2017 is here. Are you ready? Have you decided on your New Year’s resolution yet? No? That’s ok. Neither have millions of others, besides, who do you know that sticks to them anyway? If I had $1 for every broken resolution I’ve made, I’d have retired by now.
Do you at least have a 2017 wish list or bucket list? The best thing about a bucket list is that you can continue to add to it anytime you wish. My wish list is simple…it starts with health and happiness for myself and my loved ones. This got me thinking, what is happiness? For everyone it is different and personal. So this is, I think, a universal list of wishes:
- Food on our tables
- A roof over our heads
- Drink more water
- Eat more raw foods
- Get more sleep
- Spend quality time with your family
- Spend quality alone time with yourself
- Laugh more
- Hug lots
- Treating others as we wish to be treated
It’s a very simple list, but I know that the majority of people reading this will struggle to fulfil it. It’s called self care. People have differing views on self care. Some understand the importance of it, others think it’s about being selfish and indulgent. I don’t blame them, when it was first mentioned to me I didn’t have a clue what it really meant. To be honest I thought it was all about washing, brushing my teeth, eating, sleeping that sort of self care. Once I was told what it really was and what I should do to achieve it, I thought it was selfishness.
“I can hardly wait for tomorrow, it means a new life for me each and every day.” – Stanley Kunitz
Once I actually got a grasp on it and started to apply it to my life, I started to wonder how I got through before. To start with you do need to think a little selfish but without acting it. It really is all about ME. What do I need to do to live life healthier and happier? To be able to give the best of myself to others without losing or disrespecting myself in the meantime.
Here are a few ways you can practice self care this year:
1. Are you a YES person?
Learn not to automatically say yes to requests, actually take the time to think about it first. If you are saying no deep down, be honest and say no upfront. At the end of the day, we are all expendable. When your life is coming to an end, nobody is going to say ‘she was a great girl , she never said no to anyone. The world will not end if you say no to something or someone. If you are a ‘yes’ person, this will be your hardest lesson to learn.
2. Learn to like your own company
You also need to learn to like your own company, really get to know yourself. What makes you happy, sad, excited? What really makes your blood run? These first two steps go hand in hand. Accomplish them and you are already halfway to practicing self care correctly.
Declutter, yes you heard me. A clear desk, cupboard, wardrobe, etc. helps clear the mind. Last year I moved house, now I wasn’t a hoarder, but a collector. I can’t begin to tell you how much I recycled to charity or tossed to the garbage but it was freeing. Try it! Start off simple. Pick one room in the house and go through all areas of storage. Not only will you feel good for doing it, if you can donate a lot of what you’re clearing, then you will feel even better for helping others.
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” – Joshua Becker
4. Revisit something you are good at
It may be a hobby that you haven’t pursued for years. Maybe you wrote poetry when you were a teenager, or you can draw, knit, paint. Whatever it was, find the time to do it again. You will be amazed what a stress buster it can be.
5. Remember to take a lunch break
The easiest thing to do is take your lunch break. We are all guilty of eating at our desks or on the run. Stop, grab your lunch, and eat it away from your workspace. Take a walk around the block once you’ve eaten. Take the time to step away for some instant ‘me’ time. Once again, no one pays you extra to work through your lunch hour.
6. Put yourself first from time to time
Finally, light that candle, buy your favourite bottle of wine and enjoy. It is never too late and you are never too old to start putting you first in everything you do. Trust me, once you do, you’ll thank me. The interesting part is, you will come through as a more content, relaxed and happier person.