Student-made Wellbeing

New Year, New me (part 1): A healthy look at the past year

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Welcome to 2023! It’s a new year, new opportunities and a chance to start fresh. As they say, New Year, New Me. Many people have a vague idea of the things they are tired of and would like to change about themselves. Whether that may be weight loss, better grades or your transformation year, there are a few important ingredients we’re going to discuss over a short series of blog posts to help you figure out your 2023:

  • A healthy look on the past year (this blog)
  • Who am I? A short blog on self-discovery
  • Setting Hopes and not Goals
  • Techniques to Manage New Year Resolution Goals.

I hope you enjoy this series.

Using your lessons from 2022 to elevate your 2023, what does that even mean? It means having a dive into your past year and considering the things you need to change and want to change to reach whatever is your version of a higher self.

New Years’ Resolutions typically don’t stick, but the them. For an interesting look at some reasons for success, failure or somewhere in between, take a look at this article from the BBC.

One possible issue is that people see something they want to change but are not convicted by it. Genuine change has to be reflected. It can be terrifying because it means you must change habits; sometimes lose people you care about and step out of your comfort zone. And no one likes to do any of the above. Whatever you are considering changing is going to come with growing pains.

However, if this change is going to better you by allowing you to resolve fears, make better choices and create a higher quality of life for yourself, I encourage you to do it!

I’ll tell you a little about my own story. Five years ago I went through a terrible breakup. I was back and forth with my ex for a while, I had low self-esteem, I was drinking all summer when I had been a sober person until that point and I was just making bad decisions. The moment that made me realize I had begun going down a self-destructive slope was when I stood up in the club and thought, the only way I could have fun is if I drank. If you knew me before that moment, you’d know I was Sober Sally: Life of the Party. I was well known among my peers as the most fun person despite being the most sober person in the room. There was something shocking that I had allowed myself to deteriorate to someone who needed alcohol to enjoy myself. I needed to change.

Over the next 5 years, I embarked on a very long journey to finding inner peace, self-acceptance and happiness. I am not saying to go on my journey but I am saying that I was convicted to live in peace and I’ve found it. Each year I ask myself a series of questions by looking back to I can create a full forward. I will share some of the things I did and after I will share some of the questions I use to help me make the necessary observations as to what I hope to change.

The first thing I did was, I committed to seeing a therapist for emotional health. I did talk therapy and always asked my therapist for homework, which I still practice to today. I changed therapist about four times, because therapists are like jeans, not every jeans you try on will fit. You have to find one that works for you. I also saw a sex therapist when I could. I think sex therapy in your twenties is so important to help you develop boundaries, a connection to your body and learn about what you genuinely like versus what you have been conditioned to like.

Another idea I had was that I had to try new hobbies, revisit childhood hobbies, try hobbies I thought I’d hate and hobbies I was neutral about. Childhood hobbies helped me to find kindness to myself, the hobbies I hated, I still hate but I learnt a lot about myself from them and the new and neutral hobbies were for self-exploration and pushing myself out my comfort zone which helped me to grow.

I was raised Christian and so I sought out spending time with my God. I never asked for Him to fix me but rather, I just spent time with my God, being in His presence and finding comfort in spiritual growth. I trusted that He would guide me and send along help for me to climb out my sadness and lost-ness. And I believe He did. Not everyone has Faith, but if you do, it might be something to consider. If you don’t, finding solace in whatever you believe can be helpful.

I kept a “Health,” journal. There are 6 Healths: Spiritual, Physical, Environmental, Social, Psychological and Financial. I chose 3 healths and I logged them every day. Spiritual looked like prayer, worship and bible studies, Physical was tracking my water, exercise and eating and Psychological was journaling my emotions on something deep-rooted I needed to work on, which at the time was forgiveness.

For me, I have been chasing inner peace. For you, it will look like something else. After telling you a little about my story, I hope it gave you ideas but for now, here are some questions you can ask, in no particular order:

  1. What hurts me the most?
  2. What are some losses I had which really hurt?
  3. Why do these circumstances hurt me?
  4. What is it that I want most in life? (Peace, freedom, happiness, depression-free etc.)
  5. What do I find myself seeking validation from? Why do I seek validation from this?
  6. How do I find validation in myself?
  7. What are key events that made me feel good? Why did they make me feel happy?
  8. What is some feedback I’ve received and how can I use it to better myself?

Using these questions, I hope you find more questions and some directions on the strengths you want to enhance and the weaknesses you want to strengthen. And I hope this give you an idea of where you may have inner work to do! I’ll see you for blog 2 when we chat about Who am I.