New Year, New You…. Sound familiar? With the arrival of a new year comes resolutions, goals, new commitments….and the stress that comes with all of that! What is wrong with the current you? Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be a “new me”? Let’s take time to care for ourselves- the good and the bad. Let’s take time to work on things that may bother us and celebrate the things we already love. Let’s just take time to care for and love ourselves!
So, how do we do that? Well, good question. As a mental health provider, I hear this question a lot. Let’s start with acceptance. We are not perfect, nor are we designed to be. We are all flawed individuals. Yet we live in a world that often expects us to be perfect. We live in a world driven by social media that mainly shows perfection. What if we all agreed to just be honest and accept that we are not perfect and that is okay!? What if we all loved one another for our imperfections? More importantly, what if we loved ourselves for our imperfections?! And with loving ourselves, let’s take some time for self-care!
What is self-care? Self-care is often only seen as “pampering” yourself. Sometimes that is exactly what we need- a little time away, getting a mani/pedi, favorite dinner with dessert…truly treating yourself. But sometimes we need “self-parenting”. We need to make sure that we are getting regular exercise, time outside, regular sleep, regular meals, daily hygiene. All of that comes when we take care of ourselves and prioritize our needs.
Many times, part of self-care is allowing yourself to talk about things and seek help and support. Counseling can be a beautiful way to support yourself and continue to grow as an individual. Many times students ask “when should I get help? How bad should it be before I get help? How do I know when to go to counseling?”. The truth of the matter is, we all need support and encouragement. Going to counseling doesn’t mean there is a “problem” or you are “broken”. Things don’t have to be “bad” to go to counseling. Counseling is meant to allow space and support individuals in their growth and on their journey of life. There may be times that things truly are not going well, or you may face trauma and realize there is an immediate need for counseling. But you don’t have to wait for those situations. Counseling can be a part of your weekly or monthly routine- just like regular medical appointments, but for your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Let’s break the stigma of mental health and normalize not being perfect! Let’s lock arms and grow together!
Thank you to Michelle Moss for this enlightening blog post! As a professional in the field, her insight is truly invaluable. I hope this post helps people have a positive outlook this year, and I am wishing everyone an outstanding 2023!