Our December writing prompt is “My self-care resolution…”
Around this time last year, I shared some of my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions and the ways in which I believe we can make them work for us and add positive value to our lives. Although so much messaging around resolutions is focused on weight-loss and manipulating our bodies, it doesn’t need to be. And change starts with us.
Recently, I was contacted by a small local magazine asking to include an Instagram photo of mine in an upcoming issue. They also asked if I would provide a caption related to my New Year’s Resolution to accompany the image. When I read it, I definitely rolled my eyes and chuckled a little bit, thinking that if they were looking for someone to share their goals of getting thinner and ‘healthier’ in the new year, they had the wrong person. But after a moment, I realized two things; first, I wasn’t giving them a chance and second, I could use this as an opportunity. Because diet culture is so ingrained in all of us, my mind immediately went to the kind of resolution I despise as what they were looking for, but I don’t know that they were, and hopefully I was way off base. Second, even if that was what they were looking for, I could give them something else. So thats what I did. I gave them (a very condensed version of) my self-care resolution.
My self-care resolution
Right now, self-care is definitely an overused buzzword. But buzzwords become such for a reason, and self-care is truly so important. We live in a world, especially here in the U.S., that puts tremendous value on hard work and financial success. These aren’t necessarily bad things in and of themselves, but striving for success can result in some pretty unhealthy behaviors. As an overworked and underpaid public school teacher, I know firsthand how workplace stress deteriorates both physical and mental health and quickly leads to burnout, which is what I hope to improve upon with my 2019 self-care resolution.
Self-care looks different for different people and there’s no wrong or right way to practice it, but I personally believe it needs to be an intentional act aimed at reducing one’s stress and improving physical and mental health.
These are a few ways I intend to practice self-care in 2019
- Sleep more. I’m pretty good about early bedtimes and prioritizing rest, but I think sleep is the easiest and most important way to care for myself, so it needs to be on this list.
- Write more. With a pen, not a keyboard, and just for me.
- Run with headphones less. I don’t plan on ditching the music and podcasts entirely, but from time to time, I’d like to unplug and connect more deeply with my run.
- Spend less time on social media. The new iPhone update with screen time monitoring makes this really easy to measure.
- Put more money into savings.
- Write a “Daily Gratitude List” before bed each night and write at least one thing I like about myself along with it.
- Write a handwritten letter to a friend at least once per month.
These are some of the simple and manageable things I’m hoping to do more of in 2019 to decrease my stress and improve my happiness. There are some other big ideas and goals I have in mind, but those things have a lot more factors playing into them and may not be entirely in my control. As I embark on another year, I want to know I’m taking time to do little things that I can control each day to make my life better. After a while, the little things become the big thing.
What’s your 2019 self-care resolution? What do you do to practice self-care that has been effective in the past?
Let us know by sending your response to the December Lane 9 Project prompt our way!