Goals for 2018. New Years resolution.

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This year decide to do something different with your goals for the new year. Many times we have goals for the new year just for them to go by the wayside. I am sure you had all the intentions in the world to follow through with your goals for the year. Unfortunately, the next year end comes and you think to yourself, “I did not see my goal through last year why do this again?” Some researchers have stated that 80% of new years resolutions fail by February. That statistic is startling! Come January everyone is hitting the gym, it is completely packed, and you have to fight for a space to get a workout in. Come the end of January the usual crowd is back and the hype has died down.  So you may be asking, “How do I stay the course?”

  1. SET REALISTIC GOALS. Unrealistic expectations are the catalyst to failure in many areas. Unrealistic expectations lead to feelings of resentment, anger, isolation, and hopelessness. If you break your goals down into smaller and more obtainable goals it will be easier to gain more momentum.
  2. WRITE OUT YOUR GOALS. Have your goal visible so you can see it daily. You can use your goal as a type of affirmation.
  3. MAKE YOUR GOALS SPECIFIC. Sometime we overwhelm ourselves with the big picture. Having more clear cut goals will make them easier to attain.If it helps break your goals into categories for example: mental. emotional, physical, spiritual, financial/business.
  4. WRITE YOUR GOALS IN A POSITIVE TONE. Instead of saying stop being late for work (negative view) change your goal to a positive. For example, be on time for work or be 5 minutes early to work everyday. Reframing is a helpful tool to help you see things in a different way.
  5. HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER. Share your goals with other people who can help support you and keep you accountable.

This is an exciting time of year when you can have a fresh start. Take charge of your mental health today! Seek out the help of a counselor or professional if need be. Set attainable goals to achieve for yourself and have an amazing New Year!

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How do I navigate the Holidays?

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“I do not know how I am supposed to make it through the Holidays”, “I have four family functions that I have to fake it through”, “This is the first Christmas without her being around”, “I am not going to be able to face my family”. The Holidays can be a joyous time, but can also bring up the heartache that you are currently facing. The Holidays are a time of year when everyone in the family comes together. There is a lot of pressure during the holidays to be happy and fun-loving. However, you may have lost loved ones, have to face the person who abused you at a young age, have nowhere to go for the holidays or have unresolved conflict with members of the family. You may feel your family will ask questions about your marriage that you are not ready to answer. You may not be ready to see everyone with their family intact because you are missing your loved one who has passed or your children are with their dad’s side of the family this time around.  The Holidays can bring on stress, depression, anxiety, and isolation. Following these tips can help alleviate the holiday blues:

  1. Give yourself grace. You do not have to push your emotions to the side just becausse it is the holidays. If you have lossed a loved one, are feeling lonely after a breakup, or are experiencing guilt from a seperation/divorce it is okay to experience emotions. Having the holidays without a loved one can be very difficult. Knowing the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance may be helpful in navigating your feelings.
  2. Express your feelings. Do not be afraid to express the emotions that you are feeling inside. Having a support system is a key factor in alleviating anxiety and depression. Many times you may feel like talking about what you are feeling may be burdensome to others so you choose to withhold your feelings. However, letting unexpressed feelings build up can lead to anxiety, isolation, and depression. Others in the family may feel the same as you and may be able to help you talk your feelings through or help you have a sense of comradery and normalcy.
  3. Set firm boundaries. It is okay to say no and outline what is and is not acceptable for you. You may have mutiple functions that you are invited to and feel obligated to attend. If you feel stretched thin over the holiday it is okay to not attend or to attend for a specific amount of time that you feel is acceptable. It is okay to have an exit strategy. If you feel overwhelmed you can excuse yourself and go for a walk or take some time to regather yourself. You do not have to feel that you have to “keep it together”. Wearing a mask only makes you feel more isolated and depressed.
  4. Keep up your self-care routine. It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the busyness of the holidays that you forget about prioritizing yourself. Maintaining adequate self-care and coping skills will be the main ways to decrease anxiety and depression.  You can try deep breathing, yoga/excercise, mindfulness,  getting creative, and journaling/affirmations.
  5. Notice your triggers. Know what makes you upset during family gatherings or specific thoughts that you have going into the holidays. Change your thoughts to become more positive to break out of negative thought patterns and feedback loops that heighten stress. Try a thankfulness journal to help breed more positivity.
  6. Seek out the help of a professional if you feel unable to manage. If you feel overly anxious and stressed about the holidays or having to interact a counselor can help you navigate these feelings. Coundelors you are unable to process what is going on it is okay to seek out the help from a counselor. Counselors can help you process through your triggers and give you coping skills to alleviate the stresses you are currently facing.