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12 Small But Effective Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself in 2019
The options are virtually endless, so it's understandable if you're unsure where to begin.To get inspired, keep scrolling for some easy ideas on how to practice self-care.
Invest in ONE fitness-geared activity that you actually like.
Yoga? Dancing? Walking your dog around the neighbourhood? As long as it gets you moving in some capacity, the specifics are totally up to you. On the flip side, if you dread going to bootcamp class before work every day, then stop—it's not actually serving you if it's making you miserable.
Start writing things down.
Again, the specifics are your call: It could be straight journaling, or if you're analytical by nature, then maybe you'd rather jot down some lists. If you're looking to release some creative energy, you might try poetry or personal essays. The point is just to get your thoughts down in some way, which can be remarkably therapeutic—by separating them from your mind, you might just give yourself some perspective you didn't know you needed.
Make your home a haven.
Begin observing how different foods make your body feel.
It's difficult to sustain something when you feel as if you have no choice, and therein lies the problem with dieting. The difference with this strategy is not just that it's more low-pressure, but that you also have complete agency over what you can or can't eat—instead, you'll just focus on how your current eating habits affect you. Perhaps you'll realise that your favourite noodle bowl makes you sluggish, and might delegate that to an occasional treat. And it doesn't have to be negative: On the flip side, you could come to the conclusion that a bowl of oatmeal gives you enough energy to power through your day.
Experiment with adaptogenic herbs.
We have a distinct feeling that "adaptogen" will become a major buzzword this year, but it's for good reason: This special class of herbs are scientifically proven to help your body adapt to stress by regulating cortisol, aka your flight-or-fight hormone. (Cortisol is also responsible for hunger pangs.)
The really cool thing about adaptogens is that they help your body (and brain) return to an ideal state: Studies show that they simultaneously boost energy and focus while dialing down stress. Speaking from experience, that's ideal for the 3pm slump—which is why sipping tea with a pinch of Sun Potion's Mucuna Pruriens () has become something of an afternoon ritual for Team Byrdie. Other adaptogens include ginseng, rhodiola, licorice root, holy basil, and reishi mushroom.
Try one "out-there" wellness activity that you haven't before.
Instead of ditching all your bad habits cold-turkey, start with just one or two.
Try scheduling weekly digital detoxes.
I've come to the conclusion that try as I might, I'm never going to give up my screen time before bed. I've thus made a little compromise with myself: Every Sunday afternoon (schedule permitting), I turn off my phone and computer for a few hours, and since I'm unplugged from the rest of the world, I take that time to write, paint, or do anything else for myself. I now look forward to this me-time every single week, and I feel totally refreshed when I plug back in.
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