As we go into the New Year I hope you’ve had a good start! If you haven’t – don’t sweat it. There’s still around 350 days left to get it right, or at least make it better! You got this!

I was thinking the other day about things we do that are not in line with the values of self love and how some of those behaviors seem so innocuous but can actually really effect our energy levels and the way we feel about ourselves. So I made a list. I like lists. I think there’s always room for improvement when it comes to how we’re taking care of ourselves. Check in with yourself often. Make sure you’re getting what you need when you need it.

Sleep is < everything.

How many times do you put off sleeping for x, y, and z? I know that I need a good 8 hours of sleep to function but this month I’ve noticed that I keep pushing it aside. My intentions are good, I promise. One of my favorite anti-stress-completely-bliss-out activities is working on a jigsaw puzzle before bed. It soothes and relaxes me and gives me the opportunity to sort through and organize my thoughts. But… Yeah, you saw that coming. While I’m good at making time for it, unfortunately that time comes at the expense of sleep. I get so busy with work and then it’s bed time and I’m like “self care!!!” so I work on a puzzle and it’s two hours later and I’ve got maybe 5 or 6 hours before I have to wake up to start my day. I commend myself on fitting self care into my day but I’ve also noticed that I have to make a better effort to not save it for last. Sleep is one of the most important acts of self care and when I wake up grumpy, rush off to work tired and in a bad mood, I’m setting myself up for a bad start to my day.

So let’s make sure that we’re giving S-L-E-E-P the respect that it deserves and that we pay attention to how much we need and then try to shoot for that. Challenge: Go to bed at your “bed time” for a week straight and see how extra energized and bushy-tailed you feel.

Neglecting your feelings for the sake of everyone else.

Hello. My name is Dominee, and I’m a (semi-reformed) people pleaser.

How often do you do things you don’t want to do for other people? Refuse to speak up when your feelings are hurt? Shutdown when it comes to communication? Constantly rationalize that everyone else’s feelings/problems/thoughts are more important than yours and you don’t want to be a bother or rock the boat?

There needs to be a balance in what you do for other people and what you allow them to do for you. All relationships work on giving and receiving. It’s not about keeping score or anything like that but you should make sure that you don’t give and give and give until you’re worn thin and tired to people who don’t invest the same care. Relationships are about balance. Let your friends or your partner fill you back up. Voice your fears and your thoughts. Use their shoulders for crying without feeling like a burden.

You are allowed to feel and have feelings and have those heard and acknowledged.

Apologizing or feeling guilty for being who you are.

I’ve noticed that a lot of my tribe feels like they don’t belong and that there’s something wrong with that. They’re too quirky, or shy, or their interests are too strange, or they just don’t feel like part of anything. Embrace your weird!

I’m pretty socially awkward and introverted and while I think all of my friends know that, accept it, and love me anyway I went through a period where I wasn’t okay with it. I tried really hard to be the social norm. To go out with groups of people and be an extrovert and have fun. It was the opposite of self care. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. It’s good to try to be a good friend to those around you and to take an interest in what they like to do. However, keep in mind that you matter too and you don’t have to change yourself for anyone. Whatever your weird is – embrace it. And then go find others with your weird, they are out there and they want to have deep conversations about your mutual weirdness.

Spending all of your time being busy.

I know, you need to get things done, make things happen, you mover and shaker you. It’s hard to make time for yourself. Especially when you’ve got a family to take care of and bills to pay and work to do. I’d love to tell you to take an hour every day and devote it entirely to you but I know that’s not easy. So take the moments and the opportunities for a break from busy-ness and savor them when you come across them. Take a five minute break to just stop and breathe and check in with how you’re doing in the moment.

Refusing to let go of the baggage that you no longer need.

Okay. I can be pretty guilty of this one sometimes but I’ve been getting a whole lot better, especially in the past few years. When I’d get depressed I would beat myself up over every single infraction that had taken place in the last decade and I’d inevitably feel worse about myself and my life. There comes a point when there is nothing left to learn from the past. You’ve learned from the mistakes and you’ve moved on but you still haven’t let yourself let it go. Let yourself let it go. Stop carrying your mistakes around like they have to define you every second of everyday.

They don’t.

Forgive yourself, it’s worth it.

What things do you find yourself doing that don’t honor your self love?