I’m certain we’ve all said it. New year, new me!
All inwardly praying that we can achieve the goals we have set ourselves for at least 6 months out of the year.
I myself have set myself the goal of going to the gym...
It is now a few days into the year, and I am still yet to query about a membership.
So, why (for the love of God) do we do it to ourselves?
Since the pan(demonium) of 2019, we can all agree, life has been more than difficult!
It seems the end of 2021 became a celebration of more than just the birth of Jesus and present giving, but one where families and friends, who were lucky enough not to have contracted ‘the C word’, were able to finally celebrate together amongst loved ones.
Surely, the beginning of 2022 is a genuine fresh start,
an end of an era;
a time for turning a new leaf;
writing an untainted list of New Year resolutions;
a rebirth of the soul!
Not everyone agrees!
As the ghost of ‘New year, New Me’s past’ loomed in the air, many took to Twitter to mock the tradition
Here is one that (admittedly) tickled me:
But is there no truth in the old tale? That the New year can actually be one of positive change for the year ahead.
Yes, there are resolutions that we will etch into our notepads with high hopes and then fall short when ordering a KFC for lunch the same day (yes, I did enjoy it, thank you - no regrets!).
But, there are some resolutions that are worth noting down, and even if you aren't completely successful, at least you found something in your life that you wanted to improve.
Which doesn't have to be harmful as long as you're consciously mindful.
Here is another person on Twitter that seems to agree.
The problem with setting yourself New Year’s resolutions, isn’t that you can't fully achieve them, or that they are too far-fetched.
It’s the huge amount of pressure that hitches a ride on your good intentions – without an invitation; It is extremely rude and pushy and what our Queen Ru Paul would call your inner saboteur.
I believe having a New Year's resolution can be a great tool for improving well-being and tending to your state of mental health.
Taking baby steps rather than huge leaps seems like the more sensible route to go.
Rather than saying “I will run 100 meters a day”, why not change this to “I will try to go for a walk once or twice a week”.
Both options will have a positive impact on your physical
and mental well-being and as a bonus there is no added pressure to become Mo Farrah overnight.
Instead of creating the perfect habitat for pressure to grow and consume you, create a space where you are in charge.
It is not all or nothing.
You will be the same you on January 1st, 2022, as you were on December 31st, 2021, but with hopeful prospects that you are going to go on an inner journey to putting ‘you’ first.
The Mental Health foundation, offers some excellent advice and tips on how to construct your goals to work with you, rather than against you, in their blog New Year theme for yourself 2022.
Offering some valuable tools to help you along this journey.
Personally, in previous years, mental health has not been a priority when it came to forming New Year's resolutions.
My previous resolutions were always centred around things outside of myself, beyond my complete control, or has something to do with my physical being.
A healthier bank account/ finances/ savings.
Trying out a new hobby
Learning a new language
This year, I have consciously decided to focus on my mental health, balancing my mental and physical well-being and concentrating on me!
After all, how can we begin to make a New Year's resolution based on our physical health or any other aspects, if our minds aren't in the right place?
Here are 5 things (taken straight from my own list) that you can do to be mindful of your well-being and mental health this year.
And of course, simply choosing not to have a resolution at all if it causes you too much pressure is ironically the perfect way to begin the year by focusing on yourself.
Talking Therapy Journaling Practice Mindfulness techniques
Form Connections Nurture your existing connections
Now, whether you choose to set yourself a New Year's resolution or not, keep in mind your boundaries, your mental state, and check in with yourself.
Ask yourself: is this more than I can handle? Or, is this just the right amount that will make the journey enjoyable?
Most importantly, make sure that what you are doing is for you and you alone!
As for me, I've decided the gym might be too much after all, and I will be sticking to walks in the park with my children instead - on the days they aren't driving me banana's.
Ashanti Bloomfield is a poet, writer, and freelance editor and proofreader. Ashanti is also an English and American literature, and Creative Writing graduate and often explores themes of motherhood, feminism, and women’s rights in her creative works. She is the author of a published poetry book: ‘Confessions of a Maneater’ (out on Amazon) and has edited both poetry and fiction novels for publication. Ashanti enjoys Young Adult fiction and is inspired by poetry which is raw and unfiltered.
To see more of Ashanti’s work visit www.ashantitanita.com
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