The beginning of a new lap around the sun presents the opportunity to make significant changes, set exciting goals, and imagine a better, happier future. While many people are in the habit of setting resolutions for the New Year, a better approach is investing in your routine approach.
After all, to make habits stick, you need to practice them over a period of time. Another benefit of routine-setting vs. resolution-setting is that you can improve more than one area of your life at a time. Maybe it’s adopting a skincare ritual for brighter, healthier pores and prioritizing your mental and emotional health.
At Covey, it’s no secret we geek out over routines, so we’re thrilled to recommend our top five picks for rituals to begin in 2022:
The Routine For Your Mental Health
There are plenty of stressors that impact the state of our wellbeing, and often, they’re coming at us from every angle. The demands of our career, our responsibilities at home with our partners, children or aging parents, the pressure to maintain social calendars, and the list goes on. Though we all understand the importance of mental health, it’s one of the last things we prioritize.
If you have been feeling pushed to your limits lately or have been craving some reflective time, creating a beneficial mental health routine can help you make progress, find relief, and hopefully, some joy. Some examples include:
- Commit to journaling every day. It can be a single sentence, a paragraph, or a wordy narrative. The act of writing helps us to process our thoughts, cope with feelings, and better understand our mental state.
- Create new habits with social media. With our phones always within reach, it’s so easy (and tempting!) to pick them up when we need a break. But endlessly scrolling can hurt our minds. Instead, create new habits by cutting back on your social media use and replacing it with a more mindful practice, like old-school coloring.
- Schedule weekly check-ins with a friend or therapist. Part of feeling mentally strong is talking it out. And you need a positive, safe sounding board to express your concerns, worries and fears. Develop a ritual around weekly emotional health check-ins with a trusted friend, or if you feel like you need it, a therapist.
The Routine For Your Physical Health
Though you may not be gunning for the Olympic qualifiers anytime soon, remaining active and healthy is a critical component of a long, prosperous life. However, hitting the gym or choosing veggies over cookies isn’t always easy, hence why ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fit’ are common resolutions. To make your physical health a central part of your daily life, try these routines:
- Start small with exercise. If you’re not working up a sweat at all, you don’t want to commit to an hour of fitness. Instead, be realistic and decide your new routine will be 15 minutes of physical activity per day. Then, as you get more comfortable, you can gradually increase the time.
- Explore intuitive eating. Rather than switching your diet to a super-restrictive plan, it’s more helpful to explore how you feel about food in the first place. A beneficial routine could be writing down the times when you feel hungry, how you feel after eating certain foods, and any connotations you tie to them. After a month, analyze your data, and see where you can improve.
- Find a routine buddy. A best friend duo founded Covey, so we know firsthand how important it is to have a buddy for the ride. Discuss your physical health aspirations with your closest confidants, and see if anyone else also needs motivation. Then, you can develop your fitness routine together, which will hold you more accountable.
The Routine For Your Social Health
As your mother probably warned: you are the company you keep. And that can be both a blessing and a burden, depending on your current social circle. Many people either feel one of two ways about their friendships: they don’t see or hear their friends enough and feel lonely or overloaded with event commitments and responsibilities.
Seeing other people and spending quality time is an essential component of emotional health, but it’s also important to take a step back and decide what’s working — and what’s not. These routines will help:
- Invest in people who invest in you. Doesn’t sound much like a routine, eh? Think of it this way instead: schedule one catch-up call a week with your friends. After the chat, consider how you feel following the conversation. Supported? Loved? Or irritated and frustrated? By gaining a better sense of the energy other people give, you can start to decide what friendships are currently serving you best.
- Switch up your ‘yes’ and ‘no’s: If you’re a ‘yes’ person, you likely feel exhausted from signing up from one obligation after another. However, if you’re a ‘no’ person, you may feel isolated. As a routine challenge, try switching up your typical go-to response.
- Do one activity per month that lights you up. Consider what type of social gatherings make you feel alive. Is it a concert? Or a long dinner with your closest friends, fueled by wine and laughter? Maybe a shopping trip? A networking event? Create new routines around making sure you schedule activities that leave you feeling your best rather than depleted.
The Routine For Your Skin Health
As the largest organ in our body, our skin deserves extra attention, time and care. But when we’ve had the busiest day ever at the office and want to crawl into bed, we may forget to give our face the wash it needs. As you head into 2022, an easy new routine to make is with your skin rituals. These ideas will get you started:
- Simplify your skincare routine. Though you may watch (in amazement!) as a blogger goes through 12 steps of products before bedtime, you likely feel overwhelmed copying them at home. Luckily, you don’t have to: with Covey, you don’t need more than three steps to have a radiant, healthy complexion. Begin with cleansing, move to serum application, and finish with a moisturizer that leaves your pores supple and hydrated.
- Make your skincare time your sacred time. Rather than rushing through the application process, slow down. Light candles, put on soft music, say affirmations aloud, and relax. Not only will it put you in a better state of mind, but you will allow your products to better absorb, too. (Psst: here’s some more tips on making it a spa-like experience.)
- Book regular spa days. In addition to maintaining your Covey regimen, consider scheduling quarterly spa days to invest in your skin truly. You can book a massage, a facial and spend time going between the sauna and steam room. Your pores will feel refreshed — and you’ll also receive the self-care time you need.