New Year’s Resolution: Be Kind to Yourself

by Dr. Allison Apfelbaum | Guest Columnist

While all the decorations of December are being stored away, and everyone is feeling sluggish from the holidays, we start to think about the new year. It is a good time to reflect back on accomplishments and goals achieved in the past year. It’s also common for people to set goals and think of new expectations for the new one.

This year, I have a challenge for you: to be more loving to yourself.

Many people get intertwined with goals like “I will lose weight”, “I will join a gym”, “I will stop eating sugar”. While these health goals are certainly achievable, I encourage you to look a little deeper behind their meaning. Being kind to yourself requires you to think about your habits and the types of foods you fuel your body with, and focusing on the way that you feel.

Exercise is one way to give back to yourself. While this may seem like a chore to some, it really gets the circulation going to every part of the body and the brain. It boosts mood and focus and can aid in healthy aging. Aim for 3-4 times per week with at least 30 minutes.

Stress certainly creeps back in at every moment it gets. From work to school to family to finances, it can be overwhelming. Remember, it is OK to say no to obligations that overwhelm you. Think about responsibilities you can decrease so that life is more manageable. It is OK to rest, to say no to people and obligations. You deserve that, and so much more. Be kind to yourself.

Try to let go of the single goal of weight loss, not to focus on that one solitary number. Checking the scale every day can become obsessive. Concentrate on loving your body the way it is now, and the direction it is going. If you eat mindfully with the intention to nourish, look for outlets to move your body and let yourself rest, I can almost guarantee the scale will start to drop on its own. Check your weight once a week rather than daily, and measure other things like body fat percentage and clothing size. Wearing bright colors and smiling daily at strangers can boost your mood.

This year, be kind, love yourself and share that gift with others.

Allison Apfelbaum is a Primary Care Naturopathic Doctor at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville, WA. To learn more, go to