Self-Care Guide: How to Recharge Mentally in the New Year

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
December 3, 2020

Chill the champagne — a new year is almost upon us. As the holiday season winds down, it’s more important than ever to carve out time for yourself and leave the stress of 2020 behind. This month, we’re putting the spotlight on self-care with some easy ideas sure to help you recharge mentally. Because a new year isn’t about a new you — it’s about replenishing everything you already are and starting to feel your best again.

Dive into our self-care guide, and if you feel like extra credit, take any of these ideas for handling holiday stress (and post-holiday stress) on the road. Our professionally cleaned, private vacation homes are made for restorative nights away.

Self-Care Idea 1: Start the Day Strong

How you begin your day sets the tone for everything that follows, so put your phone aside and enjoy the quiet of the morning with a warm beverage — whether it’s coffee, hot water with lemon, or a cozy cup of tea. While you sip, take a few moments to observe your surroundings and gather your thoughts by journaling or meditating.

Once you’re feeling centered, power up with a healthy meal that doesn’t skimp on taste, making sure you’re getting a balance of protein, fat, and fiber. These breakfast sandwiches from Well + Good are a delicious beginning.

Self-Care Idea 2: Focus on Better Sleep

Yes, sleep is a big deal. Are you getting enough of it? Going to bed at an established time each evening will help you welcome the next day with more energy. To find your best sleep, make your bed, try to keep your bedroom free of clutter, and treat your sleep space like a sanctuary.

Fall into better rest by listening to relaxing music before bed, reading a lighthearted book, or using an app like Calm. If you’re in need of deep sleep that’s completely free of distraction, head off to a vacation rental that’s just a drive away for a long weekend.

Relaxing vacation rental bedroom with fluffy bedding

Self-Care Idea 3: Reconnect with Nature

It’s natural to feel drained after a holiday season indoors — and the arrival of much shorter days can also contribute to fatigue. One of our self-care ideas that’s sure to help you recharge is simple: Get outside in the sun. Take a break from your devices (including that social media scrolling), indulge in some fresh air, and return home feeling rejuvenated. If you’re looking for hiking inspiration, check out Travel + Leisure’s Best Hikes in the U.S. for some self-care ideas that will help you reconnect with nature in a meaningful way. 

You don’t even need to go for a long hike to enjoy all of the benefits of being outside (here are 11 of them, if you’re curious). The Japanese art of Forest Bathing suggests that the mere act of engaging your senses in the outdoors can make you happier. 

Looking to explore cabins nestled in the woods? We’ve got just the place for you to clear your head. 

Self-Care Idea 4: Enjoy a Spa Weekend

Just because spas might be closed doesn’t mean you don’t deserve time out for R&R. Bring the self-care home with a full weekend devoted to a spa experience. Put on some calming music, light candles, start a soothing bath, make some hot towels, and try out a new face mask. If you’re missing the “getaway” part of the spa, retreat to a private vacation rental and soak in captivating views as you soak in the hot tub. 

Outdoor hot tub on patio overlooking the ocean

Self-Care Idea 5: Pick Up a New Hobby

Hobbies are meaningful because they let you explore other sides of yourself. In fact, researchers have found those who engage in a hobby are 32% less likely to develop depression than those who don’t.

Hit up the craft store to pick up a single-day painting project, try your hand at knitting, bake a family cookie recipe to deliver to your friends, or put your first short story to paper. If you’re unsure where to start, write down all the things you might be interested in exploring and narrow the list down until you find something that excites you.

Self-Care Idea 6: Opt for Analog

A private, rustic vacation rental cabin on a small pond

Escaping your phone and social media can feel like an escape of its own. Challenge yourself to turn off your phone for a while and enjoy some playful time offline. Your analog afternoon could involve curling up with a book you’ve been wanting to read, going for a long walk, challenging a friend to a board game, redesigning your space, or taking a nap. Letting go of the constant need to check devices can help you manage holiday stress (and post-holiday stress).

Self-Care Idea 7: Purchase Some Plants

When you can’t get outside, try reconnecting with nature indoors. Plants invite you to set aside a few peaceful moments each week to make sure they’re watered and cared for. They also provide an oxygen boost (while cleaning the air, too) and can make your space feel magazine-worthy with just a small purchase.

For full self-care, we recommend making a day of plant shopping. Stop by your favorite coffee shop and try a new drink, put on a playlist you can’t stop listening to, and head out on a shopping adventure for some of these low-maintenance houseplants (be sure to make sure your choice is pet-friendly if you live with a dog or cat). You can also dive into a day of virtual plant shopping from home with a company like The Sill, which delivers houseplants to your door.

Self-Care Idea 8: Get Some Exercise

Here’s the thing about exercise — it doesn’t have to be a big lift to get the benefits. And when it comes to benefits, there are almost too many to count. Beyond helping you feel stronger, exercise can boost your mood, enhance creativity, improve your confidence, reduce your anxiety, lower your stress levels, and so much more (this article from Greatist offers a great roundup of the perks).

If you’re new to an exercise routine, clear your head by taking a walk around the block, checking out a new park, or trying out one of these streamable yoga classes

Self-Care Idea 9: Experience Something New 

Obviously, we’re a little biased, but travel leaves you feeling relaxed and gives you the chance to discover new sides of yourself every time. Taking a few days away can also help you manage stress, beat emotional exhaustion, and focus on fun again. Check out this piece from Brit + Co on why travel is an incredible form of self-care, then book that long weekend you’ve been itching for with Evolve — knowing you can change your plans if needed. Jet-setting by plane can be a little tricky right now, but it’s the perfect time to hit the road for a safe, professionally cleaned vacation rental.

Treat Yourself to a Relaxing Getaway with Evolve

If you’re feeling exhausted after handling the stress of the holidays, quiet down in a place you can count on to be ready for you. Our Rest Easy Promise helps you tap into relaxation — and lets you travel without surprises. 

Read This Next: Once you’ve booked your vacation rental stay, check out this article from Bustle about how to take self-care activities on the road with you, explore Oprah Magazine’s tips that will help you recharge mentally and emotionally, or read our guide to hygge — perfect for cozy, quiet time.

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