Self-care is about you and what you need. It isn’t about perfectionism or putting more pressure on yourself. Now more than ever, self-care is vital and should definitely be on your to-do list. Let’s face it, you are tired and your stress levels have never been higher, but you can ease your pain. Here’s what your self-care should look like in 2022.
The purpose is to make things better, not add to your stress
While self-care is something you should regularly practice in your life, there aren’t any rules for how or when it gets done.
You get to decide.
What does self-care look like for me in 2022?
Again, there is no right or wrong answer here. Self-care is whatever you need it to be.
Some days you may feel super motivated and manage an hour of yoga followed by 10 minutes of meditation and a healthy home-cooked meal. Other days, it’s all you can do to remember to drink some water and at least grab some food from McDonald’s.
That’s okay. You are doing the best you can.
Any effort can and should be considered self-care. It isn’t always about doing all the “right” things each and every day without fail – it’s more about the ritual as a whole. Consistently taking care of you, mentally, spiritually, and physically that matters most.
And in these trying times, it can mean the difference between thriving and ceasing to function at all.
2022 Self-care is about adaptability and practicality
Self-care has come a long way in these past few years. With folks spending more time at home and more time isolated from others, the need to take care of yourself has increased 10 fold.
Thankfully, the definition of self-care has morphed into something more meaningful(and honestly, more helpful) than simply indulging yourself. It has become more about taking care of your whole self. From your mind to your soul and everything in between.
It has adapted. It has changed. So have you.
By now, you should be pretty damn flexible. A pleasant result of the couple of years you’ve just lived through. So naturally, having a self-care plan that is both changeable and easy-going is a must.
It needs to be practical. Meaning, does your plan make sense? Does it fit into your current situation and lifestyle? If your plan requires you to make too many alterations to your schedule, you won’t be able to sustain it.
Let’s just avoid that altogether. That’s just going to make you feel worse, not better.
When making your plan, try to think about areas you need to nurture. The three broad areas you should focus on are mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Let’s talk about each of these in more detail so you can make the right plan the first time.
Self-Care for Your Mental Health
Everyone faces hardships and challenges in this life. A good indicator your mental health needs some attention is by paying attention to the way you respond to these challenges.
When you have an appropriate response to a stressful situation, it indicates a healthy state of emotional or mental wellness. On the other hand, freaking out and losing your shit illustrates a poor state of mental health.
Here are some simple, yet adaptable ways you can improve your mental health with self-care:
- Practice mindfulness – take time out, 1-5 minutes to focus on your breathing and taking notice of your surroundings. Be present in whatever you are doing. Try to stay focused on today. Don’t dwell in the past or worry about the future.
- Connect with others – take some time to reach out to someone you actually like. Text them or call them and just talk to one another. If you feel up to it, you can invite them for coffee to catch up.
- Keep a journal – this one is another simple activity you can complete in under 5 minutes. Consider keeping a mindfulness or gratitude journal. Focusing on what you have can help calm your mind and leave you feeling content rather than wanting.
Self-care for your physical well being
Physical health is anything that affects you physically, such as sleep patterns, diet, sexual health, and fitness.
- Use trackers to develop habits you want to have – use them to track your water intake, your sleep hours, or any other task.
- Get active – movement is more than just about your physical health, it can also improve your energy levels and seritonin(happy hormone) levels. Try to do some type of regular movement every day. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Stretch your body for 5 minutes, have a dance party for one, walk to the mailbox, anything that gets you up and moving.
- Meal plan – take 30 minutes a week to plan out your menu. Determine when you want to cook, then shop for food, grocery delivery can save you the headache of going to the store while still ensuring you have healthy food at your disposal.
Self-Care for your spiritual self
Spiritual health means different things to different people. For some it means having a connection to a higher power, for others, it’s more about searching for your life’s purpose. It refers to your beliefs, values, and your moral compass.
Then allowing these core beliefs to guide you throughout your life’s decisions while molding you into the person you truly are inside.
- Pray or meditate – spend some time internally seeking clarity and guidance. Focus your attention on one thought, try not to give in to distractions during this time.
- Keep a daily reflection log – at the end of the day(make it part of your nighttime routine) take a minute or two to write down how your day went.
- Use self-compassion affirmations – affirmations are a great way to train your mind. Here are a couple to get your started: 1. My mistakes just show that I’m growing and learning. 2. I forgive myself for past mistakes and accept my flaws.
By now you should have an idea of which areas you need to focus on. Write them down. Then, try to come up with at least two activities you can do that will help you improve your well-being in that area.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Keep things simple and try to find actions you can complete in less than 30 minutes, if you can make it in under 15 minutes, that’s even better.
Now take this list and convert it into a place you will see it every day. This is wherever works for you, could be a paper planner, a calendar app on your phone, or even just a sticky note on your mirror.
Or, if you want to take it a step further, you can use a self-care planner like this one I have available for purchase here.
The how isn’t as important as the actual doing it is going to be, so don’t fret over how you get it “written” down.
Consistency is key when it comes to your health
Changing how you think about self-care will go a long way towards ensuring you get it done, regularly. I think more and more people are realizing that practicing self-care isn’t selfish, but rather necessary for survival.
It’s about shifting your mindset.
You must first get to a place where you can accept self-care for what it is meant to be, a path to overall wellness.
When your mind is in a good place, you feel less stressed, more focused, and therefore, happier.
Improve your physical health and you will find you get sick less frequently, feel more rested after sleeping, and have more energy.
While spiritual wellness likely looks different for you than it does for me, nurturing your beliefs and searching for your purpose plays an essential role in discovering your place in the world.
What Your Self-Care Should Look Like in 2022?
The answer can be simplified to just one word – ADAPTABLE.
Remember in these times of almost constant change the best thing you can do for yourself is simply show up. Don’t worry too much about being perfect or getting it just right, it’s way more important to just do it.
No matter what your self-care looks like in 2022, consistency will pay off. Doing a little something each day will produce results. Don’t give up. Don’t give in.
Make 2022 your healthiest and happiest year yet with a little self-care and a lot of compassion.
Looking to make self-care a priority in 2022?
I’ve got just the thing. Right now, you can download my 8 Ways to Practice Mindfulness PDF so you can have some ideas right at your fingertips. Either print it off and frame it for your desk or download it and use it as a phone background so you will always have it close by.
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