1. Take three slow deep breaths often. It is helpful to connect a new desired behavior to one that occurs regularly in your life, so try taking three slow deep breaths whenever you find yourself waiting for something: waiting at a red light, waiting for water to boil, waiting for someone to answer the phone….
2. Do something you love every day. Make it a priority to do so, even if for only a short time. Read, sing, dance, make music, listen to pleasing sounds in your environment: music, birdsong, silence, chimes, ocean waves…. or whatever floats your boat.
3. Practice gratitude. We’ve all suffered losses in the past year so gratitude is more important than ever to help us get back in balance. Start with the basics if too much loss has overwhelmed your gratitude and this is difficult for you: appreciate being able to walk, to see, to speak….
4. Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal to help you get in touch with yourself. Pens and keyboards use different cognitive processes, so if you are struggling with an issue try writing in longhand if keyboard is more familiar to you, or the other way around.
5. Exercise. Take a walk in nature, ride a bike, do yoga, swim, tai chi, look at online exercise programs and try something new .......
6. Say "no" to things that are not in your best interest. Slow down any automatic response and take a minute to think about your choices. Remember that “No, thank you” is a complete sentence and does not require explanation, especially if delivered with a smile.
7. Nourish relationships. Be kind, practice active listening, validate others with appreciation, reach out with phone calls or texts, or emails, or zooms. Be kind and compassionate to yourself and anyone who crosses your path.
8. Pay attention to your language. Choose words that support choice and strength. Inhibit and redirect old patterns of language and beliefs that do not take you in the direction you want to go.
9. Cultivate your sense of humor. Laugh more. Wear a smile for no reason (even if it is not visible under your mask!).
10. Prayer and meditation are helpful in expanding spiritual connection and self awareness.
11. Sleep, eat and relax well. If something is interfering with these necessary functions, address it. Monitor intake of sugar, caffeine and alcohol. If you can’t make progress on your own ask for help.
12. Talk to trusted friends, a counselor, or a coach about what you want in your life and how you feel about what is happening or has happened.
It is my hope that the new year will bring us some relief and peace from the fear and anger that was so abundant in 2020. If we all contribute to creating better selves we will also be contributing to creating a better world.
May our thoughts, words and actions support happiness and freedom for all