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7 New Year’s resolutions to help you prioritize self-care in 2024

By Maya Khamala

As the late great Audre Lorde once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” While these potent words have particular resonance within the Black feminist civil rights world that Lorde inhabited, today they offer powerful wisdom to anyone willing to listen.

The world as we know it is rife with stress, illness, trials and tribulations of every conceivable size and shape. It’s hard being human, and that’s a fact. Whether it's burnout and exhaustion at work, next-level money stress as inflation climbs ruthlessly higher, ever-present climate anxiety, and/or the disturbingly tangible mental and physical health effects of all of the above, the odds sure are stacked.

Still, against all odds, self-care simply must become a strong and integral part of your life. While it can take oh-so-many different forms depending on who you are and what you happen to need, it all boils down to intentionally taking action to prioritize and nurture your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Ultimately, self-care is a manifestation of self-love, something we could all use in spades. Noteworthy: while a self-care practicing benefits you, it also benefits anyone you come in contact with because they will have interacted with the best rather than the most bedraggled version of you, and that’s everything.

So—as we travel onward into 2024, consider gifting yourself with any or all of the following 7 resolutions for bold ’n bare self-care. 

1. Mastrurbate, elevate, elate.

On the off-chance that you still believe a kitten dies every time you rub one out, or that only single people should pleasure themselves, allow us to disabuse you of that notion: masturbation is an incredible form of self-care. From relief of chronic and menstrual pain, to a longer lifespan, increased cognitive functioning, a stronger immune system, harmonious hormones, mo’ better happiness, to higher quality sleep, the health benefits of climax are seemingly countless—even stimulation without orgasm can do the trick. In a masturbation rut? Next time you get down with yourself, consider digging a little deeper into your soul and your capacity to be present in the moment by taking a mindful or tantric approach to self-pleasure.

2. Carve out space for erotic hygiene.

How erotic is your relationship to your self, to your body, and to the world? Can you even answer such a hard-hitting question? Here's a hint: the erotic is highly personal, and may or may not include sex itself. “The erotic life, don’t we want it?” asks embodied empowerment facilitator Stefana Serafina as she parses out a concept she calls erotic hygiene. “…my shoulders, or yours, hurt from leaning toward the computer for too many hours, and then again your body moves mechanically in the kitchen and something deep and tender is lost while you, or I, stuff down a sandwich while scrolling down the ‘news’ feed of Whatever.” Ways to improve your erotic hygiene via pleasure and presence: claiming solo time as needed, taking a break from screens, prioritizing good sleep, good food, and making time to do NOTHING. Got that?

3. Treat yo’self to a brand new vibe.

After living through 2023, who doesn’t need some good vibes in their life, right? From the uber portable clit suction variety, to blended orgasm bliss, to toe-curling “thump” tech, the possibilities truly are endless. 2024 could be the year you finally stop hiding your sex toys from your partner (if this does not sound like you, know that for others, it will resonate). Better yet, this could be the year you vastly improve your sex life by introducing sex toys into your relationship. Word to the wise: opt for safe, nontoxic sex toys, clean them properly, and don’t be afraid to use lube. Happy new year to you.

4. Set clear boundaries.

If your boss wants you to take on another person’s job in addition to your own without a substantial pay raise and without more hours in the day, say no. Your friend wants to crash on your couch for another month rent-free and isn’t even bothering to do their dishes? Put your foot down, already. Your partner cheated on you? Your date coerced you into sex or slipped off his condom? Act accordingly. Or maybe it's all a little less dramatic. Maybe you simply need to learn not to bow to the social pressures that would have you going out and drinking your face off when your body is telling you that you 100% need dandelion tea and a good novel. Set boundaries. Make them as iron clad as you need them to be. There is zero shame in saying, “no, this is too much,” or “no, this is not right for me.”

5. Find time to be active.

Ok, so you work at a computer, along with almost everyone else in this modern-day tech-run world. And you’re subjected to the same notions of productivity. But as hyper advanced as we claim to be, never forget that you are still flesh and bone and sinew, and you need to treat yourself as such. If your body hurts from sitting too long, get up and stretch, or go for a walk, or dance it out to a fave song. Better yet, set a routine that works for you. Maybe you commit to a half hour of yoga or pilates each morning before work. Or maybe you take a run post work each day. Or  hey, maybe it’s time to get a stationary bike up in your office. Find something that works and stick to it.

6. Nurture a spiritual practice—whatever that means to you.

Spiritual practice means many different things to different people. The religious and the nonreligious alike can benefit dramatically from being in touch with their own sense of the divine/spiritual/sensual/sacred, whether via Kundalini yoga, breath work, meditation, shadowboxing, witchcraft, or Tantra—to name just a few. A simple ritual that makes you feel more deeply connected—like you’re a part of something larger than you—can go a long way toward helping you heal from trauma, be it sexual, physical and/or emotional. It can also keep you centered and grounded as you continue navigating this rocky path called life.

7. Find sources of joy.

In the day-to-day mundanity of eat-work-cook-Netflix-sleep-repeat, it is all-too-easy to lose track of joy. But sources of joy are integral to our wellbeing as human animals. If you and your partner are in a sexless rut, consider scheduling sex, or a date night. Zero shame in advance planning! If you always eat in front of the TV, try a candlelit dinner without screens—and enjoy every bite of food on your plate. This can be a gorgeous experience even if you’re dining solo. If you remember joy but can’t recall when you last encountered it, head outside and get some sun on your face. The sun is joy, after all. What else? A walk in the woods with a friend, the glimmer in a love interest’s eye, the softness of your cat’s fur on your hand, the thrill of getting creative. There is joy in all of these.

A happy and healthy 2024 to all! <3

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