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By Olivia Janisch

‘Tis the season of resolutions, and improving our wellbeing is still high on everyone’s radar. While resolutions tend to highlight our weaknesses and show us what a lame job we’ve done of keeping last years’ up, practicing self love and nurturing ourselves are critical in improving our mental and emotional well being, making us a lot better at properly showing up for life. Take on these loving resolutions to lift yourself up to a brighter and more fulfilled you.

1. Stop the self loathing

Sometimes it can feel like our minds are on opposite teams of our bodies. We are so clear about our flaws- too much cellulite, a big butt, small nose, flabby arms – that we forget to be grateful for the strength and power our bodies possess. Getting wrapped up in the minute things we don’t like about ourselves prevents us from forging ahead in more important things, and keeps us locked up in a narcissistic little bubble believing our insecurities are even that important.

Being overly critical of ourselves creates low self-esteem and prevents us from being kind and loving towards others. When we focus heavily on our weaknesses, it causes us to compare and focus on the weaknesses of everyone else. The first step to creating a positive body image is to start using kind words to think about and describe yourself. Focus on what you’re proud of, and not what you lack. These include physical and emotional traits. Know your strengths and stand firm in them. It will change your mindset, and help you begin seeing the beauty in everyone else too.

2. Clean up your friend group

There comes a point in life when it’s time to get strategic with your friendships. This doesn’t mean being manipulative or cutting people out for unkind reasons, it means surrounding yourself with people that inspire you to be a better version of yourself.

If you hang out with five successful people you will be the sixth. If you hang out with five fit people you will be the sixth. If you hang out with five cranky, self-pitying people you will be the sixth. You get the point.

Find people who you admire and that possess qualities you’d like to embody. Develop genuine relationships with them, and let go of the people that make you question your worth, and how they ever made it out of college alive.

3. Engage in physical activity you enjoy

Just because you’re not a gym person doesn’t mean you don’t need to get active. Your body is a temple and it requires maintenance, and the more energy you use the more you have.

Sweating gets rid of toxins and releases hormones that make you feel and look great. As time goes on, your joints and muscles begin to age and pain will eventually begin to set in. Creating a strong foundation with fun and healthy activity will improve your chances of aging gracefully and supporting the vibrant functioning of your body and mind.

Udaya’s massive list of classes makes it easy to develop a routine. Find something now, even if it’s just twenty minutes three times a week. Starting is all you have to do, the enjoyment will follow. Small changes have big and sustainable impact.

4. Drink more water

Hydration is massively important to our overall wellbeing. Chronic dehydration results in poor focus, headaches, stress, digestive issues, and bad skin. As simple as it sounds, ample hydration can heal a lot of our day-to-day issues and improve our overall vitality. Drink water first thing in the morning, whenever you take a break at work, and ten to twenty minutes before every meal so that it doesn’t interfere with digestion.

5. Treat yourself

Massages, naps, quality time with friends, a quiet walk at sunset – all of these are excellent forms of self love. Indulging yourself in wholesome activities improves your self worth and enables you to give back to the body that provides you with everything every day. Running yourself into the ground for your job, your family, and your obligations doesn’t serve you in the long term, especially as you begin to resent it all. Carve out specific time to take care of yourself – it will reduce stress and anxiety, recharge your batteries, and make you more able to enjoy every minute of your life.

Photo by Dustin Scarpitti

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