8 Un-Resolutions I'm Doing for Myself in the New Year

By Nicolle Mackinnon | January 3, 2022 2:17:22 PM PST

Hi, my name is Nicolle Mackinnon and I have four chronic illnesses. Yep, four. They’re the reason I’ve found myself immersed in the wellness and clean beauty scene for nearly a decade—and I’ve tested innumerable holistic practices from sound baths, chaotic breathing and dynamic body balancing to cranial-sacral therapy, homeopathy and pelvic floor work. Basically, I’ll be a guinea pig for anything that might alleviate my symptoms or improve my well-being.

But all that can be totally exhausting. And while everyone else is crafting their cheery New Year’s resolutions, I often feel like my whole life consists of resolving some new side effect that popped up overnight.

What the uncertainty of living with a chronic condition has taught me is that many “wellness” practices are unsustainable. It takes so.much.energy to maintain a daily collection of rituals, even if they’re beneficial. So this year, I’m writing a few un-resolutions to narrow my focus and dedicate energy to only things that I know will make an impact on my health (mental, physical and spiritual).

One final, important thought before I dive in. My long-time therapist’s words ring in my head anytime I consider adding anything new to my life: “When you add something to your plate, you don’t just pile it on top of everything else. You take something away to maintain balance.” Here’s hoping you can internalize that as you consider what un-resolutions you’re going to do for yourself in the new year.

What the uncertainty of living with a chronic condition has taught me is that many “wellness” practices are unsustainable.

Foam Rolling
My most recent diagnosis is endometriosis, which I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of. I know that one key component to alleviating the pain that comes with my monthly cycle is movement, but I’m often hesitant to try a new, intense workout for fear of overdoing it. Foam rolling, which I’ve dabbled in the last two months, is supposed to be great for helping release muscle tightness and tension. I’ll be trying this more regularly, per
Jessica Murnane’s instructions.

Iron Infusions
I’ve always had low-ish iron (celiac disease, which I have, and endometriosis can both be low-iron contributors), but it’s currently at the lowest it’s ever been—and it’s wreaking havoc on my energy levels. Instead of taking iron supplements, which can be hard to absorb and can take six to seven months to make a difference in your labwork, I’m going to try iron infusions once a week for four weeks. Crossing my fingers that my doc’s estimate of three weeks until I start to feel more energy is accurate.

Plant-Based Eating
If you’ve been around the wellness world for a while, you know how
plant-based eating can impact your health for the better (not to mention the significantly lower enviro footprint plants have vs. animal proteins). Low iron (see above) has always kept me from ditching meat entirely, and while I’m still not going vegetarian or vegan, I’m going to try to do one to two dinners per week that are plant-based and meat-free, with Pretty Simple Cooking and One Part Plant as my guides.

Castor Oil Pack
I was recently diagnosed with mold toxicity (I know—it sounds like I’m making all these things up, doesn’t it?!) and part of the treatment is to help my body detox while on a round of anti-fungal supplements. Enter the castor oil pack, which has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Placed over the liver, the castor oil is thought to
aid in detoxification by helping make stools easier to pass. My doctor recommended it, and I found a way less messy version of the usual DIY via Phoebe Lapine, so I’m committing to doing this daily in the New Year.

Sauna-ing
Another way to pump up my daily detoxing is to take a sauna. And living in Minnesota during the winter, THIS SOUNDS IDEAL. I found a
local private sauna where I can book a session, but I’m also going to be saving up for this infrared sauna blanket (yeah, it’s expensive, but if I did five sauna sessions, it would nearly pay for the blanket, so it feels like an investment), which I’ve heard incredible things about. Plus, who doesn’t want to sweat it out while watching Selling Sunset?! 

Curable
I originally heard about
this app from Elizabeth Kendig, head of content here at WellSet, but I didn’t act on it until I put it on my Christmas list. My dad surprised me with a subscription and I’m eager to start testing it out. I struggle with chronic pain related to a couple of my illnesses, and the science behind this mind-body approach to decreasing daily pain is really intriguing. I’ve only done one lesson so far, and the way it guided me to reframe my pain has already helped.

Go to the Dentist
Okay, don’t judge but it’s been two years since I sat in that dreaded dentist chair because A) COVID and B) my oral health is the only aspect of my overall health that I haven’t had any issues with (no cavities, no root canals, no nothing). And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to knock on wood…

Spend Less, Be Mindful More
This one is for my mental health. I spend a stupid amount of time worrying about money, mostly because I’ve had the experience of out-of-the-blue astronomical health costs piling up. I want to be more mindful about my spending in 2022, so I can wave bye-bye to some of that anxiety. I tend to panic purchase things I think *might* help my health, instead of calmly planning for things I know I need. Plus, buying less stuff helps declutter the mind (even if I’m not going full Marie Kondo here).

This article mentions: Rituals, Mindfulness

About the Author:

Nicolle Mackinnon

Nicolle Mackinnon has worked for nearly a decade with wellness and beauty brands that are creating change in their industries. Along the way, she’s become a trusted voice in the self-care category, all while learning to trust herself, too. She lives in Minneapolis with her 70-pound rescue poodle Sam.

Read more articles by Nicolle Mackinnon

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