Some of the most popular new year’s resolutions each year are distinctively physical in nature, especially when it comes to health. We resolve to lose weight, go to the gym more often, or run a marathon. But what if, instead of trying to create a new body, we focused on the positives of not just our body, but our minds and lives overall in the first place?
New year’s resolutions focusing on emotional health, rather than physical improvements, can help you heal, grow, and feel better about yourself along the way—no gym membership necessary (unless, of course, that’s what you truly want to do). From improving your self-esteem to treating yourself just because, there are plenty of ways you can resolve to improve your emotional health in the coming year.
Think about your ideal self.
When you imagine the best, most ideal version of yourself, what do you see? More importantly, how do you feel—how would you feel if you were already that ideal you? Think about those emotions and the steps it will take to get to that point. If you’re a new mom, that might mean less soreness in your boobs and vagina, a more satisfying sex life, and a much-needed nap letting you feel revitalized, in control, and like the Wonder Woman mama, you are.
Someone with a career focus might want to unwind with a glass of whiskey or vodka cocktail in the evening, rather than answering emails well into the night. Whether you’re imagining how to feel sexy again having your first child or a trip to your favorite liquor store, take the time to figure out what you most want, what it will feel like to have it, and the steps it might take to get there.
If your postpartum hormones are a mess, the last thing you might be thinking about is intimacy. But, if you dream of the day your sex drive is a higher priority than losing the baby weight, the first thing you should do is consider the root issue. You may need to ride out the emotional factors of your postpartum body but, if you suspect a more serious issue, like postpartum depression, might be at play, treating the problem can get you one step closer to the ideal version of you.
Consider a professional’s help or talk to someone you trust about your concerns. You’ll feel that much better for it and, best of all, you’ll gain a better understanding of yourself along the way.
Take care of yourself.
Although we’re focusing on emotional health, physical health shouldn’t be overlooked. You don’t need to hyperfocus on your stretch marks or worry about whether your skinny jeans will ever fit as well as they did before childbirth. But eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep, among other healthy habits, can help you feel better emotionally as well as physically. Taking care of your body is a great way to take care of your mind, even if the latter is your primary focus.
If you’re aiming for physical health improvements, it’s tempting to cut yourself off from dessert or fast food, but it can pay off to indulge once in a while. When you’re working on your emotional wellbeing for the first time, the same is true. As great as it is to work on personal development and self-improvement, it’s just as important to let yourself have fun for fun’s sake, too.
Treat yourself to some new clothes—buy the microfiber bralette that makes you feel sexy or a new, curves-highlighting dress for date night. Or take a trip to the liquor store and stock up on your drink of choice, without judging yourself for the extra calories. You do so much and are working towards healthier resolutions this year. A treat is well-deserved!
As you consider your new year’s resolutions for 2021, be sure to consider your emotional health alongside, if not in place of, the physical improvements you dream of. If the version of you you’re dreaming of hits the gym every morning, that’s great. If she’d rather take a nap, that’s great, too.