With a new year comes new goals, and then the inevitable ~discourse~ around Resolutions: Good or Bad. But if you’ve decided that you function best with some pre-determined goals laid out for yourself and you’re looking for inspiration around taking better care of yourself, then these self-care goals women are setting for themselves might be a useful place to start.
As Jordan Kisner pointed out in the New Yorker last year, "At its best, the #selfcare movement offers opportunities to see and care about vulnerability that’s unlike yours." The conversation around self-care, particularly since the 2016 election, has become fraught as brands began to take notice of the concept and subsequently hijacked it from marginalized communities who practiced it as part of their movement work. When Audre Lorde famously framed self-care as "an act of political warfare," she was battling breast cancer, and, in part, indicting a healthcare system which had contributed to her oppression as a black woman and as a lesbian. Seeing that context dismissed and her legacy manipulated to sell face masks is understandably…frustrating. But in the spirit of harnessing self-care to acknowledge that different people need different things to be well, here’s how nine women are heading into 2019.
"Working two full-time jobs, ‘downtime’ does not come around often. In 2018, I was so busy that I felt genuinely guilty if I wasn’t being productive 100 percent of the time — to anxiety-inducing levels. As a result, I experienced multiple burnouts that brought me on the verge of breakdowns late in the year. In 2019, my self-care goal is to find a way to be OK with completely unproductive periods of time; to learn to power all the way off when needed, allowing me to be present in whatever I choose to do for myself at that moment. Another self-care goal is to live a less cluttered life, both physically and mentally, allowing for clarity and alignment to seep in."
"My self-care goals for this year is to do one thing each day that helps restore my body and soul, instead of pushing myself until I am running on fumes and then crashing for a few days. This has been reducing my productivity. My main goal is to make sure that I get a good night’s sleep by doing at least a 5-minute meditation before bed, and when that alarm goes off, I won’t hit the snooze button."
"One of my self-care goals for 2019 is to really slow down and be still at least once a day/week. So my plan is to sit still and read more. I have always been a reader but it seems like there’s never enough time for it, so I would like to get through at least one book a month. Beginning an at-home yoga routine at least three times a week, putting down my phone at a certain time each night, and, best of all, forcing myself to take a Sunday night bath are all part of my plan, too."
"The main self-care goal I’m setting for myself for 2019 is to surround myself with people who inspire me, and to make sure to rest so I don’t get burned out. I have a lot of aspirations for the upcoming year and I want to surround myself with a group of women who support me and are driven to succeed just as much as I am. That way, I can tackle anything the year throws at me without it taking a huge toll on my mental and physical health."
"Because I love the mission of my work, it’s easy for me to get caught up. If I’m not careful, I’ll forget to eat lunch or will book several calls in a row with no break. In 2019, I want to set better work boundaries, and that starts with better phone habits. I bought an alarm clock so I don’t have to use my phone and I plug my phone into a kitchen outlet at night. I set time limits for social media and email and power everything down by 8 p.m. By taking a break from the digital world, I can recharge and be more present in my interactions."
"My goal is to put as much energy into myself as I do into my family. Some days, that might mean I’m getting out of the house and active right alongside my kids, and some days that might mean not sharing my favorite chocolate. This year, I’m making sure I don’t lose myself in the shuffle of my own life."
"This year, I need to slow down and stop saying yes to everything, whether it’s doing favors, or committing to every social plan and event. If it’s truly going to enrich my life, or if it’s something I actually want to do, rather than feeling obligated to do it, I’ll prioritize it. More sleep, less stress this year!"
"My top self-care goal is to practice the things that I know help me manage stress and anxiety. As a work-from-home-entrepreneur who does it all with her kids in tow, I find myself being pulled in so many directions at all times. This is the norm for many of us now, so it’s even more important to maintain those rituals that help with the stress that accompanies a busy lifestyle. The way I practice self-care is by regularly lifting weights, doing almost daily yoga sessions (especially before bed), and eating well. I also want to start putting more focus on journaling and meditation. And I want to tackle anxiety around stress head-on by acknowledging it and working through it."
"My self-care goal this year is to eliminate the debt and money-induced stress I feel by actually setting a budget for myself and sticking to it. I’ll be using apps to be more mindful about how much and where I am spending, and really decide what is a want versus a need. I’ll also be practicing gratitude by journaling to remind myself that happiness isn’t something that I can buy."
Self-care looks different for everyone, whether it means intentionally incorporating more alone-time into your life, or fighting self-isolation by being more social. The important thing to remember is that there’s no one-size-fits-all narrative and remaining compassionate towards our own needs is a good place to start having compassion for others.