With a new year comes new beginnings. If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that life can change in the blink of an eye, so having a strong baseline of self-care is key to making it through whatever comes your way.
Many people don’t realize that there is a big difference between self care and self improvement. Self care is taking care of yourself as you are. Whereas self improvement starts with the idea that something about you is wrong and needs to be changed. If you do not have a solid foundation of self care, you will struggle with self improvement.
At this time of the year, self improvement = New Year’s resolutions. However, New Year’s resolutions in general are not the most effective method for self improvement. So many people dive into January with lofty goals of weight loss, financial freedom, overcoming addictions, mastering new skills, and more. The reality is, studies show that New Year’s resolutions are often destined to fail. They tend to put an awful amount of pressure on people. A few weeks, or months into the new year and many feel like they’ve failed at their goals which can lead to feelings of abandonment, overwhelm and unnecessary stress.
Which is why, we think the best way to support self improvement throughout the year, is through self care. When you love and nurture yourself, this will seamlessly become self improvement, no resolutions necessary.
In an effort to support you and your mental health, we suggest leaving these 5 toxic habits behind in 2022.
- People pleasing: If you are a people pleaser, chances are you have some depleted energy reserves. It’s exhausting to always be the one to take care of things for people, be the first to help your friends and family and to never say no to others. Those who are people pleasers often end up building up resentment towards others, being over committed, and neglecting their own self-care. Start 2023 off strong by implementing some boundaries in your life and commit to just saying no when you have to.
- Doomscrolling: Doomscrolling, as you likely know, is excessively scrolling through bad news on social media. It’s a problem that has intensified dramatically with the goings on in the world of the last few years and it takes its toll on our mental health. A particularly vulnerable time that you may find yourself doomscrolling is right before bed, which can lead to sleepless nights, undue anxiety, panic and fear. Developing healthy nightly habits, which don’t include social media can dramatically change the way you think and feel. Listening to soft music, reading, taking a bath, journaling, and deep breathing exercises are all positive things that you can add to your nighttime routine in 2023.
- Complaining too much: Although complaining is human nature and often is a way to get specific results, some people can take it too far. Over complaining can have a negative effect on your well-being by making you feel irritable, regretful, anxious, and helpless. If you find yourself complaining too much, some good techniques that you can implement are journaling, practicing gratitude, avoiding fixating on the problem by seeking the support of others to find solutions, and practicing mindfulness. We all need to express our frustrations from time to time but in the new year, make it a point to talk to your loved ones about feelings, both negative and positive.
- Negative Self talk: An inner dialogue where you could be sabotaging your ability to believe in yourself and your abilities is most definitely something that needs to be dropped in 2023. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it’s easy to get your confidence shaken – we’re constantly being bombarded with endless fabricated images of “the perfect life”. Self-talk is strongly linked to past experiences and core beliefs, and negative thinking has a deep impact on your self-esteem and how you look at the world around you. Once you become aware of negative self talk creeping in, a few tips to help you banish it are positive affirmations, shifting perspectives by talking to yourself the way you would talk to a friend, leaning on others for support and encouragement, and taking a break and stepping away to focus on something else can help.
- Hyperconsumerism: The final habit that we encourage you to leave behind in 2022 is consumption. The holiday season is behind us, and you’re probably feeling a little (or a lot) shopped out. The economy has been a source of stress for many people, and prices remain very high. We have been led to believe that the more we own, the happier we will be, when the truth is, it never delivers the true fulfillment that it promises. Those who regularly aim to acquire more things often struggle with stress, depression, and self esteem issues. One of the major ways to deal with consumerism is to identify your triggers and the ‘why’ behind your spending. You can also regularly practice gratitude, focus on your financial health and try to decrease your consumption focussed activities.
Throughout 2023, we encourage you to focus on self care by adding meaningful, positive things into your lives, while doing your best to leave the toxic habits that weigh you down behind in 2022. Cheers to you and to a happy and healthy 2023 🎇