Another Year in the Books

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So Long 2022

What a year! What a last few years, actually. I hope you made it through with as little damage as possible.

  • To all those who lost a loved one, my condolences.
  • To all those who suffered mental distress, I hope you found the help you needed.
  • To all those stricken by Covid, I hope the lingering effects are minimal.
  • To all those who decided they were in the wrong jobs or in the right jobs at the wrong companies, good on you.
  • And to all those who truly worked to better themselves, I applaud you.

I See You 2023

As you ready yourself for the New Year, I’ll resist the urge to recommend you create any New Years Resolutions. I’ll defer on asking about your updated five-year plan. And I’ll assume you have your finances in order.

But I will take a moment to stress the importance of upping your self-care.

The Importance of Proactive Self-Care

You may not realize this, but it’s not particularly helpful to view self-care as some type of reward to give yourself after having slogged through some emotionally challenging or arduous task or event. That’s because this mindset ends up having you defer or dismiss any real taking care of yourself until sometime later, if ever.

And that’s just an unsustainable position to continually put yourself in.

It’s far better to think about (and embrace) self-care as a prerequisite – as acts of respect, regard, and dignity that nourish your heart, mind, body, and spirit – for good things to come. Like a pre-buy for the future vs. a repayment for the past.

  • Proactive self-care is like gas for your car or truck – literally the fuel you need to get you where you’re going.
  • Proactive self-care is what puts the joy in your heart so you can un-begrudgingly be there for others.
  • Proactive self-care is what improves your physical presence, your emotional endurance, and your interpersonal agility.
  • Proactive self-care is what sparks your confidence and creativity – and resilience, for that matter.
  • And proactive self-care is what empowers your spirit and sense of purpose.

You see, proactive self-care is not just some life coach drivel designed to sell books or fill workshops. It’s a real thing.

As is its absence.

Take an Honest Look at Your Self-Care

Now, if you’re like most, your self-care is likely woefully inadequate. Whose never let their batteries run so dry that you couldn’t even sustain a decent mood?!

So my wish for you is that you figure out a better way.

In other words, determine what you actually need to recharge your batteries BEFORE your ‘low power’ mode kicks in. (You know what continually draining your cell phone battery, without recharging, does to its longevity, right?!)

I think that’s the key: Knowing – and committing to doing – some specific things for yourself BEFORE your energies are overly diminished.

  • Things that will bring a smile to your face (and heart).
  • Things that will add a spring in your step (and state of mind).
  • Things that will create a sense of joy and light, for yourself (and those you interact with).

Honestly, though, I’m not sure what they ought to be for you. (I’m often not even sure what they should be for me!) But I do know that they don’t need to be particularly complex or onerous. They don’t even have to be about doing MORE OF something – sometimes doing LESS OF works even better!

  • Some MORE OFs that tend to help me, though, include:
    • Listening to a favorite or long-forgotten song.
    • Smelling (or preparing) a favorite aroma in the kitchen.
    • Eating something delicious from the kitchen!
    • Having a good workout at the gym.
    • Doing a random act or kindness.
    • Taking care of some outstanding to-dos.
    • Taking a nap.
    • Looking across a peaceful lake or open stretch of land.
    • Checking in on a friend or family member.
    • Daydreaming for awhile.
  • Some LESS OFs that also tend to resonate well, for me, include:
    • Grabbing one less handful of potato chips.
    • Having one less drink.
    • Worrying less.
    • Not being so hard on myself.
    • Lowering my expectations.
    • Putting the TV on mute or even, dare I say, turning it off completely, for a while.
    • Turning away from checking emails and social media.
    • Decluttering in one form or another.
    • Just breathing deeply a few times.

Notice that none of these are particularly time-consuming or expensive – many of them can be done for free or in as little as a moment. So, don’t fool yourself into thinking otherwise.

The point is that there’s tremendous value in recharging before you need to.

So that’s my message to you as we finish 2022. Please take it to heart.

There are so many good, caring, responsible people out there who are just so exhausted, brittle, and anxious. Maybe you know some of them.

Maybe you are one of them.

If so, know that I’m rooting for ya, as I always will be.

I just hope you’re rooting for yourself (and maybe a bit for me, too), as well.

Happy 2023, Everyone! And thanks for being part of my Proactive Self-Care!!

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