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Published on February 02, 2017

Five Simple Ways to Practice Self Care in the New Year

Rather than entering 2017 with the mentality, “New Year, new me,” focus instead on taking care of the current you. Self-care can be a tricky thing to manage with a busy schedule and daily responsibilities, but taking care of you should be a priority. You owe it to your friends, family and above all yourself to be at your best!

Here are five easy ways to practice good self-care this New Year:

Set aside “me time” every day, even if this means a brisk ten-minute walk or taking a break to read a few pages of a book. Finding time to let your mind rest lowers anxiety and stress levels that build up during the day. With a refreshed mind, you will be more productive when you return to your regularly scheduled activity.

Invest in your passions. Think about what you love and start doing it. Learn woodworking on the weekends. Join a monthly poetry or reading group. Teach yourself a few magic tricks or a foreign language. Having an identity outside of your daily priorities helps strengthen your sense of self. With work and family priorities, it can be challenging to find time to develop your own interests, but unlike “me time,” passion building does not need to happen every day. Like you, it is a work-in-progress.

Nurture your relationships. Studies show that people with strong social support systems are happier and live longer. Spending time with friends and family isn’t just enjoyable, it’s also good for you!

Make a realistic plan to take care of your body. Health-based New Year’s resolutions regularly fail because people set the bar too high. If you have gone to the gym once a month for the past year, it is unlikely that you will now go every single day. If you have been living on sandwiches during the week, perhaps it is not wise to suddenly cut bread out of your diet. Instead start out slowly, with a health routine that makes sense for you and fits into your schedule. Everybody is different and every body is too!

Check in on your mental health. Take a free, quick and anonymous mental health online screening. Oftentimes, we become so focused on staying physically healthy that we forget to pay attention to our emotional health. However, mental health directly impacts our energy levels and how we feel physically. To remain healthy this year and always, it’s important to support all aspects of our selves.

dave miers

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dr. Dave Miers is the Counseling and Program Development Manager for Mental Health Services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, NE. In addition, he co-chairs the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Dr. Miers has published research focusing on family survivors of teen suicide and co-authored a chapter in an international handbook for clinical suicide research on the role of professionals in helping families after a child’s suicide. Dr. Miers assisted in the development of the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors team in Lincoln, Neb.

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