by Jennifer Scott
While New Year’s Day is a popular date to make plans to start anew, there’s never a wrong time to implement a plan to become your best self. In fact, a quarter or mid-year change may prove to be more successful because you’re not putting so much pressure on yourself. Whether it’s parenting, jobs, or a relationship, in order to succeed at most things in life, you have to feel good in your own skin. Here are a few ways to get you started.
Stay On Top Of Diet And Exercise
What you eat and how often you choose to be active need no be associated with weight loss — though if you’re overweight, it’s definitely a step in the direction. How you choose to fuel your body coupled with being sedentary versus being active can have a substantial impact on how you look and feel on a daily basis. Along with weight maintenance, proper nutrition and exercise can help you reduce your risk of chronic disease like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. While it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new routine, there are several health and fitness apps to help you do everything from count calories to guide you through a trainer-approved workout if you can’t afford — or have no interest — in joining a gym.
Upgrade Your Wardrobe
If your wardrobe looks like you’re stuck in the last decade — or longer — it’s time to add some fresh, fun pieces that will make you feel confident when at work and play. In fact, experts suggest that what we wear has a significant role in self-esteem and confidence — but this is not to say you need to purchase everything seen on the runways to feel good about yourself. Shop during sale periods, invest in classics, don’t dismiss resale and/or vintage, and mix-and-match (you can literally make 30-plus outfits with less than ten pieces!).
Look and Feel Your Best
This is not about vanity. This is merely making sure you’re taking care of the basics: going to the dentist, trimming the dead ends of your hair, shaving, etc. Don’t be afraid to take it a step further by investing in a professional facial and/or massage, trying a new hairstyle or color, buying a new fragrance, getting a makeup lesson or old-school hot shave — anything that you neglect to do on a regular basis.
Keep Your Mental Health In Check
You don’t have to be one of the (approximately) 43.8 million U.S. adults with a mental illness to experience feelings of sadness or uncertainty. But between career, family and personal life, it can be easy to put yourself last — but doing so can only lead to destructive behavior down the line. Small ways to do this include: volunteering/giving back, taking a “mental health” day to regroup with yourself, engaging in a hands-on hobby, incorporating vacation-like activities into your daily life, meditating, getting enough sleep, making an affirmation journal, and — if need be — seeing a therapist to help keep you on track.
Prevent A Relapse
If you are in drug or alcohol recovery, it’s particularly important that you monitor your mental and physical health to avoid a relapse. Avoid people, places, and things associated with your previous addiction and translate them into positive actions like regular exercise and meditation, taking up (or revisiting) a new hobby, and joining a support group.
Make sure you check in with yourself mentally and physically on a regular basis. As we age, it’s just natural that we’re going to need to reinvent a part of ourselves to stay relevant. Look at these changes as a positive step towards becoming your best self.
Jennifer Scott shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at SpiritFinder.