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Start Off the New Year Right: 5 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself in 2021

December 30, 2020     By Boys Town Contributor

Coping Skills for Teens, Family, Parenting Skills

​It’s the start of a brand New Year, and with it comes new challenges, new opportunities and new possibilities for every parent (and others who care for children).

The New Year also can mean new sources of stress that can affect your mood, your health and your overall well-being. That’s why it’s so important to remember to take care of yourself every day as you carry on your parenting responsibilities and try to stick to those New Year’s resolutions.

​Putting these five tips at the top of your resolution list might make all of your other resolutions easier to follow, and make raising your kids a little less stressful.

  1. Take a breather. When things get hectic, calm yourself by taking five deep breaths and thinking of something you are grateful for or enjoy doing. Even a brief break can help you put a stressful situation in perspective and move forward with a more positive attitude.
  2. Get enough ZZZZs. Without enough sleep, our brains don’t do a good job of planning, organizing and making good decisions. Shoot for 8 hours a night, and, if possible, fit in a short nap during the day. Even a 15-minute snooze can re-energize and refresh you.
  3. Move! Moderate physical activity can boost endorphins (those chemicals in the brain that make us feel good) and improve your mood. So do some stretching, take the stairs instead of the elevator, shovel snow off the driveway or walk an extra lap around the mall.
  4. Make time for things you love to do. Prioritize your schedule and family activities so you can enjoy watching your favorite movie, taking a hot bath, listening to music or working in the garden.
  5. Ask for help when you need it. Don’t try to do everything yourself; enlist family members to help with the cooking, cleaning and shopping. Many hands make work easier and faster, and doing household chores as a family can create more “together” time.

“Have a Happy New Year” is more than just a holiday sentiment. It should be the goal you strive to achieve in the days, weeks and months after the holidays have come and gone.​

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