By Ashley Geist, LPC, NCC, M.S.Ed.
As we prepare to wrap up the current calendar year and literally turn the page to a new chapter of time in our lives, now is a great time to be intentional about taking care of our own needs in mind, body, and spirit.
Whether our year was wonderful or the worst, we know that life is always going to be complex; filled with joys, challenges, ups and downs. In a world where we control so little, it’s important to focus on the pieces of life we can control, to support ourselves and others in starting a new year.
Grab a hot beverage, your planner, and a pen, and set about creating some intentional time for yourself. How we invest in ourselves in terms of time, care, and intention, absolutely impacts our overall well-being and how we feel and function in the world.
1. What appointments do I need to make? (Haircare, medical care, body work, home improvement, car maintenance, etc.)
What appointments do you need to schedule that set you up for health and success? Keep in mind that self-interest isn’t selfish. Caring for and maintaining ourselves and the things we use, also gives us the capacity to love and care for others too. Have your tires rotated, get a physical, book a massage or put time in for a day off - it all matters.
2. What needs to leave my environment? (Declutter, pare back commitments, reduce, or remove stuck patterns)
The introduction of a new year is a great time to analyze not only what we need, but also what we do not need. Is there clutter in your home? Too many commitments on your calendar? A pattern of functioning that has run its course? Take inventory of what you might have outgrown, physically and mentally, and feel free to consult and involve helpers as well.
3. What can I add to my environment to support my needs? (Workout mat, bag of exercise clothes, healthy snacks, memberships)
Sometimes, a well-thought-out item, class, membership, etc., can be a great addition to our schedules and lives. Have you been curious about trying yoga? Thinking of taking a cooking class? Now is a great time to explore the physical and the non-physical items that could add value and benefit to our lives.
4. Who will support me in my personal goals? (Professionals, friends, communities, platforms/brands, apps)
What type of helper(s) could you use the support of, during this season of life? There is a wealth of helping professionals in different areas of life who go to years of school to be ready and able to help others. Whether we need physical therapy, counseling, or a wonderful friend to cheer us on, many times help is just a call or request away. Also consider the many digital tools available including apps for meditation, organization, positive affirmations, etc.
5. What obstacles do I currently face and how can I overcome them?
Once we have a great plan in place, the next best thing to do is to take a realistic look at what has held us back in the past, what might hold us back now, and how can we overcome these challenges? Remember, this isn’t something we have to do alone.
If we are making changes to our diet, we can visit with a dietician, invite a friend or family member to support us in our new walking habit, or use a tracking system for our new goals. Whatever the obstacle, there is always a way over, under, around, or through.
Looking for support in the new year? The Support Circle staff is here to help support you in your goals in 2024! Visit www.thesupportcircle.com to check out our programs and offerings for winter 2024 or call 605-845 – 2058 to schedule a free, 20-minute consult call with one of our licensed counselors, today!