Health & wellbeing

Embracing new beginnings

12 Jan 2024 | Written by Susanna Lewis

Ahead of the next ‘Writing for wellbeing‘ workshop, The Joy Club member and wonderful host Susanna Lewis explores how journalling techniques can help you manage new beginnings …

January is traditionally a month for new starts, new resolutions and new beginnings. And yet, by making New Year resolutions we often set ourselves high goals to live by and when we can’t reach these goals we can feel like we have failed and this sets us back even more. Personally, I don’t set resolutions any more for this reason. I much prefer to look at ‘new beginnings’ as a way of looking at the year ahead and finding ways to live a healthier and happier life. 

New beginnings are not always happy ones and not always in our control. We may experience a passing of a loved one, loss of a friendship, redundancy or a divorce, to name but a few. New beginnings in this instance might not be what we want or desire. Some new beginnings are happy events such as the birth of a baby in the family, a much-wanted house move or a windfall of money. Sometimes we may find we have a return to good health following medical treatment or the ending and recovery from a long illness.

New beginnings always follow the ending of something and when anything ends it can be overwhelming and even scary. Often when something ends we don’t know where to start in order to move forward. There can be a fear of where we are heading to next and the uncertainty that brings. The fear can set in and take hold and the ‘new beginning’ can feel like a mountain to climb.

So, if you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment by the New Year and new beginnings, here are a few ideas to help you along this rocky journey.

  1. Let go of the past. It is gone now and it can’t be changed. Learn from the past and move on. In order to move on, we must close the door to the past and open a new door to the future. 
  2. Create new goals, however small. We all change constantly and so our goals should change. Goals can help us feel in control of our lives so we don’t spend time procrastinating and wasting time. 
  3. Find your tribe (The Joy Club!) Stay with people who make you feel good and uplifted. We all need encouragement and support, however confident we feel.
  4. Create new, healthy habits but keep it simple so you can stick to it. Exercise, drink water, meditate, eat nutritious food, read, spend time with loved ones and reduce any stress before it makes you ill.
  5. Say NO to fear and YES to opportunities. Fear can have a strangling effect on our lives and can hold us back from living authentically. Don’t forget fear is only a thought of what we ‘think’ may happen. 
  6. Gratitude is the key to a happy and peaceful life. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Write down three things you are grateful for every evening. You will be surprised at the positive effect this simple activity has on your state of mind. 
  7. Practice self-care every day. Looking after yourself is crucial in helping you look forward to the year ahead. 

New beginnings can create a huge change in our lives at a time whether we want it or not, but we need change to grow, to progress, otherwise, we stagnate and lack purpose. We may even become bored with life which can spiral us into low mood or depression. 

So embrace the change – look at it as a new adventure. Yes, you are going into the unknown but think of all the exciting possibilities that lie ahead – new places to visit, new people to meet, new foods to savour, new experiences that lift your mood and make you feel alive again. You may think that you have nothing to offer this new year of 2024 but think again! You have YOU! You and all your experiences of life, a wonderful, authentic you with so much to offer the world and so much to gain. Go out into the world, this new beginning and enjoy this wonderful life.

Susanna x

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