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  • laura-schulz

New Year, New You, New Habits

1) Give yourself grace. What do I mean by this? Grace is the act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. Be kind to yourself, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. We do this for others, next time try it on you.

2) Use mindfulness. We all have negative thoughts. There is a way to distance yourself from the negative, judgmental thoughts in your head. When you notice your thoughts being negative, just say to yourself, "I notice I'm having a thought that I'm not good enough." This creates space from the thought so you don't have to own it.

3) Create a gratitude journal. You've probably heard about gratitude journals for years but, guess what? They actually work to lift our spirits. Consider listing 3-5 things each day that you are grateful for.

4) Learn how to relax. Try to give yourself one day a week to relax with a book or binge a show, get pampered or be creative, if one day a week is not doable, then maybe carve out half a day or even an hour. We are all caught up in do, do, do, especially women - we carry the weight of our family on our shoulders.

5) Be selfish. This is a continuation of #4. Managing dentist and doctor appointments, paying bills, thinking about dinner, keeping the house tidy, etc. There's a scene in the television show, Good Girls, where the main character believes she is about to die so the night before she creates this huge calendar of all the things in her head she needs to convey to her husband so he can simply keep the kids and house afloat. This is the unseen burden of women. So, be selfish- go out with friends, take yourself to the movies, take dance lessons - whatever floats your boat and is yours and yours alone.

6) Step off the patriarchal construct of the Bikini Industrial Complex. Understand that most of what you've been told about weight and health is a lie. Begin to love yourself as you are. Today. Denying yourself life's little pleasures is a horrible way to live. Moderation is much easier and, once in awhile, allow yourself to indulge. Life is too short to live in deprivation and not eat pizza.

7) Find something you love to do whether it's movement or art or volunteering. Whatever it is - find something that brings you joy and do that thing.

8) Laugh more often. Laughter is great medicine. Find a good comedy or watch some funny TikToks. Give yourself a reason to laugh, at least, once a day.

9) Take care of your own health. Visit your PCP for your annual physical, get blood work done, schedule that pap smear and that mammogram. Consider seeing a therapist. Hike, walk, ride your bike, take up yoga. Set up a bed time routine to improve your sleep.

10) Allow yourself to disregard any of these suggestions or even all of them. Use your intuition to know what's right for you. Toss your "self help" books- they are written to keep us in a constant cycle of not feeling good enough, you are good enough. Let go of anything that makes you feel otherwise....even these suggestions.

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