It’s a new year. It’s a new decade.
But we’re the same people.
It’s less ‘new year, new me’, and more ‘new year, new perspective’ that we should perhaps be aiming for.
We can review 2019 and assess the changes we’d like to make so that 2020 can hopefully be a little brighter, but we don’t need to pick ourselves apart. A small shift in focus and perspective may be all we really need. There are many things out of our control when it comes to chronic illness, so we don’t need to make ourselves feel worse. The main thing is to take control of your life in the ways you are able to, and live it the way you see fit. We’re good enough as we are. We’re doing our best, and that’s good enough.
1. Step Back & Review 2019
What have been the highs and lows, the regrets and the achievements? Have you dealt with the emotional impact of health problems, loss, financial stresses, trauma, personal problems or life changes? A lot of the time, we push things down, put on a smile and keep going, but it’s important to acknowledge, accept and process the things we go through.
Please reach out if you need support, whether it’s a friend, loved one, an online support forum, Facebook group, the blogging community, a professional support service / charity, or your doctor. You don’t have to do this alone.
2. Tidy Up
A clear up of your physical & mental space is important for starting afresh.
A tidy home is a tidy mind, or so they say. I do think there’s a degree of truth in this because when your living space is tidier and cleaner, you can feel a little more at peace. If it’s not not used, broken, unwanted or doesn’t fit, get rid of it, whether that’s selling on eBay, donating to charity, going in the bin or sending to recycling. Tackle parts of your home in small chunks so that you don’t overdo it and set aside small blocks of time (like 10 minutes here and there) or individual tasks (like sorting through one cupboard or one drawer, or going through one folder of paperwork) to make it more manageable.
Give yourself some space and breathing room. Get a change of scenery. If you have anxiety, you’ll know how hard it is to quieten your brain, but getting things a little tidier up there, even if briefly, can give you the time you need to assess things, find perspective, feel inspired and work out what you want and how you feel. A little distraction can work for some, too, whether there’s a good book, a Netflix series or a walk in the park. Turn off electronics, step away from the to-do lists and get out of your own head for a while.
3. Take Back Control – Focus On What You Can Do
I’ve posted about this before. You are more than the parts of your body, the parts of your brain, the things that perhaps don’t work so well. You are more than just the things you can’t do. When looking at 2020, don’t get overwhelmed by the things you’d like to do but can’t or the things you’d like to be different but have no control over.
What are the things you can do, however small? Adjust your perspective and your expectations and take a proper look at the ability, independence and control you do have. Think outside the box a little and work with what you’ve got.
Similarly, we can often feel we have little control over our circumstances & health. We forget the small ways we can make changes. We forget we have more control than we may think: our ability to react, to prepare, to change our perspective. Don’t underestimate the power of perspective. That is under your control.
Embrace the uncertainty and the unknown. We’re all human. Most of us probably don’t have a clue what we’re doing, some just make it look like they do. Yes, we may have to adjust our expectations in line with our situations, our health, our finances and what’s realistic. Maybe we’re not where we’d hoped we’d be. So carve a new path, one that’s uniquely yours.
4. Be The Author & Write Your 2020
Look at the different aspects of life and wellness in general. Picture it as an overlapping set of circles that represent the varied parts of life. Physical health, mental health, finances, relationships and connections with others, work, spiritual/religious/moral, self-care, sense of achievement, fun & enjoyment, creativity…
Are there things you’d like to do differently, ways you’d like to change or areas of your life you’d like to adjust? Are there things you do that you could do differently to make your life a little easier or a little more enjoyable? Are there things you need help with? Things you have been putting off doing? Are there people you’d like to see, things you’d like to say, new things you’d like to try?
Redefine what’s important to you, not what you feel you ‘should’ be resolving to do. Take back a little control. You are the author of your own story, so write the next chapter of your life by designing your 2020 on your own terms.
5. Do What’s Right For YOU
This is an important part to remember : Do what’s best for you. We may be continually trying to please others, or maybe we just put up with things that cause us harm to some degree because we don’t want to upset others. I’m not saying don’t try to make others happy, but don’t do it at your own expense. Make 2020 the year to prioritise your own needs.
Sometimes this can be a challenge in its own right to do what’s right for you, especially if you want to make others happy or are worried about rocking the boat and causing upset. Eventually, putting up with whatever it is will wear you down and cause more damage in the long run. It’s a lesson you learn the hard way and it’s time to do something about it, to realise you deserve better.
If something is hurting you, or if there are toxic people in your life, muster up that courage to change it. You have it, even if it’s a quiet whisper rather than a roar. This is self-care in practice by standing up for yourself and acknowledging that your own needs and happiness matter, even more so when the decision is a difficult one to make.
6. Rekindle Hope
A new year comes with a lot of expectations. Get rid of those, put them to one side for now. This isn’t about making huge declarations or aiming for the stars, though there’s nothing wrong with either. But gather a little hope in your heart. If this year has been challenging, remember that you will have grown stronger, even if you don’t realise it. You’re tough enough to take on a new year. And the days that follow can be brighter, and those brighter days can be more frequent. Things change, we change, the world evolves. Embrace that and work with it.
What things make you smile? What are your blessings? What positivity or goodness is in your life? What silver linings can you see? What have you learned this year? How have you grown?
Seek inspiration, whether it’s in books or blogs or Pinterest or being around nature. Fill your mind and your heart with positive vibes. Find that spark and kindle it.
I want to wish you all a very happy New Year – I hope it’s a happier, healthier, brighter 2020 for all of you, for all of us. Have hope.
How do you like to kick off your New Year & make sure it gets off to the best start?