Cue the confetti cannons and glitter! The New Year is upon us! This is definitely a time to be proud of all that we’ve accomplished and learned in the past year. However, it’s also a time to look at what didn’t go so well and assess how we can make ourselves feel and function even better.
You may be thinking, “Oh, this is an article about making New Year’s Resolutions,” but it’s more than that. Resolutions tend to be fleeting -- things we don’t (usually) stick to throughout the year. Well, keep reading. Keep in mind, these suggestions are not resolutions, but lifestyle changes that you can make to improve your overall well-being and career. With that being said, here are three steps you can take to walk into the New Year with a pep in your step.
I know this seems like an odd one to start off with, but hear me out. We live in a society where everything moves quickly. Technology allows us to get so much done so fast and connect with so many people that it can feel like whiplash. It creates an environment where we feel like we have to be “on” all the time! Even if we don’t initially realize it, it can extremely drain our energy. We feel like we have to answer that email even though we’ve left work already or we unconsciously scroll through Instagram, numbly taking in hundreds of people’s content -- it’s all so stimulating that we seem to never get a break. That is, unless we disconnect. Just as you should turn off your electronic devices to keep them from malfunctioning, overheating and burning out, you need to turn off, too.
It’s so important to take the time to turn off the technology, set your phone to “do not disturb” and put the rest of the world on hold for a moment. It gives you the time to take care of yourself without distraction, to dedicate your energy to projects without strain, and overall, it gives you a mental break to recover your senses and reset your mind. Sometimes, we all need a good break from what everyone else is doing so that we can focus on ourselves.
2. Go Outside
Take a moment and ask yourself, “When was the last time I went outside and really enjoyed/paid attention to my surroundings?” If you can give the answer “recently,” then kudos to you! However, if you answered, “Oh, wow. To be honest, I can’t really remember. Definitely not today,” then I would recommend getting up from where you’re sitting and going outside. It’s too easy to end up working away the day, heads deep into computers and cell phones and tablets and not see an ounce of sunshine -- change that!
It’s always a good idea to get as much time outside as you can! When you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle, don’t jump straight to scrolling through social media; instead, go outside and take a brief walk, or sit outside and observe the world around you. It can be extremely refreshing to slow down and take in how beautiful Earth is! Give it a try when you’re feeling tense, sluggish or if you need to take a breather. You’ll soon realize how much better you can feel.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Yes, I just went there. Yes, you may have just sighed because I pointed out something that everyone is talking about and that we think everyone should know. However, more often than not, when things start getting rough, the last thing we tend to do is take care of ourselves.
I’m not saying go and follow the typical Instagram/Pinterest style of self-care full of bath bombs, messy buns and a million skin care products (though if that is what calms you down and lights you up, then do it!). I’m saying think deeply about what either relaxes you or energizes you and build on it. This could be going on a run, binge-watching your favorite show, meeting up with friends or traveling to a new place. The possibilities are endless. At the end of the day if it makes you feel better, do it.
Self-care does not have to be a one-day, all-day marathon event. In fact, it’s better in the long run to do one or two little things for yourself every day. It allows you to have a sustainable and easy-to-accomplish method for making sure that every day you are focusing on you. Establish good habits, have a routine, do something for you.
So Let’s Get Started!
The most important steps you can take walking into the New Year are ones for yourself. Don’t walk a path that isn’t your own. We all have limited time and there’s too much to enjoy in this life to be caught up in anything that doesn’t bring us joy and doesn’t enable us to be our healthiest selves. Take steps down a path that makes you happy, that makes you better. That is the most important thing to remember. Happy trails!
We're so excited to share Ashley’s story! Ashley is a part of our #LearnASULive team, an ASU Online Brand Ambassador program highlighting students who are earning their degrees while living their lives to the fullest. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check back for new articles from Ashley so that you can follow along with her journey. To check out all her posts to date, visit Ashley’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and website.
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