The past 12 months have been some of the most challenging in recent history, thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic. While in previous years, many have made New Year’s resolutions that include getting fit and eating well, 2021 should be the year that we focus on developing habits that will improve our mental and physical health.
There are many habits you could choose to help improve your life. It is essential to make realistic goals during these challenging times and be empathetic towards yourself if you do not reach them. There is no more difficult time to go on a journey of self improvement than during a global pandemic.
Here are a few achievable ways that you can improve your life by forming new habits in 2021.
Why Self Care Is Important
This year should be the year that we all develop a healthy self care routine. The past year has left many people struggling with their mental health, so there is no better time to start a self care regimen. Self care can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, provide you with healthy coping mechanisms and help you succeed in life.
What your self care routine involves is up to your personal preference. You could make a point to take regular, relaxing baths with soothing bath products, meditate or try aromatherapy. What is important is that you do something that helps you relax, unwind and clear your mind.
The more you care for yourself, the better equipped you will be to take on any challenges that the future throws at you. During these difficult times, it is essential that you give yourself a break and foster habits that will improve your mental wellbeing.
Talking to others is one of the best forms of self care there is. Particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, many people have experienced feelings of loneliness. Making sure to check in regularly with friends and family will benefit you and them.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – everyone needs support at one time or another. If you reach out, you will likely find that most people you know are in the same boat. Being open and honest means that you will be able to help support each other.
You could also consider signing up for a pen pal or for a charity that pairs lonely older people with someone that will give them regular phone calls. It is hard to engage with charity work during COVID-19, so volunteering with charities like Age UK could be the perfect solution.
Helping others during this difficult time will help boost your sense of purpose and self-esteem. If you are affected by loneliness as well, then volunteering as a phone companion is a perfect way to combine charity work with human contact.
Reading is a great way to unwind. It is also a soothing and calming activity which makes it perfect for self care. There is no better way to escape from the world for an hour or two than by getting engrossed in a good book.
What you read doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it. It can be fiction or non-fiction, educational or funny; what is crucial is that it takes your mind away from stress and worry. If you struggle to sleep, then reading can be a great alternative to scrolling on your phone.
The blue lights on our phone screens can make it hard to drift off to sleep and disrupt normal sleep patterns, so a book is a perfect alternative.
Reading is also beneficial to your mood. As a healthy practice, it can make you feel happier and give you the reassurance that you are doing something that you enjoy as well as being something good for you and your mind.
Try Out Vaping
This is a great habit, particularly if you are considering giving up smoking. Vaping helps to combat the cravings for cigarettes while tasting and smelling amazing. If you’ve decided to ditch the cigarettes, you can do no better to help you on your journey than vaping.
The other great thing about vaping is the sheer variety of vape liquid available. They come in traditional flavours like tobacco and menthol and more exciting flavours like strawberry and liquorice. Many flavours leave a subtle scent behind after vaping, making them the perfect alternative to the clinging smoky smell of cigarettes.
Make sure you get the very best when it comes to selecting vape liquids. Do your research and choose a vaping shop that is trustworthy and reliable. Shops like Aquavape let you order vape liquid online making it a simple, easy way to try out high quality vaping.
Journaling can be the perfect addition to any self care routine. It is a great way to sort through your feeling and to let your creativity flow.
Choosing a journal can be fun, and there are a lot of choices available out there. It’s up to you whether you want a journal with dates, one that doubles as a colouring book or a blank diary for you to fill in as you like.
Journaling doesn’t necessarily have to be solely writing. You could keep a sketch or doodle diary, or if you’re into crafts consider creating an embroidery diary, where you embroider something to represent an event from each day. Whatever you choose, there is great potential for creativity.
Taking the time to be grateful for the things in your life is a brilliant way to raise your mood. You could incorporate this into your journaling, or have a separate journal for recording things you are grateful for.
Making time in your day to review what you have to be grateful for can help you to improve and strengthen relationships. Thanking those around you for the things they do will improve your mood by lifting theirs’.
The act of saying what you have to be grateful for can completely shift your perspective without even realising it. Keeping track of what you are thankful for is perfect for anyone who tends to be a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person.
Take Regular Breaks From Social Media
Many of us have a habit of scrolling through social media for the latest news on the pandemic, politics or other news. This is what is referred to as room scrolling, where you become immersed in the bad news that seems to be continually lighting up our phones, leading to feelings of stress and dread.
Even before the pandemic and the coining of the phrase doomscrolling, having a break from social media was considered a great way to give your mind a rest. Fear of missing out and the constant comparison to the idealised versions of people that social media shows us often leads to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.
In 2021 you should try to give yourself regular time off from social media. Delete your news apps, Facebook, Instagram and other social media and occupy that time with things that bring you joy and peace. You could try doing this for a week, a day or even an hour at a time.