Dear Therapist: Now What?

Three Days In, Now What?

Dear Therapist,

We are three days into the New Year…now what? The celebrations are over and the long, cold winter is staring me in the face. What to do?

Breathe and relax is the answer that comes to the top of my mind, but that is anything but easy.

Why does it seem so impossible?

There may be a couple of reasons:

  • A whole new year is staring you in the face – and you have not a clue what to do.
  • The old is very much a part of your life and you feel stuck in it all and there are no holiday distractions to keep the feeling at bay.
  • It’s cold, dark, and the days are super short.
  • You’ve already broken your New Year Resolution

None of these make anyone feel very comfortable – let alone desiring to breathe and relax.

So, what to do? First, remember January is 31 days long. It will be here and gone – nothing lasts forever and neither will this month if it feels bleak to you.

Second, what are some pleasures that you can incorporate into your days. I listed a few of my own yesterday here, but surely you have your own list of ways you care for yourself and things you do to take pleasure in the days no matter the season. Find one or two and bring some pleasure to these days.

Third, although its winter, getting out into nature and witnessing her beautiful nature during this season is also a way to refresh yourself. Perhaps you will take a Forest Bath — perhaps you will just walk your dog around the block. Whenever you are out there, breathe deep and take in the beauty.

Finally, make a plan for the spring! Is there a special outing or trip you would like to take when the days are longer and warmer. Dream on it, armchair travel, and make a plan. You will have something to look forward to and a pleasant way to pass the time.

Yes, the celebrations are over, but a whole new year has dawned to capture your attention and imagination. Live into it and go gently with yourself.

January Pleasures

January Pleasures

I often hear people say that January is full of the doldrums. The holiday season is over, 31 days lie ahead with cold, dark days. What to do?

For me, I am grateful to put the red and green away and move on from the year end holidays to something fresh and new. It also strikes me as a quieter time of year too so it’s full of space to focus on new habits, pick up something new, revisit old places, discover new ones. Space offers me a place to breathe into the New Year — this is one of January’s greatest pleasures for me.

Plus! I always notice by the end of January the days are growing longer. Hooray!

Here are a few of my January Simple Pleasures:

  • Crisp, Clear, Cold Days
  • Longer Days by month’s end
  • NFL Playoffs
  • Red and Green Gone
  • Holiday mid-month
  • New habits, thoughts, ideas swimming around my mind
  • Open days on the calendar
  • Fresh Start
  • Heart of Winter
  • Feeding the Hummingbirds
  • Winter Walks

Just my little list to remind myself of the pleasures that await me and everyone during this month.

Enjoy every moment!

Now is the Moment: Seize it!

It’s the month where we look toward January first and the New Year to turn a new leaf over on life with our new year resolutions. It makes sense, I suppose. January ushers in a whole new calendar year to try and “get it right” all over again.

Statistics and experts also tell us each new year that within three weeks we will be back to our old ways. Although our intentions are astounding, our follow-through often goes astray very quickly. I have always been puzzled by this as I am also one who succumbs to letting go of my own resolutions to better myself.

That’s why I don’t wait any longer for the new year to roll around. Instead, if there is something I want to change or add or delete about my life, I seize the moment and start right then and there.

No more waiting. Not even as this crazy holiday season is ushered in — now is the time.

If you think about it, now is really all any of us have in our lives. The past is past and we are not guaranteed the new year. This moment is the one that is most precious because it is the one we are in just at this moment.

So, my thought as December says, “Hello” to you and to me – is to begin whatever you want to begin today.

Right now.