The term “self-care” can trigger anxiety for many of us. It has become an umbrella term that covers all practices that preserve or improve our health. This is a huge range. Questions come up like “what would really be the best use of my time?” or “am I doing enough?” As we start the new year, our anxiety often increases as many of us hope to finally prioritize those healthy habits or to develop our existing practices. As I contemplate my own routines, I’ve decided that this is my year of sustainable self-care.
I believe that self-care can trigger anxiety because we often bite off more than we can chew. This happened to me. After undergoing cancer treatment I became so jazzed with all things self-care, that I started joking that every part of my body had its own 5-step self-care practice. This started feeling punishing, the exact opposite of what I was setting out to do. The silver-lining of this pandemic for me is the clarity that has come from being forced to simplify my life. Sometimes less really is more. So as you set out to develop or tweak your self-care practice with the new year, think about what will be most enriching, brightening, and most of all, sustainable. Some thoughts:
- Find something that you like! If it feels punishing, don’t do it. This is key with exercise. Hate to run, bike, or strength train? Put on some music and dance around your house.
- Be realistic with your plans, especially considering our current climate. Develop a routine that doesn’t leave you feeling over-extended, but instead is energizing.
- Allow for flexibility within your routine. Expect that you won’t be able to follow through 100% of the time. Don’t use this as a reason to scrap the whole week and “start Monday.”
Need some more ideas for where to start? Want to send a wellness gift to someone who really needs it? Check out our website for blogs and boxes that will point you in the right direction. Happy New Year!