Of the many lessons that came from 2020, the necessity of self-care is one of the most important – and often most underrated.In today’s hectic world, self-care is a vital way to maintain your physical, mental, emotional wellbeing. Setting time aside for practical self-care habits can make you healthier, more fulfilled and ultimately more productive in the long run.With this in mind, here are three simple self-care ideas to put at the top of your priority list in 2021.1. Self Care by Starting Your Day RightThe way you begin your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. A structured and intentional morning routine (as opposed to one that is rushed and hectic), can really set you up for success and give you the space and energy to achieve your goals. This doesn’t have to mean getting up extra early to go for a run and getting a jumpstart on work – after all, sleep is vital too. Instead, it’s about reflecting on your current routine and looking for areas where you can make small adjustments to start your morning on a more positive note.Perhaps you will choose to prep your lunches ahead of time or wake up 15 minutes early to write in a journal. Try to do something that you can look forward to each morning, such as going on a leisurely walk, enjoying a cup of coffee or spending time with your kids. You could even set aside a bit of time to work on your side hustle, meaning you can then tackle the rest of the day knowing you are one step closer to achieving your goals.Routines (whatever they may look like) help to alleviate stress and anxiety, allowing you to make more time for the things that matter.2. Read More and Learn MoreAccording to research from the University of Sussex, reading for just six minutes can reduce your stress by 68%. For many people, reading (whether it takes the form of physical books, eBooks audiobooks or podcasts) is a form of self-care, allowing them to encounter new subjects and perspectives, understand the experiences of others, pass the time on a commute or wind down at the end of the day.Not only that, but reading also gives you the opportunity to learn. Whether it’s a new programming language, techniques for handling conflict in a team or strategies for mindfulness, continuous learning is an important aspect of personal and professional growth.Commit to more reading and learning this year – you will be well rewarded for your investment.3. Focus on Being Positive and IntentionalIn many ways, where we choose to focus our energy shapes our reality, be it positive or negative. Throughout our lives, but especially at work, it’s important to be intentional about paying attention the positive things, rather than being immersed in the negative ones. Perhaps your manager has given you an especially challenging project. What could you learn from it and how might the experience enhance your career?At the same time, you also need to be intentional about your boundaries and know when to say “no.” For example, if someone on your team asks you for help with a task when you’re already feeling overloaded or a friend invites you to an event when you really need an early night, it’s likely to be in your best interests to politely decline.It’s natural to want to please your work colleagues and social circle, but looking after your own needs and turning down requests when you need to is key for ensuring you can continue giving your best to those around you. Sometimes, saying “no,” is the best form of self-care there is.SummaryHowever you choose to prioritise your wellbeing this year, focusing on a lifestyle change (as opposed to a resolution to check off), can help you make lasting improvements in your life. Remember, self-care isn’t one-size-fits-all, so regardless of if you try these ideas or implement some of your own, taking small steps can really turn the tides this year.Are you looking to make a career change in 2021? Speak to our team of IT recruitment specialists in Auckland and Christchurch today to discuss your next step.