It is the 31st of December and for me a time of reflection and setting new intentions for the new year. It is a time where many of us make ‘new year resolutions’, yet the odds of us keeping them longer than January are stacked against us. Why? Well, one reason might be that many of them are based in the negative (so starting with ‘I won’t’/or ‘I’ll stop’..) which can mean one small slip into action and we think we have ruined/spoilt it. And we often choose to remove from our lives one of our coping strategies, a thing that soothes us, emotionally regulates us, something we might associate with enhancing our happiness. Furthermore, we do this to ourselves in what may be one of the trickiest times of the year (we might be struggling financially, think we have nothing much to look forward to, dark and cold days, less socialising, perhaps less time with family, etc). Perhaps we almost punish ourselves for the excesses of December. What if we were kinder to ourselves and more forgiving to ourselves at this time of year? Promising instead to be more caring to ourselves.
For me, I do a reflection list on New Year’s Eve as I cannot think of a change of direction unless I know where I’ve been, and then I think of affirmative resolutions (intentions). Last year I set an intention to drink more water and take more walks. See my blog titled ‘January’. The drinking more water definitely happened, the walks less so. I would like to keep both of these as they are kind things I can do for myself, but changing the walking to a more general ‘move more’. And a new one, to find time to meditate as part of my self care routine.
So what are your intentions for the new year? I’ve told you mine! I’ll let you know in December 2020 if I kept them.
If the new year leaves you feeling down, with a low mood you can’t shake or you feel overly anxious for the year ahead talking it through with a counsellor can really help you to see through the clouds to brighter skies just ahead. Keep warm Sue x