One of my favorite traditions at the end of each year is to sit down with a cup of something hot (in this instance, hot chocolate with whipped cream), and set my theme for the year ahead. Seven years ago, I decided to form habits rather than set resolutions, and since then, it has stuck. I enjoy coming up with a theme for the year and setting smart, realistic goals that I can follow to live a happier, more productive life.
Last year, my theme was “joy” and boy, oh boy, did I fulfill that! Welcoming our daughter to this world has been incredible; Nora is a gift, a constant joy in our lives.
Here’s a little snapshot from 2022:
- I used my iPad and the Calm app to practice yoga and meditation. This led to living intentionally and finding joy and peace during very stressful times.
- I embraced the small moments, whether that was during early-morning nursing sessions or while making a latte, reading a book, on a walk, or while sitting on my porch in the evening.
- I started a daily movement challenge and completed 117 days of consistent movement (until I fell and sprained my foot!)
- I started an herb garden, added a new garden bed out front, and planted new perennials in my garden beds.
While 2022 was a challenging year, I look back at the past year and feel joy. My husband and I did the damn thing. I am proud.
2023: The Year of Health
The past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. Once my daughter was born, postpartum depression and anxiety hit very fast. I immediately went on anti-depressants and resumed my therapy sessions. I struggled with my weight and body image after gaining 53 pounds during pregnancy. Nursing and pumping left me ravenous, and I gained more weight eating lots of rice krispy treats (delish). My mental, emotional, and physical health seemed damaged beyond repair.
Here’s what I’m thinking for 2023.
Personal therapy and medication: I have been seeing the same therapist since 2013, and I am forever grateful for this resource. I plan to see my therapist twice a month and continue taking my anti-depressants.
Marriage therapy: Ian and I started seeing a marriage therapist in 2022 (more to come on that and how it has helped us navigate parenthood), and we plan to continue our bi-weekly sessions throughout 2023 and implement what we’ve learned into our daily lives to strengthen our communication and help our marriage thrive.
Exercise: Now that my ankle is healed, I will continue my daily movement challenge, starting fresh on Jan. 1. Exercise is the catalyst for my mental, physical, and emotional health. When I exercise, my mood improves, my productivity soars, and I feel like I am a better wife and mother. Plus, exercising will help me continue to lose weight (down 30 pounds!) and get closer to my pre-pregnancy weight.
Diet: Before the pandemic, I was a pescatarian and ate a mostly vegetarian diet (because let’s face it, fish is expensive). In 2023, I plan to adopt a Mediterranean diet and be conscious about what I eat.
Wish me luck! And wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year!