Jessica Reino

Jessica Reino


It is definitely January when you see or hear commercials with the “New Year/New You” theme and offers to local gyms at discounted rates.

When I see these commercials, I immediately think about how my own exercise regimen could be improved (and if I’m being honest, how it could be started. Although, I think dance parties with the kids and running after them could be its own Olympic sport). It is so important to take care of our bodies with the appropriate amount of exercise and nutrition if we are able to. This is reinforced everywhere we look from television, to radio, and in print and digital media.

But, you know what I don’t see much of? I don’t see many resolutions or a focus to take care of our minds and our emotional well-being. From a personal standpoint, I think this is a huge issue because taking care of ourselves should include our whole selves and doing things with a purpose.

Photograph via Heidi Sandstrom

How often do we find ourselves overwhelmed because maybe all we needed was five minutes to take a step back and take a breath but we continually move onto the next activity dismissing the need to pause? How many activities do we need to be involved in? Do we become involved or make our children involved in something because we think that’s what we should be doing or because there is truly a passion for that activity?

Now don’t get me wrong, some people, including children, thrive off of a full schedule and are passionate about each activity they participate in, but what if they’re not? What if we’re not? If someone, especially a family member or close friend, asks how we are doing is the default answer “Everyone’s good” or “We’re doing fine” instead of actually talking about what is going on in your life-good or bad? Why is it hard to express our true feelings to those closest to us?

When was the last time you took a day off or a vacation without feeling guilty?

I am willing to bet a lot of you either do not feel like you have the time to take, you are worried about your job security if you do, or you honestly do not have the time because you need to be making money in order to live. How many of you get enough sleep?

Everything that I mentioned can be hard to accomplish, but I believe they are equally as important as making a resolution to go to the gym. In taking care of our whole selves, we can take a step back and be sure that the choices we make are responsible, productive, and meaningful.

What I certainly don’t want to do is feel like my life is on auto-pilot. I don’t want to live someone else’s life or try to live my life based on someone else’s idea of how my life should go. I try to make good choices and I have the best of intentions behind those choices. Sure there will be mistakes along the way, but I can learn from those mistakes and make better choices in the future.

Photograph via Heidi Sandstrom

Life is a continuous multiple choice test and sometimes we need to go beyond d.) None of the above and write-in e.) Evolve.

So, my resolution, and one that I wish for you, is to continually focus and evolve into the person that you want to be. Pursue your passions. Learn something new. Take care of yourself and others. Be kind. Be open and receptive. Listen. Take notice. Talk about your day and your feelings. Give your opinion, but do so respectfully. Work hard, but be happy. Love and lift others up.

Be authentic, but most importantly, be you.

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More About Jessica Reino: Kidlit writer, editor for @pandamoonpub, foodallergy advocate, wife and mom to two amazing boys who keep me on my toes. Find out more at