The New Year had me thinking a lot about goals, values, ambitions, motivations, life, and how excited I was to wear my new fuzzy socks. With all the talk of “look how far you’ve come in a year” and “can you believe that was only 1 year ago” I found myself even more reflective and nearly bubbling over with blog ideas – two of which involved writing about goals and values.
At my old job, we had a list of working norms – kind of like guiding values – and each day at our morning huddle, we would say what working norm we were focusing on that day. I loved that idea. I mean, obviously, in theory, you were living into every positive attribute every day you walked into the office, but how nice it was to really put your heart and soul behind one guiding value each week.
For this reason, I’ve decided to dedicate a new series of “Res” posts to my own kind of working norms – my own mini-resolutions. You don’t have to buy into any of these. You don’t have to make your own. But maybe at some point, it’ll make you think about what it would look like to radically change your life one week at a time.
Res 1: Prioritize Self Care
I had a really bad week. For a whole slew of reasons, I was just not on my A-game. I was tired and mopey and border-line self destructive as the whole idea of grocery shopping exhausted me to the point of “time to make this boil-a-bag rice last for 7 meals.”
I knew things weren’t going well and I knew that because of that, I had stopped taking care of myself.
Note: in a situation where you are already emotionally or mentally drained, physically depleting yourself of the nutrients and rest you need is not the best way to feel better.
After a week of work, gym, eat rice, mope, stay up too late, repeat - I knew I had to change something.
I slept in. I allowed myself to casually wake up and stay burrowed in my covers as I went through my morning German lesson. Then, I got out of bed to take my medicine, brush my teeth, etc. This is normally where I would go for a run, start working on Smile Project stuff, run errands, or just in general begin having a “productive day.”
This is the point where, instead, I crawled back into my bed and picked up a book. I read the first chapter and didn’t think about anything but learning from the writing.
A little while later, I went to my kitchen to eat more rice and that’s when it really hit me. This can be a self-care Saturday. I popped my head out our large family room windows. Snow was blanketing the sidewalk. Self-care Saturday had begun.
I donned my winter garb and headed straight for my favorite park, taking in the untouched snow and the quiet, calm of a morning wonderland. I caught up with a few loved ones on the phone during my walk and about 2 and a half miles later, I was standing at the American Museum of Natural History, covered in snow and a little on the cold side.
Thanks to the NYC ID, I now have a free year-long membership to several cultural locations in the city – something I told myself I would take full advantage of. I’ve set an unofficial, official goal to try to go to one of the museums every week – even if it’s just a half hour after work to check out a new exhibit.
I arrived at the museum and could instantly feel myself filling back up, walking with a little extra kick, and grinning ear to ear. I flashed my membership card and received a free ticket to a 3D Imax show that was starting in 15 minutes.
I walked into the theatre and realized that, because I was alone, I didn’t have to confer with anybody over where they would like to sit. I walked in and sat wherever I wanted. I put on my 3D glasses and watched a stunning documentary about the arctic – a topic that I have always adored – featuring my favorite animal, the polar bear.
It was beautiful.
After the show, I explored the Hall of Biodiversity before catching the train home. I could have spent days in the museum, but I also knew I had to take care of other things, less I overwhelm myself more.
I came home feeling very uplifted and I finally took myself to the grocery store, filling my pantry and making myself an actual meal – with vegetables – when I came back.
I spent the next few hours working on the things I normally would have done immediately upon waking up had I not taken a few hours of a mental health delay. And truthfully, I was able to work more effectively and to a higher standard than had I immediately thrown myself into work while I still had groggy eyes.
The rest of my Saturday was filled with reading, writing, Smile Project, and a neighborhood party. And I was happy.
And I was really happy.
Resolution #1: Prioritize Self-Care.
I don’t care how busy you are. I don’t care how sad you are. I don’t care how unfair everything seems. You have to remember that you matter. You have to remember to take care of yourself. You have to remember that even if everything else around you is falling apart, you don’t have to be too.
The world is gonna toss you around and spit you up and you don’t need to be another person who is fighting against yourself. You are important. You matter. And you deserve to be taken care of. It might seem silly or unnecessary, but take yourself on a date. Take the long way through the park. Go to the movies by yourself. Buy an avocado at the grocery store. You deserve all of the above. You deserve all of the above and so much more. Remember that.
Protip - don't go into a new week dog tired. Take a break! Treat yo'self!