By Joan Marlow

This year has been one like no other that any of us have experienced and one hope is that we won’t see another like it ever again.  One truism is at the end of every year, whether we like it or not, we consider resolutions or things we might want to do differently in the New Year.  Heck, we’ve had lots of practice since this year has been all about making changes.  Most changes were done out of necessity, not choice and typically, we don’t like being forced to change; but here we are!!  We survived and hopefully are continuing to adjust our mindset to thrive in the new world of co-existing with a pandemic; we’ve learned that if we don’t, we just end up exhausted and frustrated and just not having fun. A New Year practice to consider:

Reflect upon where you are and the lessons learned over this year to get to today.

In this practice, I bet you find lots of silver linings or find you created lots of lemonade from the lemons you’ve been given…and guess what, accepting the situation vs fighting it or complaining about it is much better for your health and well-being as well as the health and well-being of those you live with.  In the midst of this exercise of reflecting, add the actions of accepting and feeling gratitude for what you do have vs what you don’t,  In doing that you might find that you incorporated a mindfulness approach to life whether you labeled it as such or not.  This approach has been and will continue to be an element in getting to today and looking to tomorrow as unscathed as possible. As a reminder, Mindfulness actions include:

  • living in the present moment (not what happened a minute or day ago and not what ‘might’ happen in the next hour);
  • taking a pause before you say or do something you might regret;
  • responding vs reacting (when you ‘pause,’ you let your brain and nervous system calm down to allow you to think clearly);
  • consciously breathing (taking 3 deep breaths is THE BEST ‘go to’ exercise for all situations);
  • being aware that your mind has