The new year and new decade are here and that means it’s time to start working on yourself by improving your look, lifestyle, and overall wellbeing. A recent study has shown that 1 out of 3 people feel guilty about taking some time for themselves and working out ways to encourage personal growth. Especially during the changing seasons, where it may be harder to keep mental and emotional strength, it shines a light even more on the importance of self-care.

For those who either don’t practice it or don’t even know where to begin, look no further. These are the best ways you can improve your self-care regime and improve your overall well being in the new year.

Start making lifestyle changes

The only way to see drastic differences in your everyday life is by making small changes that can be highly impactful. Start with adjusting your diet and eating healthier. For many people, this seemingly “small” change can be hardest to follow through on, but adding fruits and vegetables into your diet will keep your body feeling great and can even boost your mental health. These kinds of foods not only provide nutrients to your organs but also provide endorphins to your brain to keep you positive and smiling throughout the day. If you find yourself wanting to sneak in some of your favorite meals for a personal thrill, don’t be afraid to just be aware of how often you do. There’s no doubt that many people seek happiness in their favorite foods, so adding a hamburger or pizza into your repertoire every once in a while won’t hurt.

Staying on the go is a great way to keep your mind moving and keep your body healthy and boost your overall mood. Try exercising regularly and getting in the routine of going to the gym frequently to reduce any stress in your life. Cardiovascular exercise, in particular, is great for releasing stress endorphins from your brain that can cause depression and limit stress.

Master your physical appearance

There’s no secret that looking good and feeling good are directly correlated, so it’s essential to place an emphasis on looking your best in order to boost your self-esteem. Start wearing clothes and dressing up in a way that makes you happiest and most comfortable. Not only are your outfits a way to express yourself to the outside world, but also a way to feel the most comfortable in your own skin. Tweak your wardrobe and kickstart a new look.

Another aspect of your look stems from your hygiene and keeping yourself looking and feeling your best at all times. While this differs from men and women in some cases, it’s important to stay on top of your hygiene by showering regularly, brushing your teeth and keeping track of your skin.

Particularly for men, staying up-to-date with your facial hair and shaving with proper razors to avoid a ragged look is key. Habits like brushing your teeth, applying cologne and many more certainly don’t go unnoticed. As for women, it is important to protect your hair with a moisturizing conditioner and skin, by regularly exfoliating with face wash.

Self-care tips

Work on social self-care

When life gets busy, it can be hard to make time for other people. While it’s nice to have time for yourself, building relationships with other people is a great way to feel a sense of purpose and happiness. There’s no golden rule to how much time you should be spending time with your friends and family, but adding this element of social life to your daily wellbeing can add a sense of relief and be a mood booster.

If you find yourself struggling to add this aspect into your life, don’t be afraid to push your personal boundaries and experiment with something new. Join a club or organization you’re passionate about and meet like-minded people that will stimulate you and make you feel good.

Other activities you can try include taking social media breaks, hosting dinner parties, or getting out of the house with your best friends and doing something small, like grabbing a coffee. Although it’s easy to neglect relationships when life gets busy, it’s these very bonds that can help pull you through the tougher times.

Conquering emotional wellbeing

Emotional and mental wellbeing go hand in hand with positivity and happy thoughts. As you develop your inner-most thoughts and figure out your identity, it’s important you surround yourself and reflect on ways you can constantly be improving yourself. What many people find successful is starting a journal or diary of thoughts to help them work through struggles (or achievements) they’re going through. This can serve as a great outlet for topics that are too hard to even talk about with the people closest to you. Sometimes writing out your thoughts can help you work out your own problems too and can serve as a sense of relief as if you’re confessing and getting it out of your system.

It’s okay to let your emotions out as this can help you learn and grow. It’s okay to cry sometimes and let people know how you really feel. Allowing yourself to open to other people is a great step and revealing your rawness proves you’re able to accept yourself enough to seek others.

Make a self-care kit

The key to starting your self-care kit is filling it with things that you not only love, but that will also stimulate your mind. Find something you’re passionate about and fill your time with it. Whether that be reading a new book or doing crossword puzzles, anything that can keep your mind occupied and serve as daily challenges will always offer an improvement in your quality of life.

It’s important to note that there’s no one-size-fits-all self-care regime and will differ from person to person. If you find yourself neglecting one aspect of self-care (physical, mental, emotional) make it your plan to attack that goal head-on and make changes that will affect your overall whole wellbeing. For example, if you find yourself busy and always on the go, struggling to keep yourself looking your best, focus your self-care kit around a spa trip or face mask. Likewise, if you find yourself struggling to pay attention or feel distanced from society, focus more on social and mental health by adding new activities.

There are very easy ways to implement self-care strategies that can make you happier. It’s all about putting forth the effort required to get the results you need!