If there's one thing that most of us can agree on, it's that 2018 was a divisive year. Millennials are more stressed out than ever, and we don't seem to see respite coming any time soon. That means, among other things, that in today's world, self-care has become more of a necessity than a luxury. It's also a sort of rebellion, a middle finger up to an administration that would strip away our voices, our rights, and our healthcare.
But before I get too political here (what can I say, 2018 was another year in which the political got very, very personal for many of us, myself included), I'll share that this was also the year I got way more serious about my self-care. You can bet I'll go ahead and carry that with me into the New Year, and I'm here to tell you that you should too. Here are some ways you can make self-care more of a priority in 2019.
Set Consistent Goals
It's important to remember that yes, as much as we love the symbolism of making a fresh start in the New Year, the truth is that you can take steps forward at any time, and anywhere. You can start over, or just continue to work on improving yourself. No matter what you're striving to move forward on, remember: It's the consistency that is key.
Personally, I love setting monthly goals, along with setting intentions according to the phases of the moon. It's something I've done for years, and a practice I feel deeply connected to. There's really something to be said for making "resolutions" all throughout the year, and of achieving those actionable goals, no matter how tiny they may be; so that you can feel that little flurry of happiness and satisfaction that comes as you slowly but surely cross items off of the "to-do" list of your life.
Take A Little Time For Yourself Every Day
If you're the type of person who leads such a busy lifestyle that it often feels like you blinked and the day is over, this is a big one for you; although in today's world, it should be for everyone. Whether it's to stretch or do some calming yoga poses, or to journal dump, meditate, or take a long, relaxing bath, or all of the above if you've got some extra time on your hands, it's so important to take a little time for yourself every single day.
Change Your Inner Self-Talk
This sounds easier than it is, but it can be something as simple as being kinder to yourself in moments of weakness. Instead of berating yourself for making a mistake, or for the cellulite on the backs of your thighs, speak to yourself instead as you would to a friend.
Ask For Help
This may seem an impossible feat for some of us, myself included, but it's important to know when we need help — and even more important to ask for it. Whatever form of help that may be, whether it's leaning on the shoulder of a friend, or going back to therapy after years without it, make 2019 the year you stop letting it fall by the wayside.
Pay Attention To Your Triggers
Knowing your emotional triggers — really knowing what will cause you to react emotionally, or maybe even cause you to backslide into that familiar downward spiral of negative thoughts — is important. What's even more important is being so aware that you can catch yourself reacting as soon as you're triggered. Once you're able to do that, you're able to more fully understand where the reaction itself is coming from, and hopefully to set better boundaries, so that instead of being stymied or completely shook, you can weather the storm in a more thoughtful way in the future.
And the ultimate goal? You can then cut out the toxic causes, people, or relationships that will set off those triggers. What better self-care resolution is there?