It’s 2017! Time to change everything about yourself, right? Not quite…
As someone who gets incredibly excited about fresh starts, especially when a new year rolls around, it may be surprising to read that I don’t want you to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” (what terrible phrases we have in the English language). What I mean to encourage, is that you acknowledge the incredible amount of strengths and good that are already inside of you. Sure 2016 was pretty terrible for many people, but you did grow in some way.
Take some time to reflect on what you learned about yourself in the past year, especially the good bits. Write it down. Did you form new positive relationships? How about trying something new? Were you successful in any way? Did you have any days of inner calm and peace? What were you most proud of? How did you brighten someone’s day? You can likely find some positive qualities or achievements by taking time to remember and appreciate them. Notice how you feel when you think of these positives in you/in your life.
Now, knowing that 2016 wasn’t complete rubbish, how can you cultivate and strengthen those good qualities that are already inside of you? Did it feel good to think of that time when you made a friend or family member smile/laugh when they were having a bad day? How can you create more of that? Did you feel “on top of the world” after accomplishing that fitness goal? Make a detailed plan of how to get to that feeling again. Everything that you want to change is already within you. You and I are capable of tremendous things when we believe in ourselves. Let’s see what our inner superheroes can do, shall we?
So, Happy New Year and Cheers to the Same You, because you are beautiful and complete just as you are.
The holidays can be a time of stress for many, especially when it comes to money, family, and
sugar cookies staying healthy.
Here are some ways I plan to enjoy this season. Maybe some of these will work for you, too.
- Check out holiday lights. Sparkly things tend to make me happy.
- Attend some (but not too many) of the events in the community. Have you seen Orlando Weekly’s Holiday Guide? It’s a good time to catch up with folks and spend time at your favorite places, but be careful of not over-booking.
- Get gift giving done early so that it can be thoughtful. Honestly, nobody really needs that terrible, last-minute impulse buy. Maybe you agree with family and friends to not do gifts, and instead spend some fun time together. Whatever you decide, try to avoid the impulse to spend on everything (set a budget) and avoid situations that you know will cause you unneeded anxiety.
- Check out your cheery-spirited friends and family! Look at them donating to good causes, volunteering their time, helping their neighbors. Look for the good in folks.
- Resist the temptation to eat ALL.THE.FOOD. Yes, there is balance in life but mood, energy, health can suffer from getting too caught up in all the foodstuffs.
- Of course, let’s all remember to use our coping skills…Breathing while stuck on I-4, Positive/Calm Thoughts while in that Wal-Mart line, Visualization of a happy place while your 3-year old loses it in the store, Grounding when our old friend anxiety starts to creep in.
- Need more tips or help dealing with ye olde holiday triggers? Pop in for some counseling sessions! We counselors are everywhere, especially throughout Central Florida. I’d be happy to help you work through your stress, finding joy this season, and dealing with Aunt Franny’s fruitcake (eek!).