Self-Care in the New Year Five Minutes at a Time
How to take action on your goals without the burnout. Here's the key to your success.
As the new year arrives, another set of resolutions are in order. But how will this year be different? One year you resolved to create all these glorious and large goals, but by March they fell by the wayside—it was too overwhelming. The next year you created a few small goals, and you accomplished them all by mid-January. Sound familiar? This year try a new approach.
Set time aside for yourself and mark it on your calendar as non-negotiable. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t have time”? What they are actually saying is, “I don’t value making the time.” Look at your calendar and create five minutes a day when you can do something you enjoy undisturbed. Everyone can create five minutes. Start small. If you try to carve out an hour every day, you will not keep the momentum up.
During the five minutes of your task, recognize your feelings. Am I enjoying the way I am using my time? If you are, continue doing the things that bring you joy. These are intended to be fun and make you excited; they should not feel obligatory. If you aren’t enjoying the tasks, why not? What can you do to change the way you are doing tasks you don’t enjoy?
Keep it fun. Create a list of enjoyable activities you can do for self-care. We may not all enjoy sitting in the bath, and that’s okay! Have a rotation of activities you enjoy, such as reading, journaling, moving your body, meditating, looking at the stars, drinking a new warm beverage, etc. The list helps you stay excited and motivated to stay on track. As Dr. Laurie Santos says, we want to “thwart hedonic adaptation.” We get accustomed to things and they no longer bring us the same joy. Mix it up.
Once you have your system in place and feel comfortable, feel free to increase the time you spend doing these tasks. As the year goes on, you can reflect and notice how simple it was to strengthen your mental health in a fun way. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it became remarkable. When you prioritize your wellbeing, you are building your own version of Rome.
~by Christi Howard