New Year {Improved} You- Realistic ways to make 2018 your best year

New year, new you!
I think that we all think and feel this way, even if we don’t admit it. Even those of us who don’t really make resolutions like to think that we have a fresh start. Some of us don’t like to make resolutions because we feel like we are setting ourselves up for failure.
What a lot of us fail to do is put ourselves very first.
When we really look at our lives, we only succeed if we are taking care of ourselves.
Mother, father, wife, husband, CEO, whatever your ‘labels’ are, you will not be a total success if you are falling apart or exhausted. We are expected to put our children first, then marriage, then everything else prioritized after. Some people are adamant that we need to put our marriage first in order to successfully parent our children and be positive role models. I believe that in the same line of thinking, we should put ourselves first.
This year I am challenging myself, and you if you’d like to join me, to be more selfish.
Sounds kind of dickish, doesn’t it?
But what I mean is I want to feel better about putting my needs, emotions and well-being first.
This isn’t to say that I am going to live my life being completely unconcerned with the feelings of those around me. This is to say that I am no longer going to sacrifice my own well-being because I am worried about taking care of other’s emotions.
I am setting boundaries.
I am going to say no, more.
I am going to say yes, to me.
My focuses are going to be directed towards my spiritual side, which I have disconnected with over the last few months, and I have really been missing it.
Self-care
Gratitude
Mindfulness
Self-accountability
They may sound like basic concepts but there is so much more to it than what meets the eye. Its about getting my ass up and putting my crystals out under the full moon, making myself meditate more, pull my cards every day. I need to stop booking clients on days I swear I’m not going to be working. I have to truly set the afternoon aside once a week to pull out my school work. Setting boundaries, but even more- sticking to them! I have let myself completely succumb to exhaustion, solely because I was so worried about what others would think if I set the boundaries that I need.
Its not ok to live your life on the brink of crumbling. We all feel the pressure from different things, but we all end up feeling it at some point or another. Some of us feel an immense pressure from work, parenting, family, school, the list is endless. Whatever your cause is, when you get to that breaking point you have to step back and do you. What is it you do in those times? Make a list of five things you do to bounce yourself back to life.
bringmebacktolife
This is what you need to refer to when you FIRST start feeling the exhaustion creeping in. The days of letting yourself get exhausted are over! It’s a good idea to try to include one or two easy things on your list so you don’t have to feel like it takes a huge effort to give yourself a little love, a little time for you. I don’t always have the time for girl days with Claire or to paint, but I can always find the time to smudge, and I always have everything I need on hand. It may not always be enough to completely bring me back to balance but its something, its me making an effort for me.
Smudging should be on everyone’s list. It makes such a huge difference and actually has a lot of medicinal benefits as well. If you can’t do the smoke, get a liquid smudge.

I have talked a lot about letting go and how important it is for your wellbeing. I want you to reflect back on the year (or more) and think about the things that have been holding you back. What weighs you down?

what wighs me down

These are things that are great to release with the full moon, and manifest the strength for during the new moon. I am going to be holding myself accountable with those cute graphics, weekly meetings with myself to check in with my emotions, my motivation and my balance, and how well I have done utilizing my outlets like reading, art and spiritual workings. I will also be journaling more! It is soooo helpful to get the day’s stress out on paper (or on your phone or computer) and out of your brain. I started, and hope to start again, brain dumping for three pages every morning. You just go, go, go for three pages about whatever comes to mind. I started this with The Artist’s Way set, which I highly suggest to all creatives. Since I already do most of my self-care on Sundays, well mainly just my deep skin care, I am going to try to take it one step further every Sunday by doing at LEAST a couple of these things.
Remember that expecting too much from yourself will lead to failure. Make the things you want to do simple. If you want to meditate more, ask yourself to commit to 5-8 minutes, keeping it under ten minutes will lower the chances of you coming up with excuses. If you are looking to have more baths, once a week commit 20 minutes instead of an hour (I LOVE hour long baths when you have to add hot water because its getting too cold).
{G R A T I T U D E}
I have found immense ripples from gratitude. When I show gratitude in one area of my life it will ripple….. until the gratuity stops due to one thing going wrong. I am so easily shaken that I can spiral from one tiny thing. Its one of the things I hate most about my mental illnesses (which seem to be an ever-growing list). I am going to push myself as much as I can to do a mental rundown of what I am grateful for after every day. I have wanted to do a highlight book for so long. What it is, is a book you jot down a few things that you were grateful for that day. You don’t vent, you don’t talk about anything negative. You simply write up to five things that made you grateful that day.
Today I was thankful for-
*Movies in bed that lead to naps
*Being able to play tooth fairy AND elf on the shelf in the same night for my daughter
*Junk food (we had a binge day pre- cliché get healthy resolution don’t judge me)
*Humidifiers
*Filtered, cold water
*Finding the words to discuss my mental state with my mom and husband to try to help them understand what I have been going through
Just going through this list really quickly with myself brings back those emotions of safety, security, small beauties and relief.
Just because it happened less than 24 hours ago doesn’t mean you can’t revisit it.
Having a mental illness can make it extremely difficult to remain mindful. The first time I really started to grasp mindfulness was in treatment at 16. I never wanted to hear its emotional, rational or mindfully balanced. I wanted to rage. But as things fell into perspective, and I realized it was my mental illnesses making me so irrational and unbalanced, I knew I had to strive to bring balance to my soul. It can be really hard to not get irrational, to lash out, to cater to people who make you feel awful, to stand up for yourself. It isn’t about the client who didn’t show up, the crack in the windshield getting bigger, or the overwhelming mountain of laundry; its about the small victories, the smile you shared with someone who looked down, the 80 loads of laundry that DID get done, the gratitude for having a vehicle that has a windshield (I also have one that doesn’t lol). Its about patting yourself on the back for showing up. For me, sometimes, I have to throw myself a party just for getting my ass out of bed.
Try to remain in the moment.
Self- care is really hard. Its something that a lot of us have to put a lot of effort into achieving. I feel like I have pushed myself to my breaking point. No, I know I did. In order to come back from the absolute lowest of lows I had to set boundaries, take care of myself and put myself first. It has not been easy. I had to stop taking care of everyone else so much and put my sanity first. I have upset some people along the way, some making me feel awful, some didn’t affect me at all. I am starting to realize the more I take care of me, the easier it is to see the negative impact some people have on me. Boundaries are a wonderful thing. If you don’t currently practice setting boundaries you should have that on your to-do list this year. Its been the most beneficial part of my self-care. Self-care isn’t always bubble baths and facials. Although, these things really help amp us back up and give us a little breather from life, they don’t fix the problems at hand. Challenge yourself to dig deep this year and try to permanently heal these wounds instead of slapping a band-aid on them.
Do the work you need to do, and free yourself. Don’t live for others. It is ok to be a little selfish, in fact, its necessary.

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