I was not fond of 2020. Not particularly fond of 2021. I mean, I am resilient so I endured. Yay. Resilient. At some point, I wish I didn’t have to be so resilient.
The point is collectively we have all had a rough go of it mentally and emotionally.
So I do not think it is really a great time for resolutions in 2022 or for any long-term goals.
I think perhaps it is a better time to do some reflection on our current state of being and what we need for our well-being. Not necessarily specific goals just internally what we want to give ourselves or change perspective on. And this may require some changes and goals but may not. I like to just reflect on different aspects of my overall well-being and life satisfaction to think about things I want to alter, adjust or boost in a general way.
Have you had self-compassion for yourself this last year?
If you have had struggles in the last couple of years and extra stresses have you had self-compassion during those experiences and your journey? For what you go through with your chronic illness?
When it comes to acceptance of chronic illness self-compassion is one of those things I completely ignored and never even thought about for a long time. I never gave myself a break or credit. I certainly never thought ‘Hey, you’re only human- you’re doing the best you can.’ I did work on ruminating and negative self-talk but still I struggled with just that general kindness to self. Accept that I am going through a lot of pain and it is a struggle- that is hard to deal with sometimes. And that is fine. That my emotions are normal and I am permitted to have them and feel them.
Certainly, through all the stresses we as a society have gone through recently we might want to think a bit about whether we have some self-compassion.
How is your mental well-being?
Since I have Major Depressive Disorder that sometimes needs therapy and sometimes needs medication I am keenly aware of my mental health. I pay attention to fluctuations in my mood and do things to boost it when I feel a slump. When chronic pain is high, and it has been lately, it is harder to cope emotionally and mentally. So I have to be even more alert to any emotional slumps, more rumination, and any negative self-talk.
Only we can really say whether our mental health is at a point where we need extra help. When we need to go to therapy or need to be on medication to help adjust things. I know many ways to cope with depression from being in therapy, which is great, but I have to be aware of when that is not sufficient. In times of high stress as many of us have been under, and the stress endures, added to the normal stresses of pain and illness, and life we have to be very aware of our mental health state.
Assess your life satisfaction
This post may help with that: Mood, Happiness and Life Satisfaction
Also article: How To Be More Satisfied With Your Life – 5 Steps Proven By Research
But in general, you want to ask yourself what is most important to you in your life right now and the areas of your life you want to see growth in. Part of that is thinking about what your personal values are. What aspects of yourself you like and what aspects you want to develop. What aspects of your well-being you want to change or improve on and how you might want to adapt your self-care to do that. Where you find fulfillment in your life or how to get more fulfillment in your life. The areas in your life you want to see improvements in (Family, social, work, interpersonal).
These can lead to goals, of course. Definitely long-term goals as well. Ones we might break up into smaller short-term goals as well. But I don’t see these as resolutions but rather as aspects of my personal growth through time.
One of my core values is learning and growth as is so I am always trying to progress in some way or another. Sometimes to satisfy the personal value I will take free online courses (the ones I can do at my own pace) because doing so satisfies that craving I have for knowledge and learning new things. But I also do like to make consistent habits in my overall well-being (like relaxation breathing and meditation) because I find those important to help me de-stress (and that clearly is a more fixed goal). Other times I ensure I am fulfilling my need for social contact by making sure I get out and about because I know it is good for me mentally and emotionally- and so easy to just hermit mode all the time, especially these days.
So definitely the end of the year is a great time for me to assess where I am at and what I need to focus on more. But I will also do so several times a year if I notice I get that feeling of ‘stagnation’ or ‘lethargy’ or I feel exceptionally de-motivated. So I need to focus more on some hobby time to get that sense of fulfillment and a mood boost? Do I just need to have a mental and emotional break and do some self-care activities like maybe dig into a really good book? What part of my life satisfaction is lagging and how can I fill that need?
Things you may want to focus on in the new year:
- Writing in a daily journal
- Doing a daily gratitude journal at night. Writing down 3 things you were grateful for that day.
- Starting a practice to help with stress whether that is regular relaxation breathing, meditation or some other method that works for you.
- Focusing more on a hobby or starting a new one. Something that simply gives you joy to do.
- Try out a online course in something you dig or want to learn
- Join a in real life group on someting you are into (Book club, Lean to cook, learn to paint, Game groups)- this obviously is tricky right now but I have seen some online based ones and some socially disanced/pandemic friendly in person groups available.
I think it is a good time for reflection for sure. A good year to think about our well-being given all the various stresses we have endured. I don’t think we necessarily have to fix that into specific goals if we don’t want to. But if we do, I would want them to be achievable, realistic and broken up into parts that are not overwhelming for us. And something that just helps improve our fulfillment, or mental health, or well-being- even if it is a small thing because even small things in one of those areas gives us a good bang for our buck. Like when I started my new honby of drawing- that has been great for so many factors including helping with my mood. Just what will help us feel better about ourselves or manage the stresses we have to deal with.