hand holding a lit sparkler

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

Ah, January, the beginning of a-new! A new year, and for many the time to start working on a new ‘you’. I am sure many of you – much like myself – have this grand vision of starting a workout routine – one that will stick this time.

I do believe that taking care of yourself is important. It’s how we keep up with our kids, have energy to be with our friends, and just generally ensure good health. But taking care of yourself is so much more than just ensuring that your physical body can keep up! It also means taking care of the you-ness of you; your mind, body, and soul.

That is why this year, I am not going to make a resolution to get to the gym more, or run more, or any other false hope that I will be more physically active. No, this year, my resolution is to give myself permission.

I took a workshop on self care not too long ago and it really got me thinking. As a society today we don’t give ourselves enough permission. Permission to just be. Be happy, be sad, be right, be wrong, be great, even to be not ok. Permission to be – as we are, without the push to change.

The holidays can be fun and festive, but also frantic and draining. It can be especially tough for those who have experienced a deep loss, such as a workplace tragedy. When you are grieving, it’s giving yourself permission to be happy, or laugh. Or permission to be sad. Or to skip traditions that no longer bring comfort or connection. To make new traditions. To do what is best for you to be you.

Judgement and expectations (our own and those of others) catch us here, don’t they? As a parent I am always second guessing myself. ‘Should I have said yes to that?’, or ‘Was that reaction really warranted? – Maybe I was too harsh’. Expecting that I should have all the answers, when almost on a daily basis I am facing something new, as my children grow into the next stage of life. I have realized that I don’t really give myself the permission to acknowledge that we all struggle to do what we think is best for our children, our family and ourselves.

So this year, I give myself the permission to be ok with not having all of the answers. I give myself the permission to have ups and downs, good times and bad. To be where I need to be (emotionally) at that moment. To be ok, with just being me.

What are you giving yourself permission for this year?

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