It has been almost a month now since that time of the year. New Year. The new start where we sit down to reflect upon the year behind us, to consider how we’ve grown or how we’ve regressed, to look back at our collection of memories with fondness and maybe even sometimes sadness, but most importantly to evaluate. Did 2015 make us progress? Did 2015 make us laugh enough? Was 2015 finally the year that we stuck to all those resolutions that we made?
Honestly, I have never been a fan of resolutions, not due to any problem with the idea itself, but simply because I have never quite got the whole resolution thing right. I always set myself way too many goals which to be honest I never complete and if I were to complete them, in my place would stand some gym-going butt-kicking organizational super human with very little essence of me left at all.
So, this year in 2016, I’ve stripped it back to one sole resolution. I hesitate to even call it a resolution in case it foreshadows some inevitable failure. But, that resolution is: self-care. Self-care, put simply, is the act of looking after oneself, whether that be physically or emotionally. For example, making sure to go outside or to drink enough water or that you generally make sure your personal wellbeing takes top priority.
I realised that no other resolution would do when during the time of reflection the New Year gave me, I realised how many times I had heard the words, “Don’t be so hard on yourself” or “Give yourself a break” or “You need to be kinder to yourself”, from teachers, friends and parents. I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard these words in the past year, nor can I count the number of times I’ve ignored them. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it were, was not when I heard these words for the umpteenth time but when the roles were reversed, and I had to say them myself. It wasn’t the first time I had to say a phrase like this to a friend, and it probably won’t be the last, but for some reason, saying these words this time changed it for me.
I realised I was a hypocrite.
I realised I try to be kind to my friends. I try to be supportive of them and I try to accept the people I love with all their wonderful perfections and imperfections, but I do not grant myself those same courtesies. I expect more from me than I do from anyone else and it’s simply not a fair or an achievable expectation. So 2016 is the year I am going to start to change that. I am going to try to be kind to myself. I am going to try to support myself. I am going to learn to love myself as well as other people, with all my wonderful perfections and imperfections and hopefully this resolution will be the one I finally keep.