As we look with relief upon the ending of what for most has been a difficult year, we begin to ask about the new year. It appears likely we won’t be back to anything close to “normal” until mid-year, at least. So what can we do now, to plan for that? And, perhaps most importantly, what can we do now to take care of ourselves and our relationships so that we are in a good place in the new year?
There are three ways the new year can be better, if you start planning now:
- Stay present: The best expert advice suggests we do better when we focus upon the now and allow the experience of it. Good and bad happens, with or without a pandemic. Noticing what’s working, and what’s not, helps us plan for a shift. Spend the rest of this year making sure you understand the difference between what’s good and bad for you. Immerse yourself in the experience of your life and think consciously about what you can do in this moment. If you want to plan for the new year and make sure you are doing the best you can for yourself, practically and financially, follow this planning guide for end of year success: http://lifecycle.financial/5-year-end-financial-moves-to-make-now/
- Regulate your emotions:The best practices to regulate your emotions include: calming your breath, de-escalating when you feel heightened emotion, and having a healthy coping mechanism when overwhelm occurs. This year has been hard! Most of us have wondered if it a return to “normal” will occur. We can’t control that, of course. What we can control, really, the only thing, is how we behave. So, although our feelings may be present and feel like too much sometimes, we can choose behavior to lower our level of escalation, for ourselves, and in our relationships with others. If you can do only one thing when escalated do this: breathe, focus on the breath, and give yourself space and time away from others to do just this.
- Loads of self-care: Whether we are worried about our future or how we are doing in relationship to and with others, it is important that we prioritize ourselves. This means breaks from work, kids, significant others and even friends. Although we may yearn for more connection in a year when actual in person contact has been limited, it is still important to take care of our alone time and ourselves. Whether you meditate, exercise or both, find a way that’s helpful to you and healthy for you to feel better. Take a nap, stretch your body or make sure you have a therapist, as needed. These forms of self-care are mandatory to feel and do your best.
In sum, the best practices to ensure the new year brings the best you is to take care of yourself, your finances and your well-being right now. If you do these things, you will likely bring less escalation to work and personal relationships and find new energy in everything you do.
Cherie Morris, J.D, CDC is a mediator, parent coordinator, and coach dedicated to de-escalating conflicts for individuals, couples, co-parents, and others too. Reach out today to see if she can support your needs. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.