This time last year, I was extremely depressed. My life consisted of work, watching the news, calling my representatives, watching tv and drinking. 2016 was one of the worst years of my life and part of what made it so hard was my inability to handle my feelings and emotions in any sort of healthy way. I was miserable to be around and the only person would tolerate me was my husband. I don’t want to get too deep into the negatives in this post, we can talk about that later. 

The point is, I knew that I needed to make a change. I knew that I was terrible at resolutions, so I decided to try a trend I saw on Instagram, picking a word for the year, and everything changed.

I realized that if I wanted to be happy, I had to start taking care of myself – physically, mentally and emotionally. What everyone needs is different, but I knew I needed to get back to basics. I went to the dentist and started getting my hair done. Appointments give me major anxiety, I hate having plans! But I went through most of them.

I expected that when I started taking care of myself, 2017 would be the year that I lost weight and got back to my normal size. And I did tackle a lot of my physical ailments, but 2017 really ended up being about my emotional and spiritual well-being. I started documenting it all on a new instagram account, @selfcareshift, which is probably how you found me.

I’ve loved the community on Instagram but I am so excited to dive deeper into all of my favorite topics here with you. I’ve grown and changed so much. To be honest, 2017 wasn’t much better for me, I lost loved ones and missed some pretty big goals. But I’ve learned to use different tools to work through the challenges life throws at me instead shutting down and diving into TV land.

Now that I’ve developed some better mental habits, I look forward to taking better care of my physical body in 2018. More on that later!

Did you have a word of the year for 2017? What was it? Any resolutions you kept? Tell me all about it.


  1. Marissa Rath

    You self-care posts have really helped me be better about my own self-care. Do I still suck at it? Definitely. But I’m trying.
    Last night for example, I should have/could have/would have worked an extra 30 minutes but instead I colored your zine, soaked my feet, and read a good chunk of my book. I still got 10 1/2 hours in that day plus me time. It’s all about the balance right?

    I’m really (and I mean really) bad about pushing myself too hard.

    If other people try to push me, I dig my heels in yet I seem to take my own self-criticism to heart quickly.

    My 2018 goals include…
    – Reading ALL the books. Okay, maybe not all but as many as I can because last year I was so stressed over our orange president, my weight, my stupid relationship etc. that I did not focus on me at all! Reading is the core of who I am. It was always my one way to escape yet I failed really badly at it. I want to get back to that.
    – Stepping out of my comfort zone and saying YES more. I have a tendency to be like yeah…. nope *bails*
    – YET, saying no too. I also have a tendency to go completely opposite and even when I don’t want to do something for someone… i.e free haircuts, taking 4 hours on my day off to color their hair, feeling the need to go to (at the time) my guys’ house because that’s what he wanted – yup nope! Not anymore.

    Also the usual, drink more water thing because I’m a coffee addict.

    I think being single will really help with that. I don’t even mean to get into relationships so quickly yet I do and they are always with the most narcissistic people so I need to stay away from that any one else who is bad for my mental health

    • Kristiina Stromness

      Thank you Marissa! It’s so great to hear such positive feedback. You have no idea how much it means to me. Sometimes on IG it can feel like you are having on conversation with yourself.

      I totally understand what you mean about saying yes and no more. For me, it’s about saying yes to experiences and play but still having boundaries for myself with other people and work.

      YES to drinking more water. I am the same as you and it’s always coffee coffee coffee. For a bit I had a rule that I had to chug a glass of water before each cup of coffee. I might have to bring that back. I’m excited to hear more about the books you are reading so please share on IG xx


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