This year, I’m going to focus on loving myself

Joanne says the most important resolution is to care for yourself

Written by Joanne Teehan


So the Christmas festivities have come and gone. The long, antagonising list of New Year's resolutions are stuck on the door of the fridge, a complicated recipe of how to live a better life; a subtle reminder. January is now over, and the same list watches over us, haunting us as we make our daily life choices. One thing I have learned about people is that although we bear individuality and differences, at the end of the day, we are all the same. The common guidelines on how to live a better life will include; eat healthier, exercise regularly, get more sleep, get more fresh air, cut down on alcohol, quit smoking, save more money, and so the long monotonic list continues. Now, I am not saying these are not on my list of New Year's resolutions, as they are. But, this year, I have decided my top priority, my main goal, my target for the New Year is a simple one. I am going to love myself.

I got my inspiration from the current Justin Bieber song “Love Yourself”. When I heard the opening lines “For all the times that you rained on my parade”, it made me think about all the people that rained on my parade in 2015. All the people that brought me down; made me feel worse for wear and deflated at times. There were not too many people like this, but in our day to day lives; at work, at home, we meet people that drag us down, drain us. Be it a negative comment or a taken opportunity to say one thing that will put a damper on our day. As the song proceeds, “all the times you told me my opinion is wrong”, I thought of the times in 2015 that I was put down or knocked down in some cases. Being shy by nature, I thought of the times I made opinions/statements in certain company, to which I was corrected, re-informed or simply told I was wrong. I listened to the line “and I didn’t wanna write a song”, to which I thought of myself. I don’t want to confront people. I don’t want to bring conflict into my life, although sometimes conflict and agro are difficult to avoid. Sometimes, life gives you no option but to express how you feel, ask the questions you don’t want to ask and hear the answers you are not expecting. Even at times when “I be movin’ on”, I am brought back to cyclic scenario again and again, making the move forward almost impossible.

What I have learned most from Biebs, is that when people treat you in a certain way, an undeserving way, rather than becoming bogged down in their insensitivity and lack of consideration, the best solution is to have a positive attitude. These people need to bring others down, in order to pick themselves up. To make them feel better about themselves and their circumstances. So this year is where I draw the line. No longer will I allow myself to be bothered by people and the things they say. From now on, I will follow in the words of Justin Bieber “love yourself”. Yes, I will concern myself and conserve my energy, for me. This year will be the year that I focus on improving myself. I will gain self respect and further self worth. Low self esteem and mental health go hand in hand together. Low self esteem makes individuals susceptible to develop psychiatric conditions; such as depressive disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse disorders. The occurrence of these disorders lowers self esteem, even further. Personal mental health is something each of us should give priority to. Personal mental health guides you towards happiness and success. Focusing on my personal mental health for the new year is my top priority.

I intend to do this by;

  1. Smiling and laughing more
  2. Don’t take myself or life more seriously
  3. Realising if I fail, it is not the end of the world
  4. Walk as much as I can, for exercise but also for fresh air
  5. Dream new possibilities
  6. Reflect on my successes and believe in myself
  7. Do things I love as often as possible
  8. Welcome new challenges and experiences, rather than run away from them.
  9. Focus on what is good in my life, rather than what is going wrong

I hope that starting this year, I will be more content in my own skin, happier with my own conscious and confident in my decisions. I will think independently and try my utmost best to not let others control my life. We all get one life, with that one opportunity to make the best of it. We will not reach true happiness if we let others dictate our mood and how we feel. I am going to love myself. To all those who try to bring me down, you should love yourself too.

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