It’s fair to say that we’ve had a rough couple of years. 2022 is finally here, and while it doesn’t automatically mean life will change around us (ugh!), we can do small things to change within in order. After all, we could all use a little glow up in order to feel a bit better in this new year.
If you’ve been thinking of adding low-key and realistic ways to up your self-care game, here are some tips from experts to help bring some pep in your step in 2022.
Find movement that you enjoy — and stick with it
“When you invest in your well-being and commit to yourself, your confidence shines through and you become a stronger person in other areas of your life,” Dale + Elizabeth of Sweats & The City, tell SheKnows. “That is the real glow!
Not to mention there are endless physical and mental benefits to movement. Improved mood, sleep, strength, balance and cardiovascular health, decreased risk of disease, anxiety, depression, the list goes on.
Two things are key when it comes to your workout routine, according to Dale and Elizabeth: consistency and doing something you enjoy.
“Firstly, you’ll feel both the mental and physical benefits of movement when you are consistent — with rest days, of course,” they tell SheKnows. “Secondly, you won’t stick to anything you don’t enjoy – so finding a movement you love is key.”
Get some sunshine
Another “glow up” habit you should try, according to Author and fitness expert Jennifer Cohen, is getting 10 minutes of morning sunlight exposure.
“This has so many benefits such as helping with better sleep by regulating your circadian rhythm, increases energy, uplifts mood, and helps combat depression. In addition to maintaining strong bones and overall immune health.”
Add a quick facial massage to your nighttime routine
Dr. Angelique Freking recommends adding a facial massage to your daytime and nighttime skin care routine. “It feels especially amazing for people who have clenching or grinding (aka bruxism)-related jaw pain,” she tells SheKnows. “Literally just 30-60 seconds of massage while working in your moisturizer or serum makes an impact. Focus on your jawline, temples, and cheekbones where the muscles for chewing and clenching are attached.”
Not only do you get a temporary lift and glow to your complexion from stimulating blood flow, says Dr. Freking, it also relaxes the tension in those overused muscles and helps you to relax as well.
Book an acupuncture appointment
If you’re looking for a new relaxing modality to add to your self-care routine other than your go-to massage, acupuncture might be exactly what the doctor ordered.
“Acupuncture will help restore your body and mind, help ease pain, restore sleep, and improve your overall well being,” says Ani Baran, owner of NJ Acupuncture Center. She recommends acupuncture weekly or twice a week to start, and “then your acupuncturist can tailor your treatment practices to your unique needs.”
“To me, a glow up doesn’t only mean tangible results physically (though you’ll certainly get those with these treatments) but also, inner confidence. I know when I look my best I feel my best, and vice-versa. I also know I feel way more balanced when I know I have taken care of myself.”
Take a breath
It’s safe to say we could all take a deep breath during this time.
“Deep breathing is such a powerful way to take care of yourself and reset your awareness and energy,” Mental health advocate Yasmine Cheyenne tells SheKnows. “You can do it anywhere and it doesn’t have to follow any particular cadence – the goal is to breathe in a way that feels good to you.”
Cheyenne suggests deep breathing anywhere from 60 seconds to five minutes, or longer. “No matter how small the commitment, the outcome is incredibly powerful. When we breathe deeply, we’re prioritizing our wellness, we slow down, and we connect to ourselves.”
Try some yoga
If you haven’t committed to a yoga practice yet, 2022 might be the year you stick to your downward dog.
“Yoga helps raise endorphins by connecting the mind and the body through the breath. Deep breathing really boosts the mood and helps you feel energized and relaxed at the same time,” Peloton meditation and yoga instructor Kristin McGee tells SheKnows.
Additional benefits include more flexibility and mobility which helps ease stress and tension. “Also more oxygen in the body helps one feel more alive and alert,” says McGee. “Don’t forget our skin is our largest organ. All that fresh oxygen definitely gives us a glow after yoga.”
Take a cold shower
It might sound harsh but taking a cold shower has some physical and mental benefits that could be worth feeling freezing for those brief minutes.
“Take a three min cold shower every day,” says Cohen. “This is so good for inflammation, increasing circulation, boosting weight loss and blood circulation.” A cold shower is also known to boost the immune system and help with anxiety.
Find some quiet time to meditate and journal
“Meditation is something anyone can do, anywhere, and it doesn’t require a big commitment – even just a few minutes a day can do wonders,” say Dale + Elizabeth whose app ORRO offers a variety of meditation classes (as well as breath work and reiki)
Another modality they recommend – that’s both easy to access and incorporate into your day – is journaling. “Putting pen to paper and allowing a stream of thoughts, whether that be points of gratitude, positive affirmations or just thoughts as they come, can really provide a powerful shift. It’s also really nice to look back on your journal and see actual progress. We personally love the Future Self Journal and the Five Minute Journal.”
Give your brain a little bit of extra love with our favorite mental health apps: