It has become a ritual to begin the New Year with a resolution to drop a bad habit or change a behavior that doesn’t serve you well. And, because humans can be predictable creatures, resolutions typically have something to do with losing weight and getting healthier.
In theory, the timing is right with the New Year symbolically washing away the dirty deeds of the past. It’s a clean slate. And you vow to keep it pristine. In practice, well, resolutions are entirely a different matter.
Since November you’ve stressed and fussed over gift-giving, decorating and making the holidays feel special. And with the extra helping of chaos that last year heaped upon everyone, the timing for breaking old habits couldn’t be worse! At a time when you’re supposed to feel empowered and energized, you may be feeling completely drained.
This year, commit to taking care of yourself one day at a time. Instead of setting goals that are months away, set your mind to achieving small daily goals that offer big gains, not only for your physical fitness but mental fitness, too.
In fact, when you expand what self-care looks like, you’re presented with a bounty of options to care for your total wellbeing, and that’s the true purpose of good health and security.
The Practical Approach to Self-Care
You may think of self-care as some guilty pleasure or selfish indulgence that takes up too much time. But self-care is self-preservation that’s akin to basic maintenance for your car. Without clean fuel, oil and a regular tune-up, it won’t provide the reliability you depend on. And it certainly won’t get you very far toward any destination.
When reframed as a core necessity, self-care can be a moment in your day when you recharge the batteries and feel empowered by the small steps taken to help yourself and loved ones be happy and well, inside and out.
Here are a few easy ways to take it easy and take care of yourself this month, without guilt-inducing resolutions or empty promises.
Cook yourself cozy
There’s something about the winter chill that makes your body crave hot, hearty soups. A good homemade soup not only warms the soul but nourishes the body in amazing ways.
With a balanced combination of protein, healthy fats and nutritious veggies and herbs, soup really is good for you. And because many key nutrients must be paired with other vitamins and minerals to be absorbed, soups make it easy for the body to absorb and use them properly.
No matter what the recipe, soup contains a high volume of liquid broth that hydrates the body, making it a perfect food if you’re trying to lose a few pounds, or if you find yourself too busy or stressed to eat a complete meal. Soup fills your belly while satisfying your hunger and cravings, so you’re less likely to indulge in unhealthy foods.
To keep you feeling full even longer, add a scoop of unflavored collagen powder to your soup. Look for one that maintains its nutritional value and effectiveness in hot foods or beverages, such as Original Body Boost.
Feeling stressed out? Get back to feeling calm with two natural, mood-balancing ingredients: hemp and L-theanine.
Hemp’s calming compounds help release stress and worry, while the amino acid L-theanine promotes alertness without drowsiness. (One to try: Uplift & Unwind… part stress soother, part skin booster, it combines patented collagen with hemp and L-theanine for a collagen powder unlike any other.)
Improving your sleep hygiene is also critical to mellowing out your mood, and it begins in the daytime with some physical movement to help you feel tired at night. A brisk walk outside or a quick workout inside are great ways to get your body moving. Before you go to sleep, give yourself ample time to wind down without electronics. Curl up with a good book and warm chamomile tea to help you fall into slumber.
Get back to basics
Winter months are prime time for microbial attacks, and the ongoing pandemic makes it even more important that you take care of your core health – your immune system. This microscopic armor is made of a complex network of tissue and cells, and is your frontline defense against harmful bugs and viruses hellbent on attacking your body. Thankfully, protecting your immune system is quite easy to do.
Vitamin C is probably the first vitamin you ever learned about. Its undisputable power as an immune booster has been proven in thousands of scientific studies, which is why it’s a top supplement to take in the winter and when you’re feeling spread too thinly. And while immune support gets all the glory, vitamin C is an all-purpose nutrient that’s essential for a variety of health functions, including supporting respiratory health, enabling iron absorption and producing collagen.
As a water-soluble vitamin C is tolerable in high doses. Experts suggest 1,000 mg of vitamin C is an effective, therapeutic serving, which you can in one daily serving of Vitamin C Shield (plus, it’s non-GMO).
By practicing a little bit of self-care every day, you’ll be well on your way to forming new healthy habits in January and beyond.