What is it about the New Year that makes us think it's a good idea to ditch many of the things we love? I'll be honest. My New Year resolution was to well and truly ignore 'Dry January'! And not to set myself unattainable goals that will just make me miserable at the greyest time of the year. I don't believe that making yourself feel guilty or beating yourself up about those mince pies you had in December is good for the soul. So I'm making January (and the rest of the year too, for that matter) a time for self-care and kindness, and I'm starting the year by taking time out for myself. Why not join me? Your mind, body and skin will thank you for it! Here are my 5 favourite self-care tips for starting the year on a positive note.
1. Make some me-time
Hands up if you spent Christmas and New Year rushing round and looking after
everyone else? You’re in good company, as most of us tend to focus our energy and attention outwards, meaning that we're bottom of the list. Redress the balance by scheduling time for yourself. It could be anything from a long walk to an extra-long soak in the bath complete with candles and music. Make it something that will make you feel more relaxed, energised or nourished, inwardly and outwardly.
2. Eat well - Nutritious and Healthy
We all over-indulge in the winter months, especially around Christmas. It's all part of celebrating. It's also about comfort and cosiness - toast piled with butter and jam and mugs of hot chocolate - make us feel better when it's blowing a gale outside. My take on eating better in the New Year is not to follow faddish diets, but to think more about what's going to nourish and nurture. Big bowls of homemade vegetable soup and piles of berries on top of a creamy bowl of porridge or yoghurt and muesli are restorative and rebalancing after all that festive food, but they won't make you feel you're deprived or doing without. So instead of feeling guilty about the few extra treats you've had, feel virtuous by stocking up on stacks of nutritious goodies.
3. Sleep better
I've learned that to get a good night's sleep, I have to be surrounded by a sense of
calm. I need a well-made bed, a tidy room, and a good book to help me to unwind at the end of the day. We all know instinctively that a good night's sleep is key to self-care and essential to maintain our emotional wellbeing. Whatever helps you to feel more relaxed, creating a peaceful environment has been proven to promote better quality sleep. I also swear by a warm, candlelit bath with soothing essential oils such as lavender, vetivert and verbena and some pre-bedtime stretching before I climb into bed. And if, like me, you tend to wake up in the middle of the night with a busy brain, I've found that keeping a notebook by my bed and jotting down my thoughts allows me to go back to sleep more easily – and deal with any issues in the morning! Following a regular routine that you keep to will soon become a habit that leads to a better night's sleep.
4. Move more
While I definitely don't believe in punishing exercise programmes, there's no doubt
that introducing some activity into your day is good for you, both physically and
psychologically. You don't have to commit to running a marathon, swimming the
Channel or climbing Mount Everest. But you'll very quickly see and feel the benefits
of spending 30 minutes each day by simply moving - walking, stretching, doing yoga or going for a swim. Exercise boosts circulation, stimulates mood-boosting endorphins, is great for self care and will increase your energy levels. It's a no brainer!
5. Clear the clutter, clear your mind
We're all guilty of thinking that the more we have, the better things will be. More
clothes, more shoes, more bags - and more skincare products! But the more we
have, the more complicated and time-consuming life becomes. Start this year by
decluttering your wardrobe, make-up bag and bathroom shelf, and think about what you really wear, use, and need. Everyone can benefit from a Marie Kondo moment. The best-selling author of 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' has turned tidying from a chore into a pleasure with her KonMari Method. Paring down what you have not only saves space, it frees up time. That's the thinking behind Formulae Prescott skincare and what inspired us to create our multitasking skincare heroes – Tri-Balm, Tri-Spritz and Tri-Body Treatment. Each product delivers three main benefits in one without compromising on results. Our philosophy, which I try to apply to all aspects of my life, is 'Do more, Use Less.' Give it a try!
Have you got a favourite self-care tip? I'd love to hear about it!
Main Image: Photography by Peter Christensen; Styling and Art Direction by Karena Callen; Hair and Make-Up by Formulae Prescott.