Take Care of Yourself Too

New Year’s Resolutions might seem cliche, but this is a perfect time to reflect, recenter, and take a look at your priorities. As a healthcare professional, your job is to take care of other people’s minds, bodies, and spirits—but how much time do you set aside to take care of your own? Let this year be the year you improve your self-care routine. Remember, taking caring of yourself is not selfish.

Book Time with Yourself
In our busy world caring for others all day long, this is perhaps the most important tip for the new year. Intentionally schedule time each month with yourself to allow time to reflect or do something you keep convincing yourself you don’t have time for. Pursuing a career, entering a serious relationship, and simply growing older makes it easy to lose sight of our passions and dreams, but tapping into our sources of joy can energize our lives.

Do What You Love
…And don’t apologize for it! There is no shame in taking a day to go hike a new trail, visit your parents, or break out the old paint box and create something new. When have you regretted spending an afternoon with your nose in a good book?

Those Instagram yogis are on to something—research shows yoga reduces stress and depression, improves sleep, provides an immune system boost and relieves pain. Don’t feel guilty skipping the spin class every now and then to opt for an hour of yoga instead—your mind, body and spirit will thank you for it later.

Practice Gratitude
In our chaotic world it is easy to focus on the negatives. However, one of the most highly recommended practices in happiness research is gratitude. Next time you brush your teeth, look at yourself in the mirror and think of three things you are grateful for. This can be as simple as a text from a friend, catching a green light on the way to work, or a delicious dinner. Get in the habit of practicing gratitude daily, and notice the incredible effects it has on your mentality.

Which part of self-care are you most excited to get started on in the new year? Start small and keep on growing—so much of our time is spent taking care of and tending to others, we have to remember to focus on ourselves, too.