At the start of each new year, I rid myself of all the baggage and tough stuff from the year before and face forward with optimism. From healthy diet plans to relationship goals, I feel like I have a clean slate to reinvent myself. As a Type-A planner, I relish in setting goals and making changes to live a happier, more peaceful life. Nevertheless, I am also learning when to dial it back and not set such high expectations for myself. With that said, here are 6 ways that I reset for the new year. Consider this list a self-care manual for the first month of the year.
1.Treat yourself to flannel bedding
Since you spend at least 7-8 hours in your bed each night, you might as well feel as cozy and comfy as possible! With these sheets, I find myself going to bed earlier because they are so soft and warm. Over the holidays, I was feeling extra festive and ordered this Martha Stewart bedding set from Macy’s. Sleeping in flannel sheets is like a warm hug! It’s incredibly breathable and actually kind of lightweight. If you don’t already have a set of flannel sheets/comforter for the winter season, I highly recommend you find one. Bonus points if you buy a set now because linens go on super sale around this time of year!
2. Try a new exercise routine
Even if you have your go-to workout (running is mine), try something new and see how it feels. My husband and I have had memberships to a rock climbing gym and a boxing gym to keep things interesting. Besides those 2 radically different sports, I have recently taken up yoga at Climb Nashville and it has helped TREMENDOUSLY with my GAD. I love the way the instructors speak in a calming voice and it’s fun to sport the cute gear. Besides yoga, I have tagged along with my mother-in-law to some barre classes at Bar Method. What an effective workout that is! Have you ever tried barre? It’s rigorous but gives you results!
3. Donate what you don’t wear or use
Last New Year’s Day, my mother-in-law sweetly offered to help me organize my kitchen and it was such a therapeutic experience clearing out all the junk. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders when she finished up and showed me how to stick with it. It’s been a year since she helped me purge those things and I’ve actually maintained the space! (Thanks, Peg!) Besides your living space, it’s also a smart idea to edit through your closet and donate/sell what you don’t wear. In this past year, I have donated and sold around 10 trash bags of clothes to Plato’s Closet and Thred Up. Since I am a thrift store queen, I enjoy contributing to these stores so other thrifters can find a good home for my well-loved pieces. Think of it as good karma!
4. Clean out your beauty cabinet
As a girl who has been wearing lipstick every day for the last 3 years, I have a lot of lip products. I have them categorized by color (not date of purchase) right now, but I also have a super sharp memory so I can remember when I bought each one. Each lipstick is often tied with a memory for me, like my wedding lipstick. If you can’t remember when you bought each lip color, use a label maker to mark the date of purchase on the tube. Each lip product has the shelf life icon marked on the tube. If you have a product that doesn’t have the little icon, you can probably use it for 1 year. Better safe than sorry! Expired makeup builds up bacteria and can cause breakouts. Furthermore, if you bought a lipstick that you haven’t worn much due to a weird color, formula, or scent, be honest with yourself and get rid of it! I have bought more duds than I care to admit, but i never regret throwing them out because I know they’ll just take up precious space (if I keep them) with my well-loved, signature colors. Not sure about one or two colors? Set them out on the counter for a week. If you don’t reach for them by the end of the week, toss ’em!
5. Do what brings you joy
When I talk about my rabbits, my face lights up and I get a bit starry-eyed. These furry creatures make me feel loved and important every day. Andre and Nigel bring me joy, so I make it a priority to brush and pet them as much as possible.
If you don’t have pets, spend time with the people who love you for who you are. For me, these people include my sweet husband, his family, my mom, and my friends. In particular, I loved nannying in grad school, so I try to carve out time to spend with my nanny family every season. When I think deeply about what makes me happy, it’s being around and caring for small children. I love babies and little ones. I love the way they wrap their arms around me and make me feel important. Take a second and think about who makes you feel this way and try to spend time with those people as much as you can.
6. Find a new hobby
Find an activity that fulfills you creatively, if that’s what you need. Make sure it is something outside of your career or job so you can feel multi-dimensional. For me, my new hobby is this lifestyle blog. When I’ve had a tough day at work, I feel better knowing that I have something else that requires my skills and talent. What we do is not just who we are and that is something that I have been coming to terms with lately. As writer Annie Dillon says, “How we live our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
These 6 ways to reset for the new year always help me feel ready and excited for a fresh start. I hope you can find comfort in these tips for self-care in the new year. How do you reset for a new year? Tell me about it in the comments!
Photo Credit from the top: Paul Rowland