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I have never been big on making new year’s resolutions, mostly because they never seem to actually happen when I do. But I have decided to make one this year, not for self improvement, but to take better care of myself. Over the past few weeks I’ve realized that this year I’ve done a really poor job of that this year. And I’ve definitely felt the effects of it, although I wasn’t really aware what the problem was at the time.
Self care is fundamentally meeting your needs, although not in the way that we traditional think, which is our basic physiological needs like food, water, sleep etc. As humans we have a lot of needs that go beyond just basic survival. You can be alive and not really living fully. This year I want to improve how I am taking care of my body, my mind, and my emotional health, which I think will go a long way towards improving my depression and anxiety, along with my overall happiness and contentment.
Here is my plan for prioritizing self care in 2017, which I will update you all on during the year:
Take Care of My Body
Physicals– Are you one of those people that only goes to the doctor when you can’t kick the flu or have a broken bone? Yeah, me to. This year I want to make sure that I take advantage the preventative health coverage we are paying for with our health insurance to keep my physical health a priority.
Return to Yoga practice-When I was going regularly to Yoga classes I was in a lot better shape and also felt the mental health benefits of being active on a consistent basis. Yoga is actually something I enjoy doing, unlike many other forms of exercise, and has always been beneficial for my depression and anxiety because of it’s focus on breathing and meditation.
Go the extra mile– I’d like to change my perspective on what is and isn’t “necessary” to take care of myself. I have gotten a couple pedicures this year, but I have always felt guilty for spending the money. I was going to the chiropractor, but then stopped when it didn’t seem to be helping enough to justify the cost. Something that improves my overall health is worth spending the money on. Something that improves how I feel about my body through a little pampering, even as simple as picking up a new nail polish or splurging on the nice body wash, is worth it too.
Take Care of My Mind
Embrace My Hobbies– After spending our first year as a married couple, I’ve let some of my personal hobbies fall to the wayside in favor of spending lots of time with my husband. There’s nothing wrong with spending quality time together, but I also want us to have the opportunity to explore our individual interests as well. I love crafting, so for Christmas I asked for some supplies that I was lacking such as paints and a glue gun. I also am looking into getting a sewing machine. Crafting and the arts are a perfect way for me to de-stress and express myself creatively.
Intentional Reading– I have always loved reading, but recently I have gotten into the habit of just picking up a book in Barnes and Noble every once in a while instead of reading things that genuinely interest me. Reading has always been relaxing to me and a way to explore my curiosity and learn more about the topics that interest me. I would like to do a reading challenge, probably one of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s ones for 2017. Check out the book that I read this week: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.
Take a college course– One subject that I would have liked to take more courses in undergrad is psychology, so this spring I’m going to “go back to school” and take one. This will offer an opportunity for me to learn more about a subject that fascinates me.
Take Care of My Emotions
Continue to embrace imperfection– We are often our own worst enemies. Negative self talk and self criticism is something that I still struggle with. My low opinions of myself can do major damage to my self esteem and as a result my overall health. I would like to explore ways to consistently build myself up instead of beating myself up.
Get Support– It can often be difficult to ask for help. As an introvert, I often find it hard to share personal things with others or admit when I am struggling. This last year I have leaned rather heavily on my husband for support. It’s great that we have that kind of relationship, but he can’t be everyone and everything to me. He isn’t a trained therapist, a doctor, or a girl friend. He can’t serve in those roles for me or relate to everything that I am struggling with. So I want to be more intentional in getting support and sharing with friends and professionals other then my husband.
Let go of guilt– Often one of the biggest things keeping us from taking care of ourselves is guilt. We may feel that it is selfish to take time for ourselves or spend money to achieve that self care. We may even sometimes feel that we don’t deserve it. This unhealthy thinking can lead me to deprive myself of the very things I need to be my best. So in 2017 I also want to work towards letting go of guilt.
What is one resolution you can make for self care in 2017?