Rather than making goals for the new year, I have instead decided to write in my journal some intentions of what I would like to work towards by the end of 2017. This way, instead of setting specific milestones or achievements, I am working towards changing the fundamentals of how I handle certain aspects of my life. This is in line with a sort of subtitle to my word of the year (brave) which is essentially that 2017 is going to be a year of rebuilding. I am going to be putting pieces of myself together that have been fractured or neglected for years, and so since this is more of a metamorphosis than a sort of ladder of achievements, if you will, I am focusing on what the things are that I am looking to work on within myself.
The underlying theme to these intentions is self-care. Self-care is the foundation of any change that I could hope to make. Without taking care of myself properly, I don’t stand a chance at putting real effort towards improvement. I used to really believe that I was doing self-care properly, because I started apologizing less for doing things like taking a bath or meeting a friend for coffee, but I realized that I was still not truly focusing during those activities. While taking a bath, I was watching TV and counting down the minutes until I could help with the kids. While meeting a friend for coffee I was checking my phone to see if Tim needed me for anything (he usually did not). So, I was going through the motions but I wasn’t truly present. This is the spark that will transform my self-care. Being present.
Here are a few things I’m doing to be present and truly care for myself, mind, body, and soul:
- Meditate-I’ve been using the Headspace app for a week now and I’m already noticing how much of a difference it’s making in helping me learn what being present feels like.
- Write-Aside from blogging more, I am free-form writing more lately and it’s been so cathartic. It’s also exercising a muscle that I haven’t used in years and that feels amazing.
- Read-I have a stack about the size of my 4-year-old of books that I want to read right now, including our book club selection for January!
- Talk to myself like I would a friend-I need to stop talking to myself in such a negative way. It’s doing nothing for me. And because this is a very difficult and long process to switch to positive self-talk, I am basically trying the fake it till you make it strategy. Guess what? So far it’s working 🙂
- Take the emotion out of places it doesn’t belong-Things like money issues, being late, picking a show to watch, etc, do not need to have an emtional component, but I somehow find a way. It’s part of my anxiety, but something that makes life much harder for me. So I’m working to try and remove the emotional ties to aspects of my life that do not require that much emotional energy from me.
- Only consuming things that make me happy-This includes food, tv, books, blogs, articles, social media platforms, people, exercise, music, basically anything. The exception would be compromising to make someone else happy when I’m not actually against the thing but it’s just not my #1 choice, such as picking a movie to watch with my husband. Another way to phrase this would be taking the “should” out of things. I “shouldn’t” eat this salad, but do I want to because I think it looks tasty and I’ll feel good afterwards? And if I really don’t want to eat it, I’m not going to. This is another issue I’m working on that will take time, turning my “shoulds” into “coulds”.
This is a brief overview of some of the things I’m working towards, though each category might warrant its own post so stay tuned 😉
Thanks for reading, and take care of yourselves.