For some of us, the New Year seems more weighed down by scary unknowns than ripe with new possibilities.
Will our health stay the same or will it decline? Will our medical bills place a burden on our family? Etc…
We can’t possibly know what’s going to happen and the fear of things getting worse can be debilitating.
Moving forward I’d like to suggest a few things we can do to ensure a better year ahead:
- Move away from New Year’s resolutions and instead make a short-term bucket list. Resolutions are difficult to keep. Once you top that off with the myriad of health problems we face and the tasks we complete each day just to survive, we can end up defeated before the first week of January is over. Try setting a few short-term goals of something that you’d enjoy. Focus on one month at a time or maybe the first quarter of the year but don’t plan past that. Our lives can be too uncertain for long-term planning. Pick a place you’ve always wanted to visit, an activity you’ve wanted to try or anything else that you’ll enjoy.
- Surround yourself with God’s word. Tape a verse to your bathroom mirror, write a passage of scripture on a sticky note and stick it to your phone. Keep your bible on the table nearest to where you sit the most throughout the day. I’ve tried to make this a bit fun for you so I’ve prepared a free printable coloring page. I’ll be sending a new one each month to my email subscribers so if you’d like to receive one you can subscribe below!
- Focus on others more. A great way to get your mind off your problems is to take a moment to pray for, and connect with, others who are going through their own struggles. Text, message, call or send a card letting them know you’re thinking of them.
- Distract yourself. When your mind gets stuck in a rut force yourself into a different activity. Work on a puzzle, watch your favorite show, read, knit – do whatever it takes to get your thoughts away from your fears.
- Pick one day a week for self-care. Make the decision that you’ll disconnect from social media, take a long hot bath while you read a favorite novel, schedule doctor appointments you’ve been putting off, take a nap or whatever makes you feel pampered and cared for! Then enjoy the time guilt free!
- Talk to your doctor and medical team to prioritize a few healthy changes you can incorporate into your life. Too often we start the New Year off with 25 things we feel are important to living a healthier, more productive life. The problem is too many changes at once, to a body that is racked with chronic illness, can throw you into a tailspin of new symptoms and you won’t know which change is the culprit. Ask your team which few changes can make the most impact on your overall health and then systematically add them, one by one, giving your body time to adjust to each.
The New Year is the perfect time to make some new changes! Just be sure you’re making healthy changes that will be sustainable!