Move over January, the ‘other’ New Year is just around the corner. As we say goodbye to another beautiful Canadian summer and hello to everything September brings—a change in weather, a new school-year, and a switch up of routine—there’s no better time to buckle down and make a resolution or two. Forget gym memberships and your resolve to lose 10 pounds, here are the best self-care #Resolutions for the ‘other’ New Year we’ve ever seen…
Book Your Own Extracurricular Activity
In the hullabaloo that is making a new school-year family schedule, too often adults forget to include themselves in the mix. Oftentimes, parents are very good at fostering self-care and personal development for their dependents but not so good at modelling it. This year, once the chips have fallen into place for Skyler’s dance schedule, Sage’s karate class, and Sawyer’s work schedule, set a good example and book yourself into that yoga class you’ve always wanted to try, find a book club or learn a new instrument.
Read A Book
For better or worse, reading tends to take a back seat to screen-centred activities when it comes to our leisure time, but it may be that having one’s nose in a book is a far superior choice when it comes to your health. A study out of Sussex University suggests that reading a book for just 6 minutes a day can reduce stress by up to 68%. That’s, ahem, just about an acceptable time to disappear for a bathroom break if you’re pressed for time, and a pretty sweet pay-off for such a simple resolution.
Foster Some Family Time
The demands of a new school year can pull household members in many different directions. As a result, many people find that family-time takes a hit. Don’t wait for Christmas; this September, try designating some weekend hours or a weeknight for some ‘family time.’ Find a leisure activity that everyone enjoys or alternate which family member gets to choose the activity each time. This gives everyone the opportunity to relax, reconnect, and even remove themselves from the pressures of everyday life outside the home.
Drop that Dreaded Commitment
If the unveiling of the ninth month of the calendar year causes you to groan with dread over a despised calendar commitment, make this the year that you drop it. Whether it’s the extra you’ve been putting in at work, a position on your school board, a coaching commitment, or volunteer hours, why not let someone else step up to the task?! This will free up time to focus on something that makes you sigh with relief instead of stress.
Get Your Health Tuned Up
This ‘other’ New Year, instead of focusing on a body tone-up, why not devote some time to a mental health tune-up? In practice, this resolution will look different for every person. For some it may be addressing addictions or unhealthy coping patterns. For others it might mean looking at relationship issues or past traumas and loss. Depending on your goals and budget, one can choose from any number of self-care modalities from counselling, journaling, and hypnosis to meditation, acupuncture, and self-help books/classes.
Want to improve your short-term memory, fight depression, reduce fatigue and lower your blood pressure in just one easy resolution? It’s simple. Go outside! There’s heaps of science to suggest that spending time in the great outdoors can achieve all these outcomes and more. Consider fitting some outdoor time into your daily schedule during your commute to work, on your lunch break, or by taking the kids to the park after school.
Commit to Connecting
Want a resolution that will help you live longer? According to psychologist, author, and columnist Susan Pinker, “Social isolation is the public health risk of our time.” In Pinker’s 2017 TED talk, she purports that longevity has less to do with genes, diet, and exercise than it does with one’s social connections. As the ‘New Year’ commences, resolve to make time for your social life. If you’re busy at work, why not have lunch with a colleague? If you are home with kids, connect with other parents over a playdate. However you can, make it a priority to carve out time for this literally life-lengthening activity.
Wishing you a ‘new year’ full of health, happiness, and prosperity. What’s your #Resolution for the upcoming ‘other’ new year?