Resolution is the word most often spoken as we move into a new year. But it's also a word that elicits a lot of negativity in people. Resolutions broken, unrealistic resolutions made, feelings of failure for past resolutions not met. So how can we approach a new year with a fresh sense of renewal minus the burden of traditional resolutions? The aim of resolutions is usually to better ourselves, but it’s so often burdened with unrealistic expectations. Goals that sometimes make us feel worse about ourselves than better. Maybe a better way to approach it is with the idea of self care rather than resolution. Ways to better ourselves that aren’t burdened with unrealistic expectations, but instead embrace all the wonderful things that already exist in us.
Parenthood is challenging at all levels, from newborn to teenager and everything in between. If we’re lucky we get an easy year here or there, but overall it’s a very challenging venture. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in the business and passion of parenting, becoming “just mom” or “just dad” and losing the individual we were before we had children. Reminding ourselves of our individuality is one of the tenets of self care. Embracing the person within, and reminding ourselves that person is important and deserves care.
There are so many ways to practice self care, and it can look very different from person to person. For some, it’s an afternoon at the salon getting a pedicure, for another it’s a hike in the woods, for others its yoga or meditation. Self care isn’t always easy. For some people struggling with anxiety it means working to keep a clean house so the mess doesn’t overwhelm them. Often it’s hard to step away and put ourselves first. As parents we’re so programmed to put others first. But you can’t fill other’s cups when your own is empty. So as we move into 2017, remember to fill your own cup and practice self care, whatever that looks like for you.