The start of another year can come with a pressure. Along with making a few New Year’s resolutions, January is often used to set personal goals and targets. Whether these involve career progression, a new fitness plan or losing weight, high expectations can lead to burnout.
Above all, it’s important to make sure you can look after yourself. From basic self-care to professional development, learning how to feel more comfortable in your skin takes commitment. But investing in yourself is the most valuable use of your time, so it’s important to learn a few of the best ways to go about it.
How can I start looking out for myself more?
- Exercise to release endorphins
Try to move your body as much as possible. Exercise not only helps you to socialise with friends and integrate within your local community, but the benefits of exercise are far-reaching and substantial.
Physical activity can significantly reduce your chances of developing major illnesses including stroke and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, it’s just as easy to use exercise to look after your mental health, regardless of your fitness levels or ability.
- Focus on your own expectations
Whether you’re learning a new skill or you’re trying something different in your career, it’s easy to start worrying about the expectations of other people. Some encouragement from those closest to you can be useful, but it’s important not to let others define your progress – unless you want them to.
- Wear confidence-boosting clothes
Try to choose clothes that make you feel more confident. Whether that means wearing laced red lingerie underneath your smart work outfit or wearing a different style of jeans, try to experiment with new and old styles. Once you’ve figured out which clothes work for you and which ones don’t, you’ll be able to relax on a day-to-day basis.
- Improve posture
If you regularly work from home, you’ll know how easy it is to slouch at your desk.
However, recent ONS data found that 62,000 employees left the workforce due to back and neck problems between 2019 and 2022. With this increase inextricably linked to working from home, it’s crucial to make sure you’re working with an ergonomic posture and taking regular breaks away from your desk.
- Reduce time spent on social media
It’s no secret that spending an excessive amount of time on social media can be bad for your mental and physical well-being. Not only is it physically straining on your eyes but being exposed to the seemingly perfect lives of celebrities could lead you to compare your own life and set unrealistic, ultra-high expectations of yourself.
If you’re struggling to cut down your screen time, start with one app at a time.
Try to work out which platforms you use the least, periodically deleting them from your phone. Alternatively, you could try using Apple’s Focus setting, which will mute notifications from applications to help limit the number of times you’re picking up your phone.
Taking care of yourself is the first step towards progressing in any other area in your life. Once you’re feeling balanced and comfortable with who you are, you’ll be able to welcome a breadth of new and exciting opportunities.