As I’m writing this, I’m about a week into the Winter semester, struggling to stay afloat. I remember telling myself before the holiday break began that I was going to do some readings in advance, get started on some assignments, and so on. You know, the usual unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves when we have hope that our procrastinating nature will automatically disappear with the fear of not getting things done.
But here I am, with two assignments due in a few days time, a bazillion things going on at work, and a puppy that’s just about had it with me not giving him enough attention lately.
When we have some time to reflect on our own inadequacies (something that becomes even more common during the holidays), we like to set goals for positive change. Somehow, pledging to make a change on the first day of a year is more promising than doing it at any other time.
This year, I’m only setting one New Year’s resolution. No, it’s not to travel somewhere I’ve dreamt of visiting, because I know that we’re still fighting through a global pandemic. No, it’s not to learn a new skill, because I don’t think that’s something that can be planned. And it’s definitely not to stop procrastinating, because let’s be real, it ain’t happening.
My New Year’s resolution is to prioritize self-care. While this may seem a bit taboo, I believe that it’s something we often put aside when life gets busy. We don’t typically put our assignments on hold to take on a self-care routine, it’s almost always the other way around.
2021 was a very difficult year for me. Like many of us, I both worked and went to school online. But, I also lost my aunt, who I was really close with due to COVID-19. I never really got the chance to cope with it, because I was forced back into the everyday hustle of my life. It wasn’t until my doctor brought it up to me 6 months after it had happened that I realized it, because I instantly burst into tears. All that time had passed, but I hadn’t embarked on the mental journey that is so necessary for people who are grieving.
So yes, 2022 is about self-care for me. I have been writing three things I’m grateful for in my journal every day, being mindful of what I put into my body and of what I let into my mind, and most importantly, coming to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything.
I remind myself that it’s okay to say no, it’s okay to not be done, and it’s okay to not want to do that task at all.
So yes, I’m about a week into the Winter semester, struggling to stay afloat when it comes to school work. But when it comes to my mental health, I’m not just surviving — I’m thriving. Sometimes, all it takes is putting the things we think matter most on the back burner and realising that what truly matters most is that we’re okay. As someone wise once said, “the only place you are going to live for your entire life is in your own head. Make sure it’s a comfortable one.”