Let’s be real about New Year’s resolutions for a minute. I typically make mine during that dead week between Christmas and New Year’s after living it up over the holidays. I feel guilty for overindulging and this influences my unrealistic promises to lose weight and clean up my act, even though deep down I know I’ll never follow through on any of it. By mid January I’ve abandoned my ridiculous plans to hit the gym every morning and I feel guilty all over again. I’m going to flip the script this year and focus on self care rather than self criticisms, and so should you.
Journaling has a number of benefits, but the best part is you don’t have to get out of bed to do it. Reflecting on your day in a journal helps to relieve stress, improve your memory, and even increase creativity. All it takes is a paragraph or two each night to help clear your head and start fresh in the morning. Take the classic yet affordable route with a Moleskine or get back to basics with a Mead Composition notebook. There’s even the Five Minute Journal that offers prompts and exercises to help beginners get into the swing of journaling. Wrap up your busy day with a gratitude journal instead of trolling social media, and enjoy a more peaceful sleep.
Every dermatologist will tell you about the importance of keeping your face moisturized, especially during the winter months. It can be tricky to find the right one for you, but it’s definitely worth the work. Neutrogena is always a great choice, specifically their water gel Hydro Boost. It’s affordable at less than $20 and will keep your skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Maybe that Christmas bonus that everyone hopefully got is burning a hole in your pocket. In that case, check out Origin’s Age Defense Moisturizer with White Tea for $50. This SPF 40, vegan product will protect your skin from the cold as well as the daily pollutants we all encounter.
Dry January is a great idea on paper, but in reality I’m not about to say no a glass of wine, or two, after a stressful day. However, I can offset that with a healthy smoothie a few days a week. There’s always the option to juice up at home, Pinterest has roughly one million easy smoothie recipes so all you need is a decent blender. There are a number of local cafes with amazing smoothie menus right here in Worcester too. Trade in your latte for a Mochachino Smoothie with espresso from Root and Press on 623 Chandler Street. Or hit up the Nu Cafe on 335 Chandler Street for a number of real fruit smoothies and juices. Both cafes offer online ordering for quick pickup so you can enjoy the convenience of supporting a small business in the name of good health, it’s a win win.
One of the most affordable ways to feel like an A list celebrity is to end your day with a hot bath, and you cannot forget the bath bomb. I feel like the bath bomb fad has passed, but I’m still all about turning my bathroom into a spa. Get your laptop safely set up in the bathroom, find a good show, and hit autoplay. Turn the water up to boiling and toss that bath bomb in for the most relaxing evening ever. Lush Cosmetics is top of the line in my opinion. All their products are ethical, handmade, and never tested on animals. Coat yourself in glitter with the colorful “Unicorn Poop” or relax in lemon and rose oils with their “Black Rose”. If you really want to chill hard, swing by your local dispensary for a treat and just soak your troubles away.
I’m not trying to take this to a dark place, but the past two years have been challenging at best in a lot of ways. It’s important to have goals and resolutions, but it’s also very necessary to go easy on yourself. Think of all the things you accomplished in 2021! You deserve that smoothie or quality moisturizer. So relax in the tub with a bath bomb and write your little heart out in that journal before bed. We have a whole year ahead of us to hit the gym or clean out our closets, what’s the rush? I think we should all focus on our mental health and wellbeing before tackling 2022. The old saying “New Year new you” can go directly in the garbage, it’s all about New Year self care from now on.