Dr. Susan Bettis, our counseling program director, offers reflections and mental health tips for the start of the new year:
It seems like only yesterday that we were greeting 2017 and then in movement so swift we couldn’t count the months, here we are at the beginning of another new year.
With the start of a new year, we reflect on all that we have done, or sometimes more daunting, all that we didn’t do. We commit our resolutions to paper only to lose track of the paper. Then the self-recriminations begin. As Saul Bellow wrote in Henderson the Rain King, “Why am I always in the act of becoming, when do I just get to be?”
During this time of year when the tension between self-acceptance and always trying to be better is on our minds and we find ourselves asking, “I am what I am, now how can I be more?”, here are some suggestions that may take the sting away:
- Rather than putting yourself on a grueling low-calorie diet, how about feeding the hungry?
- Instead of berating ourselves for not making it to the gym often enough, we could spend more time with a friend over coffee or just park our car a little further away.
- Not wanting to get up early so you can meditate for an hour? Sleep is almost as good for you.
- Resolving to cut back the number of hours you watch television? Great idea, now spend that time reading to a child.
- Do one new thing per year. It doesn’t have to be painful. Try a new food, learn a new language or sport, or go to the opera for the first time. But make it volitional, make it fun.
And remember that in what will seem like no time at all, we will be talking about 2019. Yikes! So be good stewards of your time on this earth, and always be good stewards of each other.
Dr. Susan Bettis
Director of Training and Clinical Services