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4 Self-Improvement Tips for 2023

The hype (and gripe) surrounding New Year’s resolutions may not be going away anytime soon.

Contrary to what popular belief may hold, setting goals for yourself at the start of each year doesn’t have to involve major changes.

In fact, it’s often the little things that make the most difference in how we feel on a day-to-day basis, although they can also be some of the easiest things to overlook. So instead of worrying about expensive memberships or intimidating quotas to fill, here are four small changes you can make to help you ring in 2023– and beyond.

Prioritize sleep.

Getting those famous eight hours is often easier said than done, and there are all sorts of debates surrounding ideal bedtimes and morning alarms. However, while it’s not always realistic to expect a perfect night’s sleep without a hitch here and there– especially if your schedule is a busy one– a mindset shift alone can help get you closer to your best-rested self. When we put sleep at the top of our list of things to take care of, we’re not losing time– we’re ensuring that we’re feeling energized and productive in the long term. Estimates vary as to how many hours adults require, but there’s one one-size-fits-all answer. Try keeping a sleep journal or using a fitness tracker or smartwatch to see what’s working best for you.

Fight back against the winter blues.

If you find your mood changes with the seasons and the shorter days and colder weather have got you down, you’re not alone. For some, this can even take the form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), according to The National Institute of Mental Health. A lack of sunlight is a major player in our tendency towards feeling gloomy or disinterested during the winter months. Try to get outside when you can or even just crack your blinds to let in some light. You might also find that using a therapy light or taking a Vitamin D supplement is helpful; make sure to talk to your doctor and/or a mental health professional about what strategies might be good for your specific situation. And keep in mind that while those cold January and February days can feel long, spring will be here before you know it!

Cook your favorite meals.

A freshly-cooked dinner has all kinds of benefits, from the relaxing process of cooking either for yourself or with others to its role in health and overall well-being. 2023 might just be the year that you dig up some childhood favorite recipes using fresh ingredients, whether you’re talking stuffed peppers or broccoli casserole. And don’t count pasta out, either– despite the bad rap some give it, pasta can actually be a great source of protein and nutrients, especially if you give variations like whole grain, chickpea, or lentil pasta a try.

Develop a comforting routine.

This doesn’t have to be an especially long or involved routine– in fact, the shorter and sweeter, the better. Maybe it helps you to have a specific skincare routine at night, or to make a fresh cup of coffee and take a short walk in the mornings. Having a small self-care practice you can come back to each day may not seem like much, but it’s a great way to give your days a little more structure while taking some time to prepare yourself for the day or unwind.

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