January is known for being a little bit depressing. It’s still cold outside, it’s still dark when we go to work in the morning and the comedown of a joyous Christmas break leaves most craving the summer sunshine to once again return. To ensure hope isn’t completely diminished in the bleak and wintry period that is the start of a new year, people assert their faith in setting themselves goals and resolutions – holding on for dear life, to the idea that change will improve not only their lives, but them as people.
I have only once managed to genuinely stick to a new year’s resolution and that was back in 2016, when I decided to keep a journal for a whole year. Looking back, the reason that this resolution stands out as a success against many previously, and since, failed attempts at change, is because it wasn’t a chore. It didn’t require me to think ahead or plan for, but was instead based on internal reflection. In the moment, honest and open conversations with myself. It became my greatest form of self-care in what I didn’t know when it began, would be the most mentally-challenging year of my life so far. It was not only therapeutic, but liberating.
We are now a week into not only a new year but a new decade, meaning it’s time for everyone to ponder over what they want to experience, feel and achieve in the next ten years. My resolutions for the year ahead are going to be different. They’re going to be based on my long-term goal of the decade…. “to feel liberated”. Liberated from society’s judgement, from the judgement of others and judgement from myself. Freedom from social norms, from the ideology the masses seem to have accepted, that modern life revolves aesthetic.
I crave a level of self-assurance that allows my life to be motivated by only two things – health and happiness.
2019 has been a turning point in my mind set. I’ve practiced what I preach for the first time ever.
I finally feel at home in my own body – trust me, it’s been a journey!!! For the last eight years, I’ve been addicted to weighing myself and evaluating my self-worth accordingly, based on the number that appeared on the scales. Then suddenly I found myself, the heaviest I have been in a good few years and had an epiphany… I’M ALSO THE HAPPIEST. Sometimes you’ve got to ask yourself when you look back on your happiest memories, do remember exactly what size clothes you were wearing or do you remember the feeling of pure joy? You remember the feeling.
We must all stop buying into the commercialist ideal that weight correlates with self-worth. It’s a FAD!!! By all means, make changes for your health if it makes you feel empowered, but please stop living for aesthetic. Your resolution shouldn’t be to “lose weight”, instead it should be to live a healthier lifestyle. When your life revolves around your weight, your mind-set is focused on your aesthetic and how you look. As soon as you turn the concept on its head, it stops being about just your body and takes your mental well-being into account too. After all, the healthiest thing any of us can do, is be kind to ourselves.
With this in mind, this year I am putting an enthusiastic middle finger up to crash dieting culture by DITCHING THE SCALES. I feel liberated from the shackles of aesthetic already. Jameela Jamil would be so proud.
Right, I’m not going to lie, I am actually a self-proclaimed queen of self-care! It is honestly something that I’ve grown to be really good at practicing. Through years of trial and error, I have a whole range of soothing, coping measures that I do in different variations, daily, to keep my head above water and make me feel in control of my life. I used to be a wallow-er (and I still am from time to time before one of my family members outs me), but I’ve learned to be proactive rather than reactive in my approach to life.
The smallest things, for me, make all the difference. Making my bed in the morning. Tidying my room before I go to sleep. Reading a book in bed with a cuppa. Having an early night. Lighting candles and jumping in the bath. Watching one more episode… because fuck it! I want to! Doing things to make myself feel good and empowered before I even have a chance to feel down. I truly believe that mastering the art of self-care has been one of the main reasons I feel in such a good place. The key thing to remember is that true self-care isn’t picture worthy or Instagram-able, it’s personal. It’s raw. It’s lifting yourself up when you feel like shit, because you have no choice but to.
Self-care is also granting yourself the ability to say no. Even when people aren’t going to like you for it. This year I’ve learnt that I don’t have to do anything or enter any situation that I believe is not going to benefit me or my well-being. Saying no is really scary to begin with, but you’re allowed to do it. Anyone who makes you feel guilty for putting yourself first, is someone you do not need in your life. This is a vibe that everyone should adopt in 2020 and I for one will lead by example by SAYING NO to any situation that does not benefit my health or happiness.
Liberation is all about strength and how you can unleash an inner power to make yourself feel in control of your own circumstance and free from preventative barriers. While some barriers simply cannot be quashed with a great mind-set, when we do have the opportunity to empower ourselves, we most definitely should – or should at least try to.
Opportunities are there to be seized and life is there to be lived. Find your 2020 vibe and stick to it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. Your vibe attracts your tribe.