If I have a goal for 2016, it would be self-care. It’s not as if I’m not good to myself. Oh, I’m plenty good. I let myself watch a lot of television, eat a lot of good food, drink wine, sleep a decent amount… I’m not too hard on myself and I indulge once in a while. But I think a huge part of self-care is looking long-term – when you do that, loving yourself isn’t about indulging but about abstinence.
Have you ever really wanted to eat that carbonara, that choc lava cake, that packet of chips, KFC chicken, and in that brief moment – that immediate minute you get what you crave for – it’s crazy good. But then soon after, you feel sick and you regret having chosen the thing that’s not only bad for you physically, but you realise you don’t actually want/like that much beyond that moment.
I’ve been having a lot of those moments recently. The trajectory from the whole ‘life is short, heck it’ to ‘man, I really should not have done that thing.’ And so my goal for 2016 is self-care.
To take care of my body. Not to feed it junk and use it well. Exercise more. Drink more water. Eat more fruits. Sleep at regular timings. Be good to my health.
To take care of my mind. Same, not to feed it junk and use it well. Read regularly (see: reading challenge 2015 that I definitely did not finish and am now renaming it reading challenge 2015-2016). Learn new things actively and all the time. And not allow work and its (mostly) unnecessary stress take over.
To be responsible and accountable for my behaviour. Do my chores and do them immediately. Be the best person I can be to the people around me all the time, and not just when I need to be.
As I read somewhere recently, a huge part of self-care is taking responsibility – for who you are, what you need to do for others and yourself, and just life and adulting in general. Are you paying for bills? Are you buying your groceries right? Are you cleaning regularly? Do one good thing just once, and it will follow. It will all follow.
And last but not least, be harder on myself in the important ways, and easier on myself in the less important ways. Didn’t do exactly what your boss wished? It’s fine. Forgot to do this urgent thing for your client? It’s fine. There will be mistakes at work, and holding yourself up to an impossible standard of perfection is just unhealthy and unnecessary. Yes, having high standards and priding yourself on them could be an important part of who you are. But ultimately at the end of the day we gotta learn to let go. Especially of work-related things.
But be harder on myself by not giving myself excuses or simply giving in to what feels good. Didn’t run this week again? Not fine when it’s a pattern of behaviour. Eating that bag of chips while watching television? Not great for you.
I guess at the end of the day it’s about having your priorities right. And self-care ranks one of the highest on our resolutions list.