If 2020, and 2021 so far, have taught us anything, it is that nothing is certain and everything could change in a moment. Now, more than ever, it is important that we focus on doing things that make us feel good. Self-care is so important, for ourselves and our communities.
Whether you call them resolutions, goals, or intentions, and whether or not you choose to make some this year, keeping up with your mental, physical, and emotional health is paramount. The following suggestions can be seen as things you may resolve to do in and of themselves, but they are definitely action steps that could lead to accomplishing the bigger goals you may have already set for yourself.
All that said, here are some ideas to consider incorporating in your routines to make sure you’re taking care of your mental, physical, and emotional health this year:
1. First and foremost, continue protecting yourself and others by wearing a mask and staying home when possible. New year, same pandemic.
2. Make a master list of all your favorite self-care activities (from painting your nails to dialing down your screen time, calling your mom more often or limiting your availability to other people, etc.) to have at the ready. Keep this in a place that you may refer to frequently, like your planner or journal.
3. Schedule your self-care. Some self-care, like removing the option for people to reply to your social media stories, for example, is built into your day. For all the rest that is not, be intentional with making time for it. Don’t wait to see how much time you have left at the end of the day or week to do things that recharge you.
4. For people with boobs and a uterus: Treat yourself to an appointment with your gyno for a check up. Keeping up with our annuals is so important! Consider making it extra special by scheduling a pap smear or mammogram on Valentine’s (safely, of course).
5. Brainspill in your journal when you need to. Whenever something is bothering me, or I need to work through a complex project, I like to sit down and just “spill” it all over the page. Almost always, things are more clarified afterward, and most times, I come up with an action plan and next steps. At the very least, I feel refreshed and lighter after a journal session.
6. Read whatever you want, whenever you want. If you’re reading this, you are most likely an avid reader, so you might understand the pressure we sometimes put on ourselves to read certain books for whatever insignificant reason. If something doesn’t suit you, don’t be afraid to DNF and jump into something else you’re more excited for.
7. Let go of the idea of indulging in “guilty pleasures.” You like what you like, and you shouldn’t feel any guilt about it!
8. Honor your reality. When making goals/resolutions/intentions this year, be realistic about where you are and where you’d like to be. Remember to give yourself grace at all times.
9. Remember the basics: get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, move your body. While it can be a challenge to balance all three when we’re extra busy, it makes all the difference when we keep up with our basic needs.
10. Keep in touch with your support system, in whatever way that looks like for you right now. Facetime your friends, call a loved one, remember your Zoom calls with your therapist. Sustaining our valued relationships is key.