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What I Want More Of This Year

Last year, I learned a lot about myself and I never want to lose what I’ve learned. I have always struggled with putting myself and my needs before anyone else. That really has to change. I was lacking a lot in my life last year and now, I want more of those things in my life. So, this year, I am going to be putting me and my needs first. I want more out of life. Here are just a few of the things I’d like more of this year:

Self-Love

My main priority for this year is to give myself more love. I am notorious for being unkind to myself but I’ve been trying to be better. Last year, I was beating myself up for so many things I couldn’t control. I was carrying around so much stress and worry that I began to take it out on myself. It made me feel inadequate, like I was never going to get it right for myself. Eventually, things got better. I was learning to love myself a little more.

Part of growing is learning. Learning to love yourself is a crucial part of that growth. You have to accept yourself for all that you are. That means learning to love the good parts and the ‘bad’ parts. I’m still learning to love those bad parts but I will get there. All I know is that I deserve to feel the love that I give, even if it means that love has to come from me.

Positivity

I’m very much a “the glass is half empty” kind of person. I always have been. Growing up through my parents divorce really did a number on me. My mom was so negative about everything that eventually, I began to feel that way too. Honestly, I didn’t see the point in trying to find the positives in everything because I knew somehow, it would still disappoint me. I watched negativity consume my mom. It made her really mean and unkind sometimes. I don’t want to end up like that.

So, this year I am practicing more positivity and gratitude. When things are becoming difficult, I will do my best to keep my head above water and try to see the good in the situation. Positivity and kindness go hand in hand. Being kinder to myself will allow for more positive thoughts.

Memories

With COVID-19 on the rise, I wasn’t able to make as many good memories as I would have liked. I spent most of the pandemic inside the house worried about what was going on out in the world. This year, I want to make more memories. Good memories. Ones that I’ll be talking about forever. I don’t want go through life only remembering the bad memories. I want the good memories to be so good that I forget the bad ones ever even existed. This world is changing so quickly and I don’t want to miss any of it.

Travel

I have always wanted to travel the world. When I was younger, I used to dream of going to places like Greece or Ireland. There are just some things you can’t experience in the U.S. and the beauty of those countries is one of them. I envy the people who can travel as they please. I want nothing more than to see the world and all of its beautiful treasures.

Growing up, we went on vacations but very rarely outside of New England. I’ve only been to two places outside of New England. Those places were Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach, two of the best trips I’d ever been on. Just having been to those two places, I know that there’s more to this wonderful world than all I have access to in New England. This year, I want to do more traveling. Even if it’s a state I’ve never been to, at least it’ll be somewhere new.

Self-care

Last but not least, I want more self-care this year. I preach all the time about how important self-care is but I am honestly not the best at practicing it, at least not recently. I have not been taking care of myself as well as I should have been. I’m still learning how to give myself the care that I need but it will take time.

I will be giving myself more self-care this year. That means making more time for me and my needs. There are so many things that I love but don’t make time for. That’s really got to change. I will make time to bake more, read more, pamper myself more and overall, do what makes me happy.

What do YOU want more of this year?

Check out Psychology Today’s article 8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Life to learn how to move a little closer to happiness!

Read Sasha’s post How Traveling Changed My Life Forever here on TurningPointCT.org! 🙂

Creative Coping Skills to Get Grounded in Change

It’s hard to keep up hope on a detour.  Maintaining an empowered approach to Mental Health all the time can be difficult, and I often personally struggle with symptoms of PTSD.  These are some reminders I give myself that often help me:

 1.) Try to see the good in circumstances

It wasn’t easy, but when stuck in hospitals throughout 27 traumatic surgeries, I kept a gratitude list so I could remember that there was still good in my life.  It helped me see things differently.  What is the opportunity in your obstacle?

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” 
― Martha Washington

So how do you find the positive when your pain – physical or emotional – screams louder than an 1980’s stereo?

2.) Practice self-care.

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s start with a grateful list form A to Z.   You don’t have to start with A.  Find any letter you can think of.  Breakfast! (My favorite B-word!) Just make sure to take the list along and fill it out before the day is through!

3.) Ground yourself. When negative thoughts or painful emotions are speaking louder than anything else around you, it’s hard to be present.  Instantly, I go right into my head – I’m worrying, self-consious and slipping slowly into pity-party mode.  Help!  I’m sucked into my mind!

Learn how to stay present.  Here are some more tips:

4.) Say an affirmation. Gooogle “affirmations” yourself “I choose to live in the present.”

5.) Breathe. It sounds easy, I know.  But you’d be surprised how often you stop breathe when you start overthinking.  Breathe deeply – it’s calming and healthy!  You can read more about the amazing benefits of deep breathing here.  Need some practice?  Breathe along (sounds crazy, I know)with this Youtube guided meditation by Eckhart Tolle TV, and when you’re ready to lie down, learn how opening up your back can open the pathway to breathing…and presence!

5.) Awareness Without Judgement. Notice every physical sensation in your body.  Have a chat with what I like to call my Five Superheros:  Taste, Touch, Sight, Sound, Smell.  Think I’m crazy?  I call them my superheros because they save me in the nick of time when I’m about to get lost in anxious thoughts.  When I start worrying or pitying myself, I call on these rockstars before I can think one more thought.

6.) Quick!  At this very second, name the first thing you…

Smell_______

See_______

Touch_______

Taste (it can be air!)_______

Hear_______

 

Your five senses help you stay grounded, no matter what. I’d love to hear some of your  tips on how to get grounded in change.

Don’t get stressed – get grounded.  Even when life takes a detour, you can always stay grounded in YOU.

Amy Oestreicher is a PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning actress, and playwright, sharing the lessons learned from trauma through her writing, mixed media art, performance and inspirational speaking.
As the creator of the Gutless & Grateful, her one-woman autobiographical musical, she’s toured theatres nationwide, along with a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness  and Broadway Theatre for college campuses. To celebrate her own “beautiful detour”, Amy created the #LoveMyDetour campaign, to help others thrive through difficulties.  Learn more: amyoes.com.

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