As the start of a new year approaches, we’ve resolved to not only look after the planet but ourselves too. 2020 has brought challenges we could never have expected, but it’s also brought wellness and self-care into a new light that’s more accessible and inclusive too.
In the first lockdown, many of us took up home workouts and found new fun things to do like baking banana bread and by the second lockdown, others of us had learnt to become comfortable in and enjoy our own company.
In 2021, we hope to carry on the best bits to take care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Check out our top tips on taking care of yourself in the new year.
2021 Weekly Planner, available at EcoVibe for £34.99.
Let your self-care time shine by making sure you’re not stressing about small-ball to-do’s while you’re trying to check out. Set yourself goals – be they daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly – to tackle tasks. Planners like these can help you stay motivated and on track.
Journaling how you’re feeling can also help you process your thoughts for the day. We’d especially advocate writing the things in your day that made you go ‘yay!’ as this can help you recognise what you’re going right instead of focussing on the negatives.
Never underestimate the power of a clean and clear home that contains minimal mess. If you’re constantly surrounded with an overwhelming amount of clutter, your mind will start to mimic the physical space you are living in. Clearing clutter from getting rid of stacks of post to clearing out the overflow from your wardrobe can all help stress levels disappear. If you're looking for a green spring clean, make sure to check out our eco-friendly cleaning essentials too.
Mindfulness is crucial for self-care, helping you ground yourself and your body in the present moment. It’s not just about calming down and destressing (although it’s great for both of these things too!) but it can help us understand our relationship with ourselves better.
A great place to get started is with guided mediation apps like Headspace or Calm, aromatherapy with natural fragrances like lavender for calming, peppermint for focussing or sage for cleansing, or even just scheduling time to breathe for a few minutes me-time to help you reboot.
If you’re able, you might also like to get out in nature for your mindful minutes – even if it’s just for 15 minutes in a lunch break! Getting out in the fresh air can help boost your mood and sharpen your thinking, helping to make you feel calmer and more generous. You could even take it up a notch and bring some gardening gloves (and/or a litter picker) and your compostable bin liners to litter pick while you’re out.
Glass Water Bottle - 550 ml by Neon Kactus, available at EcoVibe for £16.00
Look after your health
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the core elements of self-care. This is because our bodies need sufficient nutrients and hydration to exist. Now, we’re neither doctors nor nutritionists but if we had to give one top tip? Make sure you’re topping up those reusable water bottles you invested in! You can even download free apps like Aloe Bud to send you reminders to hydrate throughout the day.
Making time for exercise is a second core element to self-care. Exercise not only helps to prevent disease but also promotes the release of endorphins which combat stress and help us to relax. There are lots of activities you could try from home workouts, running, online yoga classes or even heading back to the gym now they’re back open if you feel comfortable.
Relationships are essential for our emotional wellbeing, helping keep us grounded and put things in perspective. Planning grown-up play dates with friends and family (even if they’re just on the phone or over Zoom!) is a hugely important part of your self-care plan.
Volunteering can be another way to add purpose, raise self-esteem and even lower loneliness. You’ll have the opportunity to meet loads of interesting people and explore your own goals and skills. To find out more about volunteering opportunities near you, visit do-it.org or contact your local council, who may know of organisations needing help.
But don’t forget, learning to prioritise your own needs is equally important because it helps you protect your time as well as physical and emotional wellbeing. Setting boundaries and learning to communicate your desires and discomfort with the people around you can really help you live the life you deserve.
Starting the day with an invigorating cold shower is a quick and easy way to get a burst of energy, as your body tries to conserve heat and kicks circulation into gear. Plus, since cold water uses less energy (and you’re likely to spend less time in the shower!), your showers will have a lower impact on the planet.
Not quite your vibe? We understand! Instead of speeding through the shower, find time to soak interrupted with a relaxing bath. Make sure to bring your plant-based candles, plastic-free bath bombs and natural loofahs for the ultimate calming ritual.
Bamboo Bedding Set - Grey by Paragon Bamboo, available at EcoVibe from £73.99.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our health, recharging your body and mind for the day ahead. Incorporating our wellness tips above can help you unwind and ease your mind but there are a few other steps you can take.
Your bedding plays a huge in getting a good night’s sleep. Choosing from natural materials such as bamboo bedding can help regulate your body temperature keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, as well as wicking moisture away – making it an ideal solution for people who suffer from night sweats or menopausal symptoms.
On top of that, keeping a regular sleep schedule will help reset your circadian rhythm – fancy words for body clock! By going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, your body will learn to adjust to the new rhythm. And because our circadian rhythm is an internal timing that’s highly sensitive to light, getting plenty of natural light in the day and darkness at night (including dimming the lights and minimising screen time) can help you get better sleep too.
Thanks for taking the time to read over our top tips for taking care of yourself in the new year! Will you be making any changes to your routines? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget, slow and steady wins the race. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, smaller more attainable goals add up to create a big impact.
Psst! Check out our Wellness Collection, packed full of sustainable alternatives to your self-care favourites.