Self-Care, Goal-Setting & More: In 2020, Make Kinder Resolutions
In a time of hustling and going hard - how can we practice empathy and self-care as resolution for 2020?
Tap, tap. Another fitness goal for the world to see ( note to self: exercise more)
Tap, tap. Oh, nice, a countdown of all the books they’ve read so far (Am I that behind? New goal: read a book a week.)
Tap...another engagement? (Oh god, not going there now.)
Scrolling through the shimmery, curated ‘best’ lives of my friends (and a few strangers) on Instagram, I vow to be better, fitter, stronger, faster.
Through my bright, sanitised feed of smiling faces and genuinely wonderful achievements, we see the best bits of people’s lives. It’s great, but a constant bombardment of the happy bits can make you feel less than, especially around this time with people sharing their top achievements of the year - and lofty goals for the year ahead.
Social media is not always a friend. But often, it can be.
How can you be kinder to yourself in 2020?
What will you let go of?
What will you work on for your mental health?
Let’s face it: we’re not letting go of the social media bug anytime soon. So I tap on, only to discover a community of empathetic souls, urging me to consider my mental health.
I find the above post on a friend’s feed. Then, I saw a similar story asking me to make ‘kind resolutions’. One told me that the only goal I needed to focus on first was self-care.
Can 2020 be the year we actually make resolutions that last?
What Are ‘Kind Resolutions’?
2019 has seen a boom of mental health awareness, and social media has played a huge role. From bite-sized infographics, long captions talking about anxiety and insecurities under pretty pictures, to people ‘going live’ with their depression - warm communities championing mental health have blossomed on social media sites like Instagram.
So it made sense that the trend would have seeped into our understanding of resolutions.
“It’s a natural feeling, we see people doing well and compare ourselves. The end of the year reminds us of time’s quick passing and the media/cultural reinforcement to make resolutions pushes us to make almost impossible ones. We want to suddenly, completely transform!”Dr Kamna Chhibber, Clinical Psychologist and Head of the Mental Health Department at Fortis Healthcare
Faster, better, cooler, bolder, more, more, more. Call it the rat race, the hustle or the daily grind- we’re all stuck and only beginning to imagine a new reality.
Counsellor Sneha Janaki adds, “I usually mention " sustainable self-care" And what I mean by that is sustainable in terms of emotional, financial, physical ( perhaps even environmental ) ways. - depending on the motivations of the client.”
Any goal that’s wanting us to do something too much too soon is almost sure to fail, and when it does our self-esteem further plummets. It’s hard - looking at the world around you that seems to whiz past, but Dr Chibber says we need to remind ourselves, “Transformation needs to be sustained, we need to understand our self, where we are and what we really want and goal set accordingly. Looking at our peer group or inspirations can often skew our perception.”
It’s the new year and new decade this time, so OF COURSE, we want to reach for the stars. Fair enough, go for it...but be forgiving and loving of yourself first. “Be comfortable with yourself, learn that, pace yourself and set adaptive goals. Focus on building self-esteem through achieving realistic goals.” Adaptive goals are goals that keep changing as and when they are achieved, so there’s less pressure.
Resolutions present a chance to be better in the new year - and for me, they help orient my life. I like planning and having goals, but perhaps can do with more self-contentment to really feel at peace with my progress. “Any self-improvement needs to come with self-contentment. Accepting yourself and thinking of you fist. Besides, understanding our thoughts and feelings can help us navigate through life better,” says Dr Chibber.
“ I think people need to practice self-care and self-compassion, empathy towards others can only begin if we empathise with ourselves.”Dr Kamna Chhibber
For 2020, I want....Gratitude, Self-Care and No Judgements
Thinking of resolutions as a governing attitude for the new year instead of a hard and fast target was freeing. I could still work towards being more healthy but within the gambit of focusing on self-compassion. The focus shifted. Want to reach your goal weight? Sure, but make being forgiving and accepting of yourself the kind resolution - the aim is the same, the language and mindset shifts.
So for 2020, I asked my colleagues how they would be kind to themselves, here’s what they said:
“I want to be more grateful.” - Saakhi Chadha, health correspondent
“I want to stop going out of my way for other people at my expense. I want to focus my energies on myself.”- Parthavee Singh, social media correspondent
“Thinking about myself isn't selfish, it’s self-care. I want to try doing this more.” - Aastha Gulati, special correspondent
“Fearlessness. I don’t want to act out of the fear of being judged, or any fear.” - Divyani Rattanpal, health correspondent
Dr Chibber added, “ I personally never have resolutions, I work on my goals every day regardless of the time of the year. I keep evaluating and upping my goals.”
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