08 Jan Goodbye… Hello!
Hello there, it’s Ellie here. 😊
So, we’ve said ‘See you later’ to 2023 and I don’t know if you had a little time between Christmas and New Year to relax, breathe, and unwind, but I really hope you did. You deserved it! Almost everybody I came across late last year was ready to take some time out over the Christmas season. I suppose it was the perfect time to pause, reflect, and prepare ourselves for 2024, for what it holds, for our new, unknown journey. It’s not just about turning the page on a fresh calendar; sometimes we can choose this time period to turn over a new leaf in our lives, particularly when it comes to our mental health.
This past year may have been a rollercoaster ride of emotions for you. It certainly was for me! A delicious, unpredicted, yet mostly inspiring blend of joys, sorrows, triumphs, and challenges. Yet, as we step into this new year, all of us have the chance to say goodbye to the things that haven’t served us well on our journey to mental well-being, and heartily welcome ones that will.
First, let’s acknowledge that saying goodbye can sometimes be hard. It’s like parting ways with old friends, even if they aren’t good for us. However, deep down we know it’s a necessary step towards healing and growth.
Goodbye to Toxic Relationships: We’ve all had relationships that drain us more than they uplift us. Maybe you are dealing with that now? It could be a friend, a family member, or a work colleague. How about this year, you make a decision to choose peace over drama. It doesn’t necessarily mean ending relationships but setting healthy boundaries for our mental well-being.
Goodbye to Negativity: Negative thoughts and self-criticism can be our constant companions, but they don’t have to be. Really try consciously to let go of negativity, replacing it with compassion and positivity. Try the ‘reject and replace’ tool. Every time a bad thought comes into your head, reject that thought instantly and replace it with a good thought. You can write a list of good things; in your life, what you’re aiming for, who loves you, and use this list when you need to think good thoughts.
Goodbye to Overwhelm: So many of us overburden ourselves, both professionally and personally. I am terrible for doing this myself. Even though I overburden myself with doing things I want to do, and love to do, I still have to remind myself to stop. It’s okay to say ‘no’ to things when we’re feeling overwhelmed. Let’s embrace the power of ‘no’ and this year see if we notice a difference as we protect our mental space.
Well, hello there!
Now, let’s look forward to 2024 with hope and optimism, welcoming habits and practices that can help us to thrive.
Hello to Self-care: As the saying goes, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ Plan to prioritise your self-care. Taking a walk every day, sitting down and having a cuppa without focussing on your laptop, or trying a new hobby. These are all little acts of self-love and self-care, and they can make a big difference to your mental wellbeing.
Hello to Meditation, Prayer, or Mindfulness: So often, we’re so caught up in our future plans, or even focussing on past events, (which is a complete waste of your grey matter, I must add) that we forget to live in the present. Whether you choose to meditate, or pray, or you enjoy mindfulness activities, these practices help us stay grounded in the now.
Hello to Connection: One thing I have loved over the Christmas season, as well as catching up with loved ones and with good friends, is the opportunity to spend time on my own. I call it hibernating with my books. It’s been like heaven to me. I know that for my mental health I have to spend a lot of time on my own and while it’s essential for us all, and it’s good to feel at peace on our own and with ourselves, human connection is also vital. Why not make 2024 the year you make time for meaningful relationships, and if you’ve been struggling with your mental health, you could consider joining a support group, if it feels right for you. You can find out more about our support groups, EPiC HOPE Harbours here Epic Hope | EPiC HOPE Harbours
Hello to Professional Help: There’s no shame in asking for help. If you’re struggling, reach out to someone, whether a mental health professional, or your GP. They can provide guidance and tools to help you. You’d be amazed what can happen when you take that first step to getting help.
Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. It’s okay to have bad days. What matters is that we keep moving, one step at a time. Here’s to a year of healing, growth, and, most importantly, kindness towards ourselves, and others.
Stay strong, stay hopeful, and remember, you are not alone!
There is always hope. EPiC HOPE.
Happy New Year!