Click on any website, open up any app store, or scroll through any social media channel this time of year and it’s pretty likely that you’ll be bombarded with ‘new year new you’ headlines.
From diet and exercise to a new productive and positive mentality, the new year marks a time where we let go of the past and look forward to a happier healthier you. A time to put your best foot forward and become the best you that you can be.
I don’t know about you guys, but I often feel like there’s a huge amount of pressure to make resolutions of some sort. To in some way improve on the last year that you had.
But when you’ve got a chronic illness, or any kind of ill-health, things aren’t so easy.
It’s not like we can flip a switch and decide to start exercising, following those glossy girls in leggings on their apps which promise to make you glow from the inside out.
It’s not like we all have the time, energy, financial resources, or lack of allergies to make the newest fad diet our main food-focus (not that we should do or want to anyway).
And it’s not like we have bodies that are consistent in their health. One day for no reason, I could become so ill that it takes six months to recover. And that’s just how it is.
Feels somewhat different from the ‘take control of your mind and body to take control of your life’, eh?
If I’m completely honest, I often fall into the trap of believing I should always be trying to do more. And this works for me up to a point.
It works in the sense that I can push myself to (mostly) keep going, to try and do and live when all I want to do is curl up in bed and give up. But if I spend too much time thinking about the things I see everyone on social media doing, I end up pushing myself to a dangerous extent, causing physical pain and damage that can last for months.
Realising that my body cannot do all these things that other people take for granted took a long time to learn. It sounds silly, especially when my body is something I live with and experience every day, but hey ho.
I want to be able to get up and exercise. I want to be healthier. I want to be able to cook beautiful meals that will nourish my body. But I don’t always have the ability to do that. Especially since that’s just not how my body works.
And that’s ok.
What I can do is accept that my health is how it is, and even if I don’t make those broad resolutions, I can try every day to do something that helps me feel better. Even if it’s getting out of bed and going to the loo when I really need it, instead of curling up for an extra two hours because I’m too tired to move.
Health, success, and motivation look different for everyone. And while I may not be able to experience it in the same way as most people I see online, I can find my own ways to do it.
I don’t need there to be a new me for the New Year, because I know what my me is. And while it may not be the perfect vision of health, and even if I go backwards, it doesn’t make me any less deserving of simple, basic caring than anyone else.