This year, make health and wellness your focus. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to feel just a little better.
Over the past 2 years, depression and anxiety rates have climbed. It feels like everyone I know struggles with one of these things since the pandemic and shutdowns a few (ha) months ago. Being forced home, and then to learn how to provide the same service from my ill-equipped home, I have had to re-think how I manage my own needs for health and wellness. The new year just feels like the right time to post about it!
Goal: Feel 1% better
In the past, I've been tricked into setting really lofty and unattainable goals. I learned my lesson. Now I put into practice the absolute smallest goals. I felt really pressured to keep up with major changes, which was fine for a few days, weeks even. But then I would get sick or have an emergency and my perfectly crafted routine went to shit.
The goal of Feeling 1% better was to motivate me towards progress and take perfection off the table. I focused sometimes on only doing things I was already good at. This is so limiting! I would never have enjoyed skating with my kids or playing puzzle games while we waited on our food. I hate failing, but I also realize it's a necessary part of life. I have to accept it. I have to embrace it.
Set goals that feel attainable and realistic.
Goal: Do one thing each day to take care of me
This one was HARD for me to get going. The "one thing" kept changing because I didn't want to take a bath or have a dance party 7x a week. I had to focus really hard on what I liked to do, and how I could find ways to put it into my day. Balancing it with what I needed, like clean clothes. My therapist helped me get creative and find ways to make it happen. I took time off work to do laundry. I scheduled a massage on a week night after my kids went to bed. I turned my email notifications off. I had to find a variety of things that worked for me and be intentional about when I did them.
In order to meet your attainable goal, you'll need to practice it regularly. Build up good habits. Pair the new thing with a thing you already do each day. Take your medication with breakfast. Brush your teeth when you wash your face. Meditate with your morning cup of coffee. Whatever thing you're adding to your life, make it part of a routine.
Set goals that are measureable and time-limited.
Goal: Tell my partner I love you every day
Goals for health and wellness should cover every aspect of your personhood. Commonly, folks prioritize physical health by going to the gym, joining a class for yoga/spinning/CrossFit, or by changing their eating habits. These are all wonderful goals and good changes to make. Don't stop there.
What are you doing to better your emotional health?
How are you improving your relationships?
In what ways do you need to address your spiritual health?
In my own life, this really needed to focus on my spouse, who I hardly saw during 2020. I was often overwhelmed staying at home with kids, or working with programs I didn't understand. Focusing on the positive things in my life was helpful to see that it's not all bad. Just most of it (ha!)
Go forth and set goals!