“What are your New Year’s resolutions?”
“Did you have a good Christmas?”
“What did you do for New Year’s Eve?”
“Wasn’t it great to have the long Christmas break?”
“New Year, new start”…..
And so go on the interrogations of the so-called festive period.
Any of these sound familiar?
As we face into January and listen to everybody else’s good intentions, the pressure can begin to mount. The days are still short in terms of daylight but can seem endless as we try to motivate ourselves to at least try to face the world and all the seemingly happy people around us.
Maybe we can take a look at January and adopt a few coping strategies of our own. Maybe it’s not about reinventing ourselves, more a case of looking around at what we have and can do. What if we view January as a time for…
J oining in: when I’m struggling, I can feel lonely and isolated and shut myself away from others. Yet I know when I make the effort to connect with another, I feel a bit more in touch with the world. Maybe I can join in by talking to somebody at work, in the queue at the shop, even going to that support group I heard about?
A m I Available and open to others: are there friendships, connections and opportunities I can explore and develop? I can’t expect others to come knocking at my door, I need to let them know I am there.
N urture: relationships – we don’t need an army of people around – maybe I can choose to spend more time with people I really care about.
Self – what do I like and enjoy – include these things more in my life. It’s OK to take time for myself and to treat myself. Mindfulness is not just a buzz word, it really does help – how can I build this in to my day?
U ncover: maybe if I choose 1 new activity and relish the prospect of uncovering unleashed potential – maybe it’s the art class, learning a new language or taking up a sport, who knows until I try?
A chievements: celebrate the small steps I take each day as well as the successes – maybe it’s the appointment I’ve been meaning to make for ages or the paperwork I needed to sort out, it’s great to tick things off.
R eflect and Review: take the time to look at what I am doing – what am I doing well, what would I like to do differently?
Y ou: above all January is a time for YOU, for what you want to do, when you want to do it.
Maybe January isn’t looking so bad after all…
About the author
Sally Hayes has a BA (Honours) degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy from Cork Institute of Technology and is a pre-accredited member of IACP (Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy). Sally is genuinely interested in supporting individuals on their journey, offering possibilities for managing feelings in everyday life and developing healthy ways of coping with stress and anxiety. She aims to encourage, enable and empower individuals to lead a satisfying life, having meaningful relationships with others. She is very presence-oriented and works in a relational way. She believes that the therapeutic relationship is an essential ingredient of the therapeutic process. Sally feels there is the opportunity for the client to experience a relationship in therapy which facilitates them to trust and see the world as a safe place. As well as providing the potential for the healing of wounds from the past, the relationship facilitates the client to build on their self-confidence and further their personal development.