Last year, inspired by a book about happiness, I tried to increase the happiness in my home. And it worked! Sort of. For the first half of the year.
The problem was that life kept happening. In the end, 2018 was for me a year that coaches refer to as a “rebuilding year.” I laid a lot of career foundation. I gathered ideas for how to improve my relationship with my kids, especially my 8yo. I plotted out steps to be closer to our extended family. I tried to reveal the root causes of my alcohol consumption (spoiler alert: stress). And I determined that disorganization in my house causes me considerable anxiety, and so made a list of the most difficult spaces to tackle.
But there was a lot going on last year, both at home and in the world, and I feel as though I absorbed a lot of it, and this brought me down. Around September, the mental weight turned into physical weight, but I had lost the will to care. Life became more of a day-to-day, get ‘er done type approach, which does not bring out the best in me.
Enter Christmas vacation, which this year was thankfully not spent with the flu, but rather with my little family, playing and eating and sleeping and just generally enjoying our bubble of four. I desperately needed this reconnection and one week was almost enough to wash away the garbage of the last 51. It was also what inspired this year’s resolution: genuine self-care.
I spend a lot of time reminding other people that self-care is important, to look out for number one. I remind them to carve out time for themselves, however small. I encourage other people to be holistic in their approach to health, remembering that we are relative creatures who need good mental and emotional connections, as well as a healthy diet and regular movement. Supporting others in their self-care is so easy.
Time to practice what I preach. This means cooking for enjoyment, not just to function. It means knitting often. It means sleeping. It means reading more, and being on social media less. It means going outside whenever I feel sad. It means seeing friends more, since so much of my mental well-being comes from regular social interaction. It means tackling those spaces that bring me down. It means letting go. And it means checking in with myself regularly, not once a year.
Let’s see what happens!