I’ll admit it: Every January I get sucked into the whole “New Year, New You” thing. But when I sat down to write about the New Year for ILLUUM, something about that felt icky. I didn’t want to get clicks by implying that the things I was writing about could turn you into a completely new, somehow better person by the stroke of midnight. I didn’t want to feed into the delusion that you even need a “new you.” And then I thought, If I feel wrong saying that to someone else, why would I say it to myself?
So my mantra for 2018 is not about creating a new me, or working towards a better me...it’s about being more me.
The phrase “less is more” comes to mind. Self-care isn’t about adding more to your routine (although sometimes, it requires that). It’s about stripping away the noise and the stress and the outside influence, and getting back in touch with your core, your essence. Who you really are. Think of it like adding a spam filter to your email–you put in the effort to set a filter in place, and it saves you the time and energy of having to sift through the bullshit.
That’s how I feel about things like meditating, or going to yoga, or even my weekly practice of taking a long, hot bath with a face mask on. Sometimes it seems like my schedule is full to the brim with unnecessary, self-indulgent practices–How can I fit in yoga after work and still have time to do my Full Moon manifestation ritual and cook dinner?–but in actuality, these things save me from filling my schedule with anxiety attacks and stress sessions (or spending 30 minutes in the mirror trying to cover up a giant pimple with layers of concealer). Essentially, they help me discover more of myself.
So this is my hope for ILLUUM readers (and myself) in the new year: Stop trying to be a new you, or a better you, and just be more you.
Wondering how to do that? Every day during the first week of January, ILLUUM will be publishing thoughts, practices, products, rituals, and self-care tips in our series 7 Days, 22 Ways To Put More You in 2018. (My alternate title was "Put The U In Two ThoUsand and Eighteen," but that seemed like a little much.) I hope you’ll follow along!