Unlike weddings, sweaters and cuffing, over here at PureWow it’s always self-care season. All about amplifying the relationship you have with yourself, self-care helps you show up as the best version of yourself, wherever you are in 2022. Here, the top seven self-care practices we’re keeping in our back pocket this year and one we’re gently leaving behind.

outsmart your smart phone
MoMo Productions/Getty Images

1. Adopt: Outsmarting Your Smart Phone

Technology is cool and so are our phones (or as Fast Company puts it, an extension of our hand). But at a certain point, it’s important to look up and ask yourself if you’re in control of your tech or if your tech is controlling you. The key: Take advantage of tools like Screen Time settings, which bump you from scrolling guilty-pleasure apps (hello, TikTok) and use the latest iPhone update ‘Focus,’ which is like ‘Do Not Disturb’ but divided by work and personal contacts.

taking a walk
adamkaz/Getty Images

2. Adopt: Taking a Walk

Not a run. Not a SoulCycle class. But a good old-fashioned—and dare we say free—walk outside. Studies show that daily walking ensues a bunch of benefits beyond a lean and toned figure, like increased energy levels, reduced stress, better sleep and a stronger immune system—a major benefit we could all use right now. Brownie points if you immerse yourself in 10-20 minutes of direct sunlight, which increases your brain’s release of serotonin (AKA your body’s “happy hormone”).

woman with puppies spark joy
Group4 Studio/Getty Images

3. Adopt: Sparking Joy

Marie Kondo got it right when she released her best-selling book Spark Joy, a detailed narrative following her debut novel about what it means to get rid of what you don’t need—physically and emotionally. The concept of doing something (anything, really) just for joy feels frivolous. Yet, that’s exactly why you need to. When was the last time you did something that was intentionally unproductive? From creating space in your calendar for a weekly manicure to stopping by your local animal shelter on the way home from work, make it a priority to find joy wherever you are. You’ll realize soon that those moments are the foundation of how you approach everything else in your day.

Sponsored Hu PureWow 440
Hu Kitchen

4. Adopt: Intentionally Indulging

Sometimes self-care looks like a generous pour or a decadent chocolate dessert. In order to stay in line with your wellness goals and indulge in a sweet treat, look no further than the new Hu x PureWow Limited Edition collections. We partnered with the haute natural food brand acclaimed for its UltraSimple ingredients to create two tins for whatever you’re craving: dreamy dark chocolate bars with unbeatable taste and no weird ingredients or crunchy, grain-free cookies that taste deliciously homemade. These natural treats are made with ingredients you can trust, so even though every bite feels like you’re indulging, it’s a snack that both your mind and body can feel good about. That’s a ritual we can get behind.

meditation
miniseries/Getty Images

5. Adopt: Meditating

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know you’ve heard this one before, but hear us out: Meditation isn’t just for influencers. Or non-busy people. Or people who like to sit for a long time. Most importantly, it’s not something you can “win” or accomplish. With the stress of a two year pandemic under our belt, as well as skyrocketing screen time and unforgiving news cycles, we owe it to ourselves to put our mental wellbeing first. By focusing on mindfulness through meditation, it seems like we are doing “nothing.” But the change in our body chemistry and mental state actually affects everything from our productivity at work to how we communicate in our relationships and more. There are tons of resources available today, so you can find the method (or music, if that’s your thing) that works best for you.

best friends
Flashpop/Getty Images

6. Adopt: Curating Your Crew

They say you are the average of the five people closest to you. *Looks around anxiously* One of the best ways we can choose to care for ourselves is by caring about who we surround ourselves with. Time is the only currency we don’t get back, so it’s important to spend it wisely with people who are positive, provide a safe environment for you to express your truth and who support of your actions. Now, that doesn’t mean curating a collection of friends who agree with everything you have to say and don’t challenge you intellectually or emotionally. It means being mindful (hint: you can even meditate on this) of where you expend your energy in 2022 and how you want to feel after the next girl’s night out.

playing guitar
damircudic/Getty Images

7. Adopt: Learning Something New

Quick question: When was the last time you learned something new (and not because you had to)? Skills like creating formulas in Excel or changing a diaper for the very first time are naturally crucial to your life’s work. But learning something new simply to spark joy is like taking your brain on an adventure. It can be something as simple as a new recipe you saw on TikTok to spending 10 minutes in the morning to learn a new language on a free site like DuoLingo. Invest in yourself, your growth and your passions. You won’t regret it.

kale salad
ivandzyuba/Getty Images

8. Ditch: Doing ‘It’ Just Because You Should

We live in an era of ultimate wellness—from boutique workout classes and retreats to plant-based recipes and stoicism podcasts at our fingertips. Life well-lived is everywhere on social media and with our admired icons (read: influencers) paving the way for matcha-infused morning routines and blissful beach weekends in SoCal, it’s easy to find ourselves doing all the things…but not necessarily reaping the benefits. Take a moment this year to reflect on your positive habits (the ones you’re proud to post on Instagram stories) and ask yourself the question: Is this really serving me? You’ll be surprised how good it feels to ditch kale for a different veg or put down the self-help book in favor of some juicy fiction. Now that’s what we call practicing self-care.