these suggestions helpful, and you can use at least one idea for yourself to do every day. If you have picked one, we would love to hear which method you have chosen in the comments below. Also, we would love to hear your own tips and tricks for relaxation and boosting overall happiness. Be sure to leave us a comment and tell us! We love to hear from you!

Happy 2020! 🎉




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