Mary Olivia Verhulst, LMHC

Around the holidays and new year we’ve been conditioned to think about change and resolution. Some of us may be reflecting on what it is about our lives that feel unhealthy, toxic, unsustainable or outgrown- and how we may change them. Others may be simply contemplating how they may better themselves, and add to their lives. With all this change talk, we forget about our inherent value in this world that doesn’t shift based on what we add or subtract- as much as our anxiety or shame may try to tell us otherwise. The beautiful things about our lives and stories that have been there all along, perhaps deserving of more attention and fostering. Sometimes we even forget about our growth that went under-acknowledged this very past year. 

If we need to change something this year, let’s change the conversation. Before you dive into what you would like to look different in the new year, give a little time to what went down this past one. After all, self-reflection and awareness have been known as prerequisites for long-term change. 

Find five self-reflection tips below that can help you pivot from strictly change – talk, to compassion and sustain-talk.

  1. Instead of hyper focusing on what you can add or modify to your lifestyle: shifting the dialogue to what you are proud of this past year.

-Try writing down 5 things you are proud of yourself for at this very moment.

  1. Expressing gratitude toward the people and things that remain safe and consistent in your life. 

-This can be verbally, writing New Year’s Eve letters to your loved ones, or writing privately in a journal.

  1. Reflecting on your resilience you’ve had during this pandemic- it hasn’t been easy.

It’s possible you’ve overcome a lot this past year. Let’s just give a moment to these stories of resilience.

  1. Write out three things you’ve learned about yourself this year. 
  2. Reflect on your core values: What they are and asking how aligned with them you are at the moment. 

Your final check-in question…

The terms of conditions of 2022 for me look like this: cultivating curiosity and moving away from judgment, practicing gratitude, fostering deeper introspection, setting boundaries and aligning with my values. What do yours look like?

Thanks for reading. Are you looking for additional support managing anxiety or stress? Contact us today.