How to take better care of yourself in 2021

How to take better care of yourself in 2021

If you’re like many Canadians, you’re eager to usher in 2021 with the promise of better, brighter days ahead. The past year has been a challenging one — and that’s putting it nicely. Having said as much, right now we must continue to do our parts to keep each other safe and healthy while we await mass distribution of the newly-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Among the greatest lessons learned in recent months, is that despite challenging circumstances, we are resilient, adaptable, determined, and that among the things we cherish most are family, friends, connection, and good health.

Good health means different things to different people, but should always involve self-care strategies that help us take care of our physical, mental and spiritual needs. Many people have found new ways of investing in self care (like virtual chats with family and friends to maintain connection), while some have returned to simple activities they haven’t done in years to maintain their fitness (like rollerskating, jumping rope, or simply walking outdoors instead of at the gym). Self care is important — it’s an investment you make in YOU to help optimize your health and happiness so that you get more from life day after day. My colleagues and I practice it, and so should you.

Here are a few ways (even a few minutes a day has benefits) you can take better care of yourself today, this week, and all year long:

  1. Get outside for some fresh air and to connect with nature in every season.
  2. Exercise outdoors – a 20 to 30-minute brisk walk each day will do just fine.
  3. Pay it forward – do something sweet for someone else every single day.
  4. Stress less – take a few deep breaths; divert your mind; talk it out; click here for more ways to beat stress.
  5. Be mindful – it’s not as hard as you might think to practice mindfulness. Learn more.
  6. Choose to be happy! Happiness doesn’t just arrive at the front door and let itself in, it’s something that has to be cultivated. Here are some tips to help you get started.
  7. Meditate – Meditation is proof that it doesn’t take a lot of time to do your mind and body good. Just a few minutes of quieting your mind offers many benefits.
  8. Turn up the tunes – Research shows that listening to happy music helps stimulate creative thinking. Time to create or download a new playlist or two!
  9. Eat more fruits and veggies – Adding more fruits and veggies to our plate is a great way to practice self-care every day. Load up your shopping basket with these suggestions.
  10. Enjoy a little something-something – yes, “sex” offers many health benefits – like fewer headaches, relaxation, and even fun. Read on to learn more.
  11. Become a bookworm – Research suggests reading on a regular basis keeps the mind sharp as it ages — and a good book offers an escape from stress, opportunities to learn something new, and can be a great topic for discussion with a friend or colleague. Reading can also contribute to a better night’s sleep.
  12. Make sleep a priority – it’s absolutely essential to your health and wellbeing. Learn more.
  13. Declutter – clutter has a tendency to create stress. It’s a little thing, but taking the time to organize and purge can help one to feel calmer, happier and more productive.
  14. Pound the pavement – a brisk walk or a run will torch calories, lift your spirits, and even offer some pain relief. Exercise (done regularly) is linked to significantly less anxiety and lessens symptoms of depression. Lace up those runners and get going!
  15. Try some gently yoga to stretch out kinks, increase flexibility, and generally, just feel better. Learn about some of the health benefits of yoga and grab your mat!
  16. Unplug. We all benefit when we take a break from our devices and looking up and out at the world around us. Do it more often.

A marketing communications professional with over 25 years of experience and a fitness instructor/trainer of three decades, Catherine has inspired thousands of Canadians to lead active, healthy lives. Catherine lives in Toronto and has two daughters, ages 21 and 18. Visit Catherine's website