Every year around this time, we start to think about how we can be better “for the new year.” It’s time to stop thinking in terms of January 1st because you matter the rest of the year, too. Instead of making goals you probably won’t work toward past February, make a resolution to yourself to take care of your needs. The best part: Self-care is affordable.
Here are a few ways to get started.
Ditch the soda and tea, and drink water.
You already know that you should drink water. Not only does it supply the cells in your body much of what they need to function, but it also flushes out toxins. Unfortunately, the sugary beverage industry is thriving (though soda sales are down). Americans consume nearly 13 billion gallons of soda each year, according to MarketWatch. However, if you knew what a single can of carbonation did to your body, you might think twice. First, it doses your bloodstream with sugar, which turns into carbs. While carbs are not a bad thing, your muscles don’t need the excess, so your liver takes over converting them into fat. Sugar also sticks to your teeth (hello, cavities!) and, even worse, has an effect on your brain similar to drugs. Drop your soda habit in favor of water, and you’ll not only save at the grocery store, but on your overall health as well.
Do something that makes you feel beautiful every day.
Beauty is only skin deep, right? Well, yes, but feeling confident on the inside starts with looking the part on the outside. You don’t have to hit the salon to achieve a look that makes you feel your very best. Whether you choose to try one of Marie Claire’s 10-second hairstyles or don a new makeup look, you can save money on all of your beauty accessories. There are many health stores that offer discounts on skincare and makeup products in the form of sales and coupon codes. Blogs like Rakuten Smart Shopper offer tips and tricks for finding the best deals while you shop. You can also emphasize your healthy glow by supplementing your daily nutrition regimen with vitamins and minerals that boost collagen growth and supply nutrients to your hair and nails. Incidentally, if you have been drinking your water, your skin will look fabulous.
Grab your sneakers and go for a walk.
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise and one that won’t cost you a dime. In addition to helping you burn off fat around your midsection, a simple 30-minute stroll around the neighborhood can improve your overall quality of life. According to Reuters Health, women who walk for 200 minutes each week are less depressed, have elevated energy levels, and are more socially engaged. And if you are over 50 and suffer from mental health issues, walking may have an even more profound effect on your psychological wellness. Make a point to walk after dinner — bonus points if you can convince your spouse, kids, or a neighbor to go with you.
Give yourself a predictable sleep schedule.
Sleeping for seven to eight hours each night is an essential form of self-care that far too many adults neglect. However, the truth is that sleep should take precedence over pretty much everything else. When you haven’t gotten enough rest, you make more mistakes. You’ll also have less emotional control and will probably forget where your keys are more often than not. Poor sleep can also lead to reduced problem-solving skills. Push sleep to the top of your to-do list by turning off all devices 30 minutes before you go to bed. Schedule yourself to settle in approximately eight hours before you have to be awake, and go to bed at the same time every night. You can promote healthy sleep habits by getting into a routine, such as taking a warm shower and then stretching before putting on your favorite pajamas and turning out the lights.
You don’t have to have a movie star’s budget to shine. But you do need to put yourself first this and every year. The ideas can get you going and might be the start of a new you.
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