OPINION: The importance of self-care in the new year

Editor Adam Louis talks New Year’s resolutions

This week’s editorial.

This week’s editorial.

I could’ve been a contender, I tell you.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I took up kickboxing, regularly going to a gym in Chilliwack. A solid workout of hitting things and struggling through as much cardio as a body can take is a shockingly fun way to start the day.

Then the pandemic hit.

Cut to January 2022, and I’m attempting to set up a home version of the same kickboxing workout in hopes of bringing my fitness goals back from an early grave. After 20 full minutes of fiddling with technology I’ve only recently come to understand and ensuring nothing breakable is within range of my clumsy, flailing limbs, I was ready to work out.

One of the goals I set for myself this year is a common one – get more fit. New Year’s Day is a great time set goals and make resolutions for yourself. However, something that’s important to remember is self-improvement never has to be limited to that day. Becoming a better you isn’t constrained by time. You’re not too old or too young. There’s no goal too small. Start now.

Whenever possible, don’t push off progress toward your goals. If you’re not going for what you want to accomplish now, there may come a point in your life years from now where you wake up and look back on your life with regret.

If you’re someone who makes New Year’s resolutions and you’ve found you’ve broken them already, that’s no excuse to write off the rest of the year. So you somehow slipped an extra cookie in during a midnight snack attack. So what if you have a case of writer’s block and have missed a day’s progress toward the next great Canadian novel?

One off day isn’t going to ruin your plans for yourself. If you make that a habit, however, then we’ve got a problem. If you run into an off day, dusting yourself off and trying again is the only option. Try again for as long as it takes.

The pandemic has been difficult on all of us, not to mention the other concerns 2020 and 2021 heaped upon us in addition to the ongoing stresses of our daily lives. You may not be in a place mentally, physically or spiritually where you’re ready to pursue a goal during these tough times. Even the most ambitious among us are going to have days where our main objective is just to survive, and that’s okay, too.

The whole point I’m trying to make is it’s important to keep working on yourself, whether it’s working toward that life-long goal or it’s administering some much-needed self-care for the day. A lot of people depend on you and I, but we are no good for ourselves or anyone we’re connected with if we don’t take that bit of self-care.

Do something nice for yourself today. You deserve that.

At the end of that first workout of 2022, I became acutely aware I had hamstrings as they were yelling at me to stop. I had to tap out after 20 minutes of the 30-minute workout. It’s more intense than I remember, and I knew going into it that the first workout wasn’t going to be easy. But I did it.

I’ve taken my rest day. I don’t know how this next step in my goal is going to go. All I know is I’m ready for it.

adam.louis@ ahobserver.com

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