Alex Aster is the managing editor of The Newsette, and a children’s book series author. As part of our “Ask Alex” series, she tackles some of our readers’ most pressing questions, in an effort to bring a new perspective to the table. Today, Alex answers a question about 2019.

Dear Alex: My 2019 hasn’t gotten off to a great start. Though I stayed in the office late, worked harder than I ever have, and basically didn’t sleep for a week, I still missed a big deadline. I haven’t stepped foot in the gym, and am in the midst of a nasty cold. I can’t help but feel like this is foreboding a bad year. Help.

AA: I agree–if you keep this up, you’re probably in for a stressful, sick-day filled year. Why? You’re not taking care of yourself. Not sleeping and working yourself to the bone didn’t end up helping you at work–and it definitely didn’t do any favors for your health.

Take these first two weeks as a lesson, or trial period gone bad. You need to take a step back and look at your life from a different perspective. Do you actually like your job? Are you stuck in a bad role because you’re afraid you can’t do any better? Maybe it was just a bad week at work. Or maybe you’re in the wrong position. If the latter is true, now is the time to save yourself more of these miserable weeks by looking for a different career, or workplace.

Now, make a list of your wellness non-negotiables. These are the things you absolutely need in your life in order to function at a great level. Maybe it’s more than seven hours of sleep a night. Maybe it’s working out three times a week. Or carving out time with your friends. Any job or situation that doesn’t let you also have this list of wellness non-negotiables isn’t one that you’ll enjoy in the long run.

Good luck!

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