For starters, I wanted to begin by saying I am absolutely terrible at keeping up with my New Year's resolutions.
The year I was 15 I resolved that I'd go to bed at a reasonable hour every night, only to find myself awake at 3 am the next morning on my tenth consecutive episode of "Parks and Recreation". When I was 17 I told myself I'd try and eat better, only to indulge in endless Christmas cookies and glasses of chocolate milk for breakfast the next morning. Quite honestly, I feel like we've all been there however, and I'm not ashamed that I can now quote almost every Leslie Knope one-liner out there and that I treated myself to some spectacular ginger cookies on both occasions.
Since starting college however, I've come to realize the importance of self-care and self-love more and more. In one sense, you are completely deserted, on your own often in a foreign place, in a bed that you haven't grown up in, trying to find a place that feels like even a sliver of home, and yet you're never truly alone, never in a place where you know you're not surrounded by countless other things to do, places to be, things to try. The exhaustion that accompanies this often feels insurmountable, and with this new year and new semester, I want to focus more on my own self-care, even in a place that is so emotionally stimulating. Here's how I'm going to try:
1. Find a "spot"
Even before I went to college my mom would always talk about her "spot" in the UVA gardens while she was in school, a spot that became her very own. This spot can be anywhere on your own campus, the trick is simply finding a place that feels like your own. Almost everything in college is shared, from your living space to your classes to your day-to-day life, and finding one spot on campus that feels a little bit like home can help you get through the day to day.
2. Take "me time"
I had a friend earlier in the semester mention to me the importance of taking a little "me time" now and then, that in order to participate as actively as I wanted to, I needed a little time to recharge. I suppose initially I brushed it off a bit, as an extrovert I was struggling to find a balance between the constant availability of adventure in college and my own sanity, but I don't think I necessarily saw the toll it was taking on my body physically to be so active all the time. Taking a little time to recharge just by yourself, doing something you enjoy such as watching your favorite show or going on a run, is important for everyone--even extroverts.
3. Be good to my body
I know I'm absolutely no saint when it comes to taking care of myself, and especially on a college campus, eating right and getting enough exercise can be a challenging task. In giving myself this resolution I know I will not perform it perfectly by any means, but I simply want to make small changes, and slowly, to take better care of myself this year. Going to the gym instead of taking a nap a few times a week, trying to figure out one healthy meal a day, or even just being aware of my body and how its feeling will all help me be better to a body I love, a body that supports me.
New Year's resolutions are honestly hard, and I often feel like I'm setting myself up to fail. In creating these resolutions however, I do not wish to challenge myself to things I do not believe are truly possible, but rather find small ways here are there to take better care of myself, to love myself as much as I can. Even though I know I won't always perform perfectly, having the self-awareness and self-love to try is perhaps the biggest act of self-care one can do.