New Year: new you
New Year: more you?
Happy New Year, I hope you have had an enjoyable festive season
It’s 2018, January, and where I am currently it’s pretty wet and miserable. This can be a difficult time of year for many people, if you’re feeling it you are not alone.
Around this time there’s always a lot of looking back at the previous year, and looking forward to what the new year could bring. You might have been thinking about New Years Resolutions, focusing on how to be a new and improved you. There can be a lot of emphasis on improving yourself. Sometimes this is helpful and can drive you forward into achieving your goals. Other times it can be a way of feeling you are not enough, you need changing and you’ve got to ‘do something’ about it.
Pushing too hard
Chances are if you’re experiencing depression or anxiety you’ve actually been pushing too hard, for too long. When I was experiencing a lot of anxiety I thought I needed to constantly push myself. To be a better person, a happier and more likeable person. It took a long time for me to realise that actually I just needed to get out of my own way. To stop striving for perfection and accept who I am, an imperfect human being. Striving to be a good person was actually holding me further away from being a good person. Why? Because the striving meant that I didn’t believe I was already a good person. I thought I was a bad person. I didn’t like myself, I didn’t think I was worthy of liking myself. Let alone loving myself.
Not liking yourself can look a lot like feeling caught in a cycle of guilt, shame and inadequacies. Not feeling good enough keeps you from being well.
Break down you goals
One problem with Resolutions is they can be too difficult to achieve. This means when you don’t succeed you can quickly blame yourself for not achieving what you set out to, even though you were asking too much of yourself. If you want to eat healthier why not just add in one type of food at a time? If you want to lose weight why not find an exercise you enjoy? Breaking down your goal into more manageable chunks will keep your motivation high, as you’re more able to achieve progress. It doesn’t matter how fast you move towards where you want to be as long as your moving. And yes some days you might not achieve what you wanted to. Cut yourself some slack and don’t dwell on it, realise maybe you needed that break to reaffirm what you want. Forgive yourself and remember it’s the here and now that counts.
Self-liking & How to be more you
This year alongside any resolution you may have why not practice some self-liking. (Even writing this I feel the me from a few years ago going ‘eww’ so I get it if it feels impossible or just not what you feel you can do right now.) Never the less.. I encourage you to add another voice into your head. One that goes against the one who is always putting you down, pointing out all your mistakes and generally negative.
Work on hearing a voice that says “I am enough” and “I am trying my best.” Actively seek out the things you do in life well. Things that make a difference to other peoples lives, animals and nature. If that doesn’t feel you, increase doing the things you enjoy. Maybe a resolution could be to enjoy yourself more. Spend more time doing what you actually want to be doing. One thing that tends to stop or reduce is doing the things we love when we don’t feel very lovable. The more time you spend enjoying yourself the less time you have to focus on the things you don’t like about yourself.
If you have a New Years Resolution, I hope you find ways of making your goal more achievable, fun and work for you.