For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

As the great Janet Jackson angrily sings to her slacker boyfriend while perfectly dressed in gold lamé, “What have you done for me lately?” This sassy song reminds us that the only person who won’t let you down in 2018 is you, and that’s why self-care is of the utmost importance. If you’re mentally prepared to take on the self-care challenge in 2018, fantastic! But are you equipped to actually follow through? Here’s what you need to master the self-care challenge.

1. Meditate. A mindful way to bring self-care into your 2018 routine is meditation. You can start by meditating in bed before going to sleep or for a few minutes after waking up, but if you’re facing daily stress, maybe it’s time to set up a place in your home to meditate. We recommend starting with a Bloom Meditation Pillow ($40, Amazon), VicTsing Humidifier ($35, Amazon), and non-digital timers like this sweet set of 30 and five-minute OrgaNice Hourglass sand Timers ($30, Amazon).

2. Do a Digital Detox. Making the resolution to unplug is exciting, but it’s also logistically difficult. Think about it: You’ve relied on your phone to get from place to place, arrive on time, and for entertainment while in transit. So, whether you’re unplugging every other day or for weeks at a time, you’ll definitely want a reliable Peakeep Alarm Clock ($11, Amazon), Timex Cavatina Leather Watch ($44, Amazon), a Minimalism Art Classic Notebook ($11, Amazon) for writing down phone numbers, directions and addresses, a Fujifilm camera ($71, Amazon) to capture special moments, and a subscription to The New Yorker ($6 for 12 weeks) to pass the time.

3. Cook a healthy meal. After surviving a season of gluttony, healthy eating is almost welcomed the minute the clock strikes 12 and the weeks of drinking and desserts finally come to an end. Inspire a season of mindful eating by picking up a healthy cookbook. If saving money on groceries is part of your new health food kick, try Naturally Nourished Cookbook ($21, Amazon). This cookbook implements basic recipes for beginning to intermediate cooks by using affordable farmers’ market ingredients. Make sure to check out the golden curry coconut dal, roasted sesame avocado, and baked feta. We also recommend The Love and Lemons Cookbook ($25, Amazon); it’s focused on using what you already have in your pantry to whip up something unique.

4. Start a gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal allows room for positivity to wash over you in the new year. If Oprah can maintain her busy lifestyle and dedicate time to write in her gratitude journal every day for over a decade, so can you. Oprah says Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel ($14, Amazon) is a must-read book for overcoming self-doubt. If you’re looking for more daily engagement structure in a gratitude journal, try Amazon best-seller Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude ($7, Amazon).

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5. Do it yourself. How many crafty Etsy gifts did you give last year? How much money did you spend on avocado toast instead of making it at home? How many store-bought birthday cards did you mail instead of creating original cards? There’s no shame in paying for convenience, but if you’re inspired to rely on yourself a little more in 2018, take a class. Learn to embroider ($29, Brit + Co) and spend an hour a week stitching. Or, take a watercolor painting course ($29, Brit + Co) and apply those skills to make original birthday cards. Do it yourself and make it yourself, or at least try to.

6. Read a book for fun. Has all of your recent reading been strictly academic? Or maybe you’ve switched from reading to listening to podcasts. This year, dedicate some weekends to curling up with a book that you actually enjoy reading. When was the last time you laughed out loud while reading a book or cried as hard as you did the first time you read Where the Red Fern Grows ($8, Amazon)? Reread a book from your childhood, or pick up one of the best books of 2017 according to Amazon.

7. Discover new music: After digging deep into the artists featured on NPR’s best albums of 2017, we realized we missed a lot of new music. If you want to stay on top of freshly released tunes in 2018, try subscribing to a music service. Music is a tremendous self-healing tool, so we love the way Spotify makes it so easy for listeners to stumble upon music organized by mood. Or, if you’re an Amazon Music member, your membership includes the ability to stream music from your Alexa devices using Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited. Just say, “Alexa, play ambient music” when you’re ready to zone out. Or, if you’re more old-school, try subscribing to this Vinyl Record Subscription ($53/month) and receive three new records to spin every month.

What are your self-care challenges this year? For resolution inspo, check us out on Pinterest!

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