Congratulations! You are one of the fortunate who made it through to the new year.
I, myself, am a 2018 survivor. It was not the best year for me or my family. My mother passed away, along with a number of other friends and family; major illness affecting even more. Add to that financial woes and the situation in our politics causing so much stress. Can you relate?
The challenges that affected me in 2018 have not magically disappeared with the turn of the digits from 8 to 9. But going into the new year alongside those struggles are the possibilities. And knowing that there are new possibilities allows me to cope. And being able to cope allows me to hope.
Hope. Isn’t that a great word and an even greater feeling? We often lose that feeling when we are powering through one business task after another or one home chore after another. This year, I want us to remember it isn’t all about the strategic plan or the scrubbed bathroom. It’s about our physical and mental health.
One more thing. Making this commitment to self should not be so hard. This is not the mega diet you want to start at the beginning of the year. This is adding to your life, not subtracting from it.
So, how can we bring more coping and hoping to our lives?
It is in the small things. Here are a few suggestions. Take and act on what resonates with you or make a list of your own:
Put down the devices and back away! This is self-explanatory. The world misses you.
Pick up a book! The relaxation of sitting quietly and going to a world outside your own is priceless. It even lowers your blood pressure.
Volunteer. Nothing brings you a sense of hope like bringing hope to others.
Go for a short or long walk. I am not talking a triathlon but a nice stroll around a lake or just the block. For an added benefit, ask a friend to join you.
Phone a friend. Extra points when you make it an old one you haven’t spoken with for a while. I’ll wager they miss you too.
Try something new for heaven’s sake! The possibilities are endless: a different haircut, an escape room, a night of stand-up comedy, or being that stand-up comic!
Dance. Any kind will do. (This one has kept me sane for years now. If you need suggestions of places to try, message me).
Create something – a poem, a podcast, a nice drawing, a photo series, or a new recipe. Inspire us! Inspire yourself!
Follow a few of these suggestions and the many more that you can come up to help clear your mind and make room for new things to get in there. A new mindset will bring positive energy to your home and work life. Sounds a bit like hope, huh?
One more thing. I am a very visual person and I suggest a visual cue to remind you to be hopeful. I found that cue quite by accident in the most unlikely collection I didn’t realize I was assembling.
I have a growing number of solar-powered “bobbers” lined up on my living room window ledge. Since I live in Minnesota and we get more than our fair share of cold and gloomy days, I feel the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The weather itself can bring me down.
You know who is not adversely affected by the weather? My bobbers. The slightest hint of light will set them gently rocking and full sunshine brings me a chorus line of happiness.
In short, those silly figures bring me joy and remind me it is always a good time to dance.
May you dance your way to hope in 2019! - Susan
For more positive mechanisms to cope and hope in the new year I urge you to read the latest blog from my friend and colleague, Kaari Allen. It’s called “I Get To vs I Have To.” Find it here.