Taking Care of Yourself (and Others) in 2023

January 20, 2023

Earlier this month, I was listening to post-game interviews on the radio while on my way home from a KU basketball game. As the interviews were wrapping up, one of KU’s young guards, Joseph Yesufu, was asked about his new year’s resolution for 2023. And what he said struck me. He said he was going to do one thing every day for someone else.

The idea of doing something kind for someone else – even if you don’t do it every day – is something we should all consider, especially if you are looking for ways to improve your mental health in 2023. An act of kindness obviously benefits the recipient of that gesture, but it can also help boost your own mental health and overall well-being, too.

If you are feeling down, depressed or just out-of-sorts as the new year begins, I would encourage you to take a page out of Yesufu’s book and think about doing something kind for someone else. Often when we find ourselves feeling down or in a rut, it’s because we are too inward-focused. When you do something nice for someone else, it can give you a temporary break from your own thoughts and worries. It can also help to reduce isolation and help you feel more connected to others.

It might not seem like it, but showing kindness to others really is a form of self-care. And if you tend to struggle with thinking that self-care is selfish, this could be a great way to begin a self-care regimen. The joy that you feel after doing something kind for someone can boost your mood and increase your resilience. If you practice kindness toward others on a consistent basis, you’re investing in your own mental health and well-being while also lifting the spirits of those around you. It’s a win-win situation.

I hope you can draw a little inspiration from Yesufu as we begin 2023 and find the time to show a little extra kindness toward others. And hopefully that will lead you to show yourself a little extra kindness, too.