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Resolutions Don't Have To Be Bull

Estimated Read Time:
3 min

21 simple ways to take care of yourself in 2021.

Making resolutions works for some people, and it’s a good excuse to make empty promises and ultimately feel like a failure for others.

According to media reports, most people abandon their resolutions by February or earlier. We had many challenges in 2020, and 2021 is off to a rocky start. Let's just say that we could probably use some big wins right now (and maybe a tall glass of wine). So, this year, instead of abandoning those vague and unattainable resolutions, let’s integrate what we need and want into realistic and achievable steps. Resolutions don't have to be bull, they can be incredi-bull.

As you evaluate your life and create a realistic plan for 2021, it's also a good time to check in with yourself. How are you? We think you're pretty awesome, and we want you to be the best version of yourself. What steps can you take to improve your mind, body, and spirit? Let's start this year with some self-care.

Here are 21 simple ways to take care of yourself in 2021.

1. Yoga & Meditation

Need a pick me up? Try practicing yoga or meditating for ten to fifteen minutes a day. Practicing yoga is known to improve flexibility, strength, and mood, while meditation helps relieve stress, anxiety, and so much more.

Durham has numerous yogis and meditation instructors offering both virtual and outdoor classes.

2. The Power of Plants

If you’re ready to stop and smell the roses, you are in the right place! Durham has numerous garden and flower shops, and taking care of plants is therapeutic and good for the soul.

Take a trip to The Zen Succulent, Pine State Flowers, Cultivate Garden + Harvest, Gunters Greenhouse, Tierra Sol Studio, or the Durham Garden Center and get yourself some plants this year. Most of these shops have helpful tips for all you plant killers.

3. Bring out Your Inner Writer

Writing is a great outlet. Grab a journal from Parker & Otis or Chet Miller to jot down your thoughts and express yourself. No, you don't have to write a whole book, and you can always start with a few things you are thankful for. (10 points if Discover Durham makes your list.)

4. Bubble Bath, Spa & Massage

Decompress and wash off 2020 with a nice bubble bath filled with locally-made Fillaree body wash, while enjoying the scents of a hand-made candle from Nose Candy Candle or Bright Black Candles.

Check out the list of online health and wellness classes available from Utopia Spa and Global Wellness, Wellville Massage and Healing Arts, Emma Lani Massage Therapy, and Just the Right Touch.

5. Explore the Great Outdoors

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in your favorite place outdoors surrounded by mother nature. So calming right? If a short visualization of nature brings so much peace, imagine what actually going to your favorite outdoor spot can do for you in these difficult times.

We have numerous parks, trails, and bodies of water waiting for you to explore! The Eno River State Park and Little River Regional Park & Natural Area feature beautiful trails along winding rivers and hills, and half of the American Tobacco Trail runs through Durham.

6. Find a Nook & Read a Book

Grab a book from Letters Bookshop, The Regulator Bookshop, or Books Do Furnish a Room and travel to another city, country, or realm for a couple of hours. Don't worry, you'll be back in time for dinner.

7. Music Heals the Soul

Want some chill vibes to help you chill out on these chilly days? Stream the new lofi album, Durhamfi, inspired by the Bull City, and created in collaboration with Blackspace.

8. Enjoy your Favorite Meal

It's okay to treat yo'self and splurge on your favorite meal every once in awhile...especially when you are surrounded by innovative restaurants, skilled chefs, and delicious flavors. Here is a list of local restaurants currently open detailing pick up, take out, and dine in options!

9. Nap Time

Cranky and grumpy? Maybe you need a little nap! The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults. If you're not getting enough sleep, napping, or resting can offer various benefits like improved mood and performance. So, turn off that phone, take a break, and get some sleep.

10. Arts and Crafts

We are bombarded with negative news daily, and sometimes we need a break. Crafting is a good way to take a break from the chaos and do something fun.

Get your craft on at Crafts & Drafts NC or sign up for a virtual sewing and knitting class with Freeman's Creative.

11. Animals are Friends

According to Cancer.Net, "studies have shown that interacting with animals (even fish!) helps lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and decrease depression." (The crazy cat lady is on to something.)

Spend some time with your pets, or just look at the cute lemurs from the Duke Lemur Center. (While the Duke Lemur Center remains closed to visitors due to COVID-19, there are many ways to learn about, support, and share your love for lemurs virtually.)

12. Something Sweet

If it brings your tastebuds joy, it's worth it every so often. Treat yourself to dessert!

You can't go wrong with something sweet from Smallcakes Durham, Guglhupf Bakery, Madhatter Cafe & Bakeshop, Pincho Loco Ice cream, Early Bird Donuts, or Favor Desserts. You're welcome.

13. Coffee and other beverages...

We may be a little biased, but Durham has the best coffee, and alcoholic beverages out there! Take yourself on a date, sip on something yummy, unwind, and check-in with yourself.

Need some drink suggestions? We're thrilled that both Jetplane Coffee and Liturgy Beverage Company opened last year with new and delicious drink options. Honeygirl Meadery has delicious mead, and The Glass Jug Beer Lab, Hi-Wire Brewing, LouElla Wine Beer & Beverage, and Fullsteam Brewery all have great beer or wine options.

14. Turn on the Telly

It's okay to unplug for a bit and watch something that inspires you or makes you happy. May we suggest watching “Bull Durham” which was written and directed by Ron Shelton and filmed in Durham in 1988. ("Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains...")

15. Get Movin'

Let's put that expensive exercise equipment in the basement to good use. Need some motivation? Maybe it's time to call a friend and workout with them virtually or sign up for an online class at Myo Durham Fitness or Empower Dance Studio. You can always go for a run, or hike as well...just get moving!

16. Dinner for 1 or 2

Get dressed up and take yourself out on a date...okay, your partner can come too if you want. Need a list of restaurants with heated outdoor seating for a date night? We got you.

17. Podcast Much?

Sometimes it's refreshing to listen to a relaxing voice or hear a cool story! You can play a podcast at home, in your car, or while working out. Here are a few podcasts straight outta Durham:

18. Go on a Bike Ride

Bikes are great for fresh air, exercise, adventure, and social distancing. Fill up your water bottle, wear your helmet, and enjoy the scenery as you clock up that mileage. Looking for a good bike? Check out Bullseye Bicycle and Durham Cycles.

19. Staycation

A staycation is always a great option for taking some time off and getting away...without getting away. Durham has some great hotels and short-term rentals, so leave the messy house behind and go get refreshed and rejuvenated.

20. Phone a Friend/Therapist

A good refreshing conversation with someone you love may be just what you need today.

You probably already know that there are many benefits to therapy. If you need a therapist, Durham has plenty of amazing people that can listen to you, empower you, and help you manage trauma and stress!

21. Try Something New

What is something that you have been wanting to try? Set aside a weekly hour of YOU time and try it! Whether it's an online drum class or dance class at the Hayti Heritage Center, a kickboxing class, a cooking class with Chef Zweli, a cocktail class with Alley Twenty Six, a certification, or learning a new instrument, we really do hope you have your best year ever!