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Regardless of who you talk to, you will likely be able to agree on one thing: between the political conflicts, rumors of nuclear war, natural disasters, and the influx of sexual assault accusations, 2017 was not the greatest year. In fact, it was one of the most draining years for many individuals of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders; a year where self-care and being gentle with oneself was a hallmark trend.

Needless to say, though, not all of us have mastered our own self-care. Some still struggle with feeling selfish — as though our time, money, and other resources could be better spent on things unrelated to our desires. Perhaps this is because we were trained to care for others before ourselves, or some of us still struggle to understand why we deserve to put time and effort into ourselves.

No matter the reasoning that may be behind one’s hesitation, it is imperative that we start 2018 off on the right foot, putting a focus on adapting our behaviors, mindset, and priorities to reflect our newfound self-awareness.

With that in mind, let us explore some ways in which we can all improve our self-care habits in the new year.

Do not fear taking a mental health day

As we push through the next 365 days, it is likely that we will be met with our fair share of challenges. Any time these issues become so pervasive we become overwhelmed, drained, or just burnt out, it is important that we refocus our energy and eliminate our stressors.

Sometimes, this can only be accomplished by taking a step back from work for a day or two, utilizing the first day to overcome our obstacles, and the second to recuperate mentally, emotionally, and/or physically.

However, the only way we can truly reap the benefits of mental health days is by being transparent with our superiors, as feigning physical illness may only exacerbate our feelings of distress or guilt.

Take a hiatus from social media

It goes without saying that social media can quickly turn into a black hole of negativity, leaving us feeling angry, disconcerted, and hurt. The only way to prevent this emotional turmoil is by avoiding these platforms altogether — at least for a while.

Turn off your push notifications, unfollow — but maybe not unfriend — troublesome users, and utilize Twitter’s mute feature, which enables users to mute words they find triggering. Although it may not seem like you are doing much, taking these small measures may leave you feeling more refreshed than you would have anticipated.

Treat yourself

Although many consider the concept of self-care to be treating themselves, the act of indulging in one’s favorite food, binge-watching a favorite television show, or investing in their appearance are all vital and supplemental tactics. Plus, taking the time out to perform one or more of these activities will only enhance the benefits of one’s social media cleanse, mental health day, or other newfound self-care habits.