The (new) roaring ’20s are here—and what a time to be alive. We’ve just entered into a new decade, and with it comes a plethora of new opportunities and experiences to be our best selves. New Year’s resolutions that center on self-care and self-improvement can be real game-changers that are more sustainable than quick-fix weight loss resolutions and the like. Because, as a trans woman who has dedicated most—if not the entirety—of my life to committing to my wants, needs and authentic truth, I know a thing or two about the power and importance of putting yourself first.
During the last decade, I noticed that for many people, it was a time of growth and understanding. Our society is beginning to care for our environment, health and marginalized communities more, with a great emphasis on looking ahead and growing even more in 2020. At the same time, we’ve become inspired by those who are using their voices and platforms for good—which can allow us all to focus on our own self-improvement, as well.
For many queer and trans people, however, there isn’t the luxury of being surrounded by a chosen family or a supportive genetic one. There might not be the space in their lives in which it’s easy to focus on self-improvement in these ways. In these cases, it’s important to focus on loving ourselves first, and work from there.
Leading by example is key. I transitioned from male to female 10 years ago, and throughout this decade, I’ve learned a multitude of life lessons. I’ve evolved physically, mentally and emotionally into a completely different person—and it didn’t happen over night. So, while New Year’s resolutions are easy to set, they’re often difficult when it comes to follow through. I’ve managed, though, to make a list that anyone can follow, start at any time of year and work at your own pace, so you can become the best version of yourself.
Forming both an inner and outer self-care routine will boost your overall well being. It takes 66 days to form a habit, so make your habits good ones.
1. Set intentions.
An intention is a goal, or vision, that guides your activities, thoughts, attitudes, and choices. Hence, your intentions influence your actual experiences. You can set an intention in any area of your life- physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
2. Make your bed.
Making your bed first thing in the morning starts your day off right because you’re already accomplishing a task.
3. Skincare is key.
I wash my face every morning and night. Then, I immediately apply my favorite serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. At night, after I wash off my day, I use a peel or scrub, then a face mask and end my routine with a serum and night cream.
4. Drink water.
If drinking a lot of water is hard for you, try adding lemon! Lemon water promotes hydration, is a good source of vitamin C, improves your skin quality, aids digestion and freshens breath.
5. Take vitamins and/or minerals.
They can help your bones, heal wounds, and your immune system, depending on what vitamins you take.
This can reduce the risk of injury, help relieve post exercise aches and pains, improve posture, manage stress, improves overall daily performance, prepare the body for the stress of exercise, promote circulation, and decrease risk of lower back pain.
7. Get some exercise.
Even the smallest circuit workouts will help make for a healthier lifestyle.
8. Call your loved ones once a week to check in.
Ask your grandparents about their favorite stories, check in on your parents and siblings and catch up with your friends. Maintaining healthy relationships is crucial for our well being.
Taking care of the world around you can also help you take care of yourself, too.
1. Buy clean, non-toxic, cruelty-free, vegan products from beauty companies.
Do your research, because the very product that is intended to “clean” or “beautify” can potentially harm your health.
2. Be conscious of the food you eat.
I’ve been vegan for two years, and I challenge you to not buy animal products for your home. Take the process slowly. There are so many documentaries and books to support that a plant based diet is achievable and has the same amount of protein and nutrients (even more so) than a non-plant based diet.
If you’ve lived in un-safe or difficult situations while trying to live life authentically (or just want someplace to start), you can begin with helping the LGBTQ+ community in 2020 and work to create a safer place for all of us to thrive.
1. Donate to a charity/cause that means something to you (even if it’s a small amount).
However, make sure to research where that place is taking other money from and who it truly benefits. The easiest way to make sure your money goes to those who need it is to donate to a nearby LGBT center.
2. Read and research.
Expand your knowledge. Research the history of the transgender community. Surround yourself with our media. Listen to LGBTQ+ podcasts, read our books, watch films or documentaries, look up terms you’re not clear on and find the answers to questions you have.
3. Support one another.
If someone you know is going through a transition, support them and show them you love them. Learn with them on their journey through transitioning—They need you.
Most Importantly: Breathe—
Everything is temporary. You can always better yourself, your environment and work towards your goals. Forgive yourself and others. Let go of resentment and anger and all that you feel you didn’t accomplish. No matter your age, you never stop learning, growing and evolving. Pace yourself. If your day isn’t the most productive, it’s okay; go back to it the next day. Not every day has to be an ingenious, positive or creative one.
Be grateful for yourself. You are beautiful because you breathe. Be thankful for the ability to walk, talk, taste, smell, touch, see, hear, laugh, think, create, and love. Those are all blessings. Take some time to think about all the good and positive things in your life. Life is not beautiful and fun and amazing all the time, so it’s important on down days to remind yourselves of the good ones. Allow yourself to feel. Love yourself because you’re the only you, and there will be no one else like you. We often set New Year’s resolutions that are hard to keep, but if we form a healthy routine, there’s no doubt we can better ourselves and the world in which we live.