DBT Middle Path
It is officially 2020. The beginning of a new year, the beginning of a new decade. There can be a lot of pressure surrounding a new year; many expectations for change and for the possibility of something new. Yet what does a new year really represent? It can, indeed, be a time of reflection, but perhaps instead of the “new year, new me” mentality, your mental health might benefit from more of a middle path. The following are some suggestions for approaching 2020 from a place of balance:
- Practice gratitude and build on your strengths. Remember all that you already have and all that you have worked for and accomplished over the past year (or decade). No matter where you are in life or how you feel about it, there is always some form of gratitude to be found in it all. If you are a new year goal-setter, create your goals from a place of gratitude and build upon what you’ve already worked for rather than setting your sights on some idea that may involve completely starting over.
- Set goals that are attainable. It is tempting to set the big goals that you may someday want for yourself, but with such lofty goals it can be easy to become discouraged and give up completely. Keep it simple and keep it reasonable. If your goal is to get in shape, it may be better to start with going on a walk outside one to two times per week rather than setting your sights on becoming the king or queen of spin class.
- Get outside of yourself. There is no denying that we all can benefit from setting goals for self-improvement and sticking to them, be it during the first month of the year or not. However, maybe all the focus on ME in the new year is largely missing the point. What are some ways that you can serve others this year? How might you most effectively get outside of yourself and contribute? Sometimes the best way to improve our own mental health is to seek to be of service to someone else. This type of living can also cultivate gratitude and might help bring into focus what you really want your goals to be.
No matter how you approach the new year, we hope you continue to find ways to seek and pursue all that is good and true for you, so that you might feel optimism and peace about all that is to come. Happy New Year from OCHPA!