Taking a healthy step into the New Year


Painting by Mark Compton

“All beginnings wear their endings.” – astrophysicist Chet Raymo

As we start into a new year, please remember that if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t do your best work. You may get started with a great idea, but you need to be healthy to get to the end.

Here are 9 reminders from a Washington Post article on a recent London study on ways to practice wonderful self-care.

  • “Choose the healthier option” — eat a balanced diet and exercise.
  • “Recognize and honor your own needs” — put your own needs first.
  • “Set boundaries” — know your own limits and try to abide by them.
  • “Let go of what no longer serves you” — such as obligatory activities.
  • “Set achievable goals” — set goals that you can reach.
  • “Cultivate supportive relationships” — spend time with those who build you up.
  • “Listen to yourself” — set aside personal time to write or sort out your thoughts.
  • “Practice self-compassion” — make a solid effort to accept yourself.
  • “Accept support” — reach out when you need a hand and let others help you.

If you’re looking for a quick fix, take a deep breath and drop your shoulders. Feel your shoulders drop away from your head. Keep breathing and ask your shoulders to drop again. And maybe one more time. Settle in to that.

Then move to your jaw. Stretch the muscles in your face to help your jaw unclench. Open your mouth in a silent scream, then end in a Cheshire cat smile.

Finally, spend a moment with your eyes. Rub your hands together to warm them, then place your hands gently over your eyes. Close your eyes and feel the heat from your hands. Let any weight behind your eyes or in your eyelids drop away. Breathe in and feel your jaw loosen and ask your shoulders to drop once again.

Now open your eyes. What does your intuition tell you about how you want this year to end? And how are you going to shape the beginning?

“All beginnings wear their endings.”

Wishing you the very best for a happy and healthy New Year! 

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I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for future posts!

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