Why Practicing Self-Care Is The Best Way To Say Goodbye To 2018


It's no secret that 2018 was rough for many people, and it might take some time to recover from a year where it felt like the hits just kept on coming. This makes a good case for starting that recovery process today: why not have a self-care themed New Year's Eve?

There can be a lot of pressure to go out on New Year's Eve and celebrate the New Year with a bang, so to speak. But if FOMO has you leaning toward doing something you're not sure you want to do tonight, this data could help you decide: A study published in the journal Psychology and Economics found that more than 80 percent of people with high NYE expectations were left disappointed.

You know what's never disappointing? Setting time aside to take care of yourself. If you really want to honor the New Year's tradition of out with the old and in with the new, use Dec. 31 to mentally shed all of the bajiggity energy of 2018 so you can welcome in 2019 with a clean slate. If you're new to this whole self-care business, know that it's more than pampering yourself. "Self-care can look really different for different people. To figure out what self-care means for you, think about what makes you feel good," Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center explained on its blog.

"Maybe it’s taking a long shower with good-smelling soaps. Maybe it’s going for a run or having a solo dance party. Maybe it’s calling up a good friend. What makes you feel cared for can change depending on how you’re feeling. Pay attention to what makes you feel nourished, and try to make time to do one of those things every day."

While it's been a long process, I have learned that doing something just because I feel it's expected — like going out on New Year's Eve — leaves me feeling anxious and drained. Same? Then you know that depleting your own energy well is no way to start a new year. Learning to prioritize yourself and put your own needs ahead of the expectations of others is the epitome of self-care. What's more, taking care of yourself ultimately makes you a better friend, partner, and it can even help you perform better at work.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, self-care is basically like the instructions you get on an airplane — put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. In fact, making self-care a priority is a great 2019 goal if you've been putting the proverbial oxygen mask on others and neglecting to put one on yourself at all. "Improving your relationship with yourself by maintaining your physical and mental health makes you more resilient, helping you weather hard times and enjoy good ones," NAMI said in its blog.

If you do get all the feels by the absorbing the collective energy of others, and nothing makes you happier than going out for an epic NYE celebration, then by all means don't let anything stop you. If that's what nourishes you, it's considered a form of self-care. If it doesn't, be careful not to let FOMO lead you astray. Instead, consider staying in and curating an evening that includes all of your favorite things. Take a moment to clear your mind and visualize what a perfect evening of self-care looks like to you.

Is it a Netflix marathon, a bubble bath, and pizza? Is it yoga, meditation, snuggling up with a good book and going to bed early? Perhaps it's inviting your nearest and dearest over for a game night or cooking a meal with your BAE. Maybe it's still going out to the bar in your neighborhood — and heading home at 12:01. Make New Year's Eve the time to nourish your inner child. What does that child want to do? Maybe it's been a long time since anyone has asked you that.

If you feel like a flower with no gardener, you can set a goal for 2019 to start tending to your own needs instead of waiting for someone else to do it. New Year's Eve is the perfect time to get started. After all, a night of self-care is the least you deserve, and it's a great way to ensure you start off 2019 feeling bright and shiny like the star you are.