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Updated on Sep 2, 2020. Posted on Dec 20, 2016

13 Ways To Actually Feel Better In 2017

Because #bodygoals aren't the only goals.

1. Read more.

Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier Follow / Via Flickr: jepoirrier

Books, short stories, longform journalism, whatever floats your boat. Research shows people who read literary fiction are more empathetic, genre fiction is worth it just for the enjoyment, and nonfiction is crucial for understanding the world around you.

2. Keep in touch.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Whether it's your dad or an old friend, it's easy when you're busy to fall out of touch with people who are important to you. The solution? Add a recurring weekly event to your calendar (or an alarm on your phone — whatever works) that reminds you to call someone you love.

3. Save realistically.

carvalho / Via Flickr: gcarvalho

Most of us can't afford to put away hundreds of dollars a week, but even scheduling a daily $5 withdrawal from checking to savings will leave you with an extra $1,825 by the time 2018 rolls around. Alternatively, you can use an app like Digit for small savings that really add up.

4. And give back when you can.

Parker Knight / Via Flickr: rocketboom

If you can donate money, check out reliable organizations through Charity Watch. If you're richer in time, VolunteerMatch can help you find a place to provide hands-on help.

5. But also, learn when to say no.


Trying to be all things to all people can be so draining, you stop taking care of yourself. Check out this survey to see how well you're doing in the self-care department, and consider how you can take a little more "me" time.

6. Clean and declutter regularly.

Jess Pac / Via Flickr: 7174132@N05

Do you ever want to spent a whole weekend cleaning again? Do a five-minute cleanup every day, and you won't have to sacrifice your Saturday again.

7. Cook.

Tasty / Via Facebook: pg

It can be so tempting to order Seamless after a long day, but aside from getting expensive as hell, ordering out all the time robs you of an easy opportunity to do something tactile and creative. So if you have the time, try Yummly to collect your favorite recipes from across the web and engage in some stovetop therapy.

8. Express yourself on the daily.

Rita Hutcheson Cobbs / Via Flickr: ritahcobbs

Maybe cooking is the way for you — but if it's not, you'd do well to banish that weirdness you feel around doodling or writing as an adult, and get back in touch with the freedom you felt doing those things as a child. The goal isn't to end up with a masterpiece; it's to engage your brain in a satisfying way that can help ease the stress of the day.

9. Practice vulnerability and humility.


It can feel like "I don't know" and "I was wrong" are the scariest phrases in the English language. But actually, it's amazing how freeing it feels to put them into practice. Give it a try — what's the worst that could happen?

10. Ask questions, even if you think they're stupid.

Véronique Debord-Lazaro / Via Flickr: debord

By the same token, it turns out learning is a lot more satisfying than only sticking to what you know. Preface your question with something self-effacing if you must, but don't let your fear of sounding silly prevent you from gaining all the knowledge possible.

11. Focus on experiences, not possessions.


Research shows experiences make us happier than items. So when you're spending next year, do it on a vacation or day trip instead of another pair of shoes.

12. Spend more time outside.

Kris Arnold / Via Flickr: wka

Back away from your computer, phone, or tablet and spend some time enjoying the great outdoors. You don't have to travel far; even a visit to your neighborhood park can reap surprising benefits.

13. Get mental health help.


Staying on top of your mental health is just as important as taking care of yourself physically. Don't let cost dissuade you — there are a number of free and affordable resources to help yourself feel better.

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