If you want 2019 to be your best year yet, it’s time to focus on yourself and make the changes needed to do just that. Everyone talks about self-care thinking it is just going for a facial or massage once a month. It is much more than that. Self-care is defined as any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. First and foremost, self-care is self-love. It involves becoming your own best friend as well as making some real lifestyle changes to make that happen.
Learning to trust your instincts is a major component of self-care. It if feels wrong, don’t do it. Don’t be afraid to say yes or no and listen to your inner voice. Be brave and do things that challenge you. Say exactly what you mean, and never speak badly about yourself. You need to be your own cheering squad.
Letting go of what you can’t control is one of the most difficult things to do for many people. We want to oversee and micromanage everything in our lives. However, we can’t make people like us or do what we say or want. We have to admit this and move forward with the things we can control. Stay away from other people’s drama and negativity. Remember the phrase, “Not my circus; not my monkeys.” Go ahead and unfriend negative people on social media. Worry about your own life and let others deal with theirs. Of course you should be supportive, but don’t try to fix other people’s problems or other people.
While we like to do and say things that will make people feel good, we can’t spend our lives trying to make others happy. We must make ourselves happy. Smile and laugh more. Say exactly what you mean, but don’t gossip and be cruel. Show more gratitude to the people we love in our lives. Be excited about life.
If you want to have an amazing year, you can’t sit on the couch and wait for it. You have to make it happen. Go to bed early and wake up early to greet the new day. Unclutter your home and your life. Be fierce and do things that challenge you. Set goals for your self-care; not just for your career. If you want to get healthier, plan realistic changes in your diet and exercise that will not stress you out and make you miserable. If joining a gym is not for you, find something active that you enjoy like walking, swimming, cycling, bowling or skiing. The point is to make it something that is good for both your health and your soul. It is an active choice that you must plan, rather than something that just happens. By adding these activities to your calendar and announcing your plans to others, it will increase your commitment to practicing your self-care.
Self-care is the key to living a balanced life. It’s not a selfish act. As the saying goes, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to care for our loved ones. For 2019, create a “no” list with things you know you don’t like and you no longer want to do. Examples might include not attending gatherings you don’t like, not answering your phone during family times and not checking emails at night. Then set up a 15-day self-care routine that includes one pleasurable or relaxing activity every day and stick with it. This could be going to the movies, taking a bath, or calling a good friend for a chat. Compare how you felt before and after the 15 days. And remember, as with everything, self-care takes practice. Tell others that your motto for 2019 is, “Sorry, but I am taking care of myself!”