Taking 2022 by Storm with Abundance of Self-love and Acceptance
The clock is ticking down, 10, 9, 8, 7, etc. and I can see the excitement growing in the room for everyone waiting for the New Year of opportunities to arrive. But I wonder, are they thinking the same thing… New year, new me?
Is everyone around me calculating what they are going to put in place for the upcoming year and how they are going to change themselves to fit their new mold? Do I have to change myself this year in order to have a different outcome or to get what I want? These questions run through my mind faster than the clock is ticking down, but then it hits me.
For the past several years of my life, I have always thought New Year, New Me and that has proven to be the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. What if this year, I switch my train of thought and empower myself to continue being the same me, but more gentle with myself, more accepting of myself and acknowledging how far I have come and the resiliency I possess with overcoming challenges that the year has thrown my way.
The clock strikes down, 3, 2, 1… New Year, Same Me, and I dig it!
Progress Over Perfection in 2022
For hundreds of years, we as individuals cannot help but nitpick every aspect of ourselves or what we have gone through within the past year and place emphasis on how we must change in the upcoming year. Why can’t we just accept what is, let go of what was and “grow through what you go through”?
We do not give ourselves enough credit for how we handle, react or deal with situations. We go back and think of the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” and dissect every inch of the situation and how we would have, could have or should have done something differently. While it might be nice to go back in time in theory, every situation we are put in, we ultimately learn from.
We should view these situations as experiences rather than mistakes as they help shape us into the person we are and who we are ultimately becoming.
This is where the growth happens, this is where self love and self acceptance is instilled. If we switch our thinking towards how much we have overcome and have grown through, we can acknowledge those hard, but resilient moments as one year closes and a new chapter begins.
There is no need to create a whole new version of yourself when you have been slaying the game this whole time. Focus on your growth, focus on those “small wins” and focus on how each day is another day towards achieving greatness and taking you towards the path you set forward for yourself.
Here are a few tips to help you practice self love and self acceptance and acknowledge the incredible person that you are:
Always be Patient and Kind to Yourself
We have all heard the saying, “Rome was not built in a day,” yet we constantly seek instant gratification and want change to take effect immediately. Good things take time. It is extremely important to remember that and to be kind to yourself.
I want you to envision getting a haircut. When you cut a couple inches off, you can’t help but think, this is going to take forever to grow back. As each day passes, you might not notice it, but it is growing. When you look back at pictures from several months ago, right around the time you got the haircut, you will be amazed how much your hair grew during that time.
You might not always see change, but it is certainly happening.
Acknowledge Your Accomplishments Daily and Implement the STOPP Technique
For some strange reason, we as individuals tend to be super hard and critical of ourselves and focus more on our shortcomings rather than our accomplishments. If you tend to notice you automatically go straight for the negatives, tell yourself to STOPP.
STOPP stands for:
Take a breath
Observe how you are feeling
Perspective (how would an outside party view this situation?)
Put it into practice
When you have utilized this technique, you can switch yourself out of that negative mindset.
And with going back to tip number one, remember to be kind to yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and compliment what you have accomplished, what you have overcome, how you got out of bed, how you crushed a work meeting or how you allotted self care time to yourself.
You got this!
Set SMART Goals for What You Want to Achieve
More often than not, when the new year rolls around, we set goals for what we want to accomplish for the upcoming year. The problem that arises is that we do not give much thought to how we are going to achieve these goals.
Are these goals short term or long term goals? What exactly has to go into these goals? Without this breakdown of how we are going to get from point A to point B, we find ourselves frustrated with not achieving the goal and ultimately we give up.
When setting a goal, make sure that it is SMART.
SMART stands for:
SMART goals will help you stay on target, stay motivated, and ultimately lead to crushing the goals you set for yourself.
Listen to Your Body and Don’t Overdo It Out of Fear
One of the most common New Year goals is to get back into the gym and get back to shape. While living a healthy, active lifestyle is ideal for mental, physical, and emotional health, the pressure is immediately on to get into the gym daily.
While we love motivation, that is unrealistic for your mental, physical, and emotional health. If you workout daily, you run the risk of wearing down your body, increasing rates of injury, and ultimately, burning out.
Listen to your body! If you are hurting, you did too much in the gym the day prior, listen to what your body is telling you and take a rest day. You deserve it and your body needs it. The gym or workout will always be there, there is no rush to that finish line.
Live in the Moment to Experience Life’s Simple Pleasures
As a society, we are constantly on the go, wanting to accomplish a task so we can focus on the next goal. While this is all and well, we tend to bypass/miss what is in front of us and ultimately not stop and enjoy the simple things. Goal crushing is great, but so are the simple moments in life. Life will throw a lot your way and you might have a lot on your plate, but it will get done, one step at a time, one day at a time.
Be sure to incorporate some “you” time throughout your day so you can appreciate the simpler things in life, boost your self care, and prevent burning out from taking on too much at once. Designate anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour of time allotted just for you. Go for that walk, watch that sunset, grab your favorite cup of coffee, stop and smell the flowers. You, your body, and your mental health will thank you.
If you are struggling to manage your goals, your “to do’s,” or are having a hard time implementing self-care, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Licensed professionals can help you set goals and empower support you through the process of completing your goals.
Jane Dustman is a LCSW who enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, hanging on the beach, practicing yoga and dancing. Jane is dedicated to her practice of social work and enjoys being a full-time therapist at Exceptional Wellness Counseling. EWC has locations in Manalapan and Shrewsbury, NJ, and accepts a variety of insurances.
Check out Jane’s professional bio here.
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