Content Warnings: Mentions of Suicide and Weight Loss
Everyone is burnt out. Baked. Crispy. Whatever your word for the deep exhaustion is, I’ve heard it from every single person I have spoken with this week. When they didn’t say it, I could see it. I know they could see it in my face, too. I could barely find time to pee, let alone think.
The constant chaos of headlines has met the holidays again and the pressure is on – to stay healthy, to find the perfect gifts, and now the added bonus of an economy full of rumors. I decided to add moving across the country, too, if any of you are looking for another obstacle.
The worry this time of year always makes me wonder if I got anything right at all. Months into the year, those resolutions I made 12 months ago don’t seem so spectacular. I don’t think any of it matters much, but I still put pressure on myself to make a list and check it twice to set a bar that will determine if I was good enough this year or not. It’s not helpful, but I still hold myself to this standard. I watch people online and wonder if they figured something out – all while reminding myself that most people will never share what went wrong on Instagram.
That’s why this year and forever more, I will abandon the idea of resolutions on the last day of the year. I won’t make a list that adds pressure to a life that’s already a little too much sometimes. I know better. If I had followed all those lists I made in the past, I may not have ended up traveling in my van over the last year. I may never have found home.
In this realization, I have resolved I’ll never set resolutions again. No specific lists, no numerical values, no benchmarks that I break myself to achieve. Instead, I am going to practice the self-care advice that has changed my life the most this year. Self-care advice I’ll share today, because I think you’ll enjoy it, too.
In the front of my journal, I list the things that are good for me.
It’s never “lose 15 pounds.” It’s a list of feelings and activities that make me feel alive. Things like getting outside, slow intentional mornings, and gentleness. Themes that are always part of the days I feel happiest. I use words like more not must. Learning instead of demanding from myself. I’m breaking the rule I made to decide where the finish line was before I even took a step into that year. I won’t do it anymore.
The only commitment I’ll make to a list is this one, and I’ll read it every morning. It’s a promise that every day, I’ll try to do what makes me feel good. To apply the notes from that guide when things feel chaotic. Because a better life is about how we live, not some imaginary finish line that doesn’t take into consideration the fact that everything is unpredictable.
I find that this fact is often forgotten until we lose someone we love, a feeling I remember now every Christmas after losing a family member to suicide last year. It’s an anniversary I wouldn’t wish on anyone but I share with so many. If you’ve lost someone too, you know that a sudden death is often a reminder that even the next minute is not guaranteed.
More than making the most of minutes, I try to remind myself that my happiness matters. That it’s more important to breathe than beat myself up. And that I need to resolve to commit to life’s little pleasures every day to make the chaos more quiet, not finish lines that don’t make me feel free. That in order to survive this chaotic place, I have to apply that self-care advice every day – not only after it all feels like too much.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.