It’s not quite mid-January yet, but it’s understandable if you’re already over the whole New Year’s resolution thing — especially after all the shit the last few years have served up. If you want to give your life a refresh without committing to a goal you’ll end up resenting, you can take a cue from Tia Mowry. The actress just shared the realistic, incredibly chill approach she’s bringing to 2022, and it’s all about finding pockets of peace and joy whenever possible.
Morwy posted a collection of Instagram selfies in which she’s striking various posing with what appears to be a makeup-free face and her brand new box braids. The actress opened up in her caption about why this year, instead of talking about the new year, she’ll be focusing on having a “true” year.
“I read something recently that said something along the lines of ‘Instead of having a Happy New Year, have a TRUE year,'” the Sister, Sister alum wrote in the caption. “It really inspired me because I think we can forget to move in our authenticity. And I’m not just talking about being authentic as a person, but being TRUE to yourself and your feelings.”
Speaking to her own experiences as a busy working mom of two, she added, “For me, I can easily get caught up in nurturing others and overextending myself instead of listening to myself and how I feel. But when I do honor myself, I find I’m much more happier. So I just wanted to encourage you guys to be true to yourself this year — if you don’t want to go to that event or say yes, don’t! I think if we continue to find ourselves and be unapologetic to our truths, we’ll find more peace and joy.”
It’s true that saying no is easier said than done, especially when it comes to taking on extra work assignments, handling additional tasks at home to keep things running smoothly, or helping out loved ones. But to Mowry’s point, constantly overextending yourself can quickly lead to burnout, ultimately creating a disconnect in just about everything you do. Meaning, you’ll probably find it more difficult to do things you typically do with ease, or you’ll just plain lose enjoyment in things you usually love, Rob Dobrenski, Ph.D, a New York-based psychologist who specializes in mood and anxiety conditions, previously told Shape.
Burnout can be accompanied by feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, so taking steps to avoid it is worth the effort. A great place to start, per Mowry’s advice? Skip that event you’re secretly dreading, and stay home to instead do something that brings you genuine joy and relaxation — whatever that might be. If you don’t want to use the time productively, don’t! Sure, doing all the things looks great on paper, but if instead of reading, cleaning, doing a workout class, meditating, or whatever it is you feel like you “should” be doing doesn’t bring you joy… skip it. If you want to zone out in front of the TV and tune out your brain, sometimes just that little mental reset is enough to find peace and joy even when things are go-go-go.
The bottom line: “Don’t wait for things to be feeling off, or you’re already pumping cortisol,” aka the stress hormone, as life coach and creator of Authentic Living, Mandy Morris, previously told Shape. If you wait until burnout strikes, “you’ll likely already be paralyzed in this state [of stress], or unable to see what you really need to step out of that feeling as quickly as possible.”
“Burnout occurs from a lack of awareness, care, or disregard for what is happening in the self,” she added. “There are many reasons you might allow burnout to occur, so get clear on why you allow it. Get to the root of why you allow the burnout to occur, and then use the tools of self-love, development, and understanding of yourself to combat those patterns you’ve unconsciously created for yourself. Once those perceived rewards are removed, you can choose to come at situations in a new and lighter way that is actually in alignment with you.”
Start small by saying no or turning things down whenever possible. For longer-term healing, “Try taking a vacation or a no-technology week,” suggested Morris. “Whatever gives you that sense of calm, clarity, and empowerment — do it, and do it often.”