After the indulgence of Christmas, the start of the New Year can feel like a real slog.
Everything you’ve been ‘putting off’ til January – bills, gym membership, job searches – is suddenly staring you right in the face and it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed, exhausted and anxious.
Parties and festive food are replaced with porridge and dark mornings, and your mental wellbeing can take a real battering.
This week, you may feel bombarded with tips and advice on how to kickstart a healthy new year.
Your newsfeed is full of relentless headlines promising to have the secrets to success and happiness. A ‘new you’ is within your grasp if you just give up sugar in your tea, and complete your 10,000 steps a day just as the Fitbit ordered.
Our message is simple. This is our secret.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t put yourself under immense pressure to be ‘perfect’ or everything to everybody.
No matter how many kale smoothies you grimace through this year, you are going to mess up. You’re going to make mistakes and say the wrong thing and sleep through your alarm, and mindlessly scroll through social media while eating snacks with zero nutritional value.
You are human. Wonderfully so!
With this in mind, here are our tips to better wellbeing in 2018.
Embrace your flaws: There is only one you in the world. No matter what anyone else or thinks or expects of you, you are incredible. You may be a size bigger than you were last year, not have those designer jeans, or that fancy job. You may not have a five year plan or any plan at all. But you are as unique as a snowflake, and you deserve everything your heart desires, just as much as the next person.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable: According to Brene Brown, a Texan academic turned bestselling author, to live a full life requires courage, and showing courage means doing things that make you feel vulnerable. Vulnerability is about being honest with yourself and others about your limitations It is about not only acknowledging your weak spots and fears, but owning them, in all of their fragile glory. Allow yourself to fail, allow yourself to be afraid, and allow yourself to embrace every part of yourself, even the parts you feel like keeping hidden.
Be kind to yourself: This is the golden rule. If you can’t be kind to yourself, who will be? Our therapists tell us to treat ourselves like we would a beloved friend. To show the same understanding and compassion to ourselves as we would a BFF. This is pretty straightforward, and yet something we struggle with time and time again. Just by being in this world, you are showing great courage and resilience. By getting up in the morning and saying ‘maybe today will be better, let’s see’, you are a champion and a warrior. Give yourself a big slap on the back for the small things that go unnoticed by ourselves every day. You wear that blouse that makes you feel good about yourself. You’re polite to the bus driver. You reconnect with an old friend. You don’t join in with the office gossip this time. These are all small victories that deserve their own tiny gold medals.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: As a counselling and psychotherapy service, this is practically our mantra. You never, ever have to face a problem alone. It’s as simple as that. We have a team who worked very hard for years and years to know just how to support you through a rough time. They know what they’re talking about! They’re here to help.
And remember – be kind to yourself!
By Carmen Bryce, MyMind Communications Officer