We all love the newness and excitement of January. It’s a time to let go, to start over, to recalibrate, and put in place healthier options for our lives.
We typically focus on the physical body. We tend to think a lot about the types of diets we want to follow or the new physical workout plan we wish to execute. Perhaps we activate a new gym membership, join a yoga studio, or hire a personal trainer or dietician. We become focused on being our best selves!
But we’re overlooking a necessary part of being our best – our emotional health!
As we usher in the new year, let’s focus on an aspect of you that doesn’t just change your physical appearance, but your entire life.
Let’s put in place an emotional workout plan, shall we?
When we do a physical workout, we generally head to the gym and choose a series of exercises to do. Then we spend time mixing it all up, doing more than one specific activity. We may do the treadmill for a while, grab a set of dumbbells and work our arms, back, and shoulders, and then hop on the rower to round it out. The next day we may go for a swim. The following day we opt for Yoga. The point is, it can get monotonous to do the same thing every day.
So let’s model this emotional workout plan after a physical one, shall we?
What I mean is – let’s look at this list as a set of exercises from which to choose, and each day you “workout,” simply choose one or two that appeal to you on that day.
1. Journal – It doesn’t have to be long or in-depth. Don’t plan out what you’re going to write, and don’t detail your day. Allow stream of consciousness to flow. What I’ve found to be most effective in clearing out the mind clutter and releasing deep hurts and patterns is to set a timer (3 mins, 5 mins, 15 mins – whatever doesn’t feel overwhelming to you). Put the pen on paper and simply let it flow without picking up your pen. Even if you write, “I don’t know what to write,” just keep going. You may be surprised at what flows forth. And don’t feel like you have to keep the journal and reread it. You’re writing to get it out of your head and body and to encourage what’s unconscious to become conscious.
2. Process with a friend – Just that simple! Got something that you’re chewing on emotionally? Want a different perspective? Call a friend that you trust to be honest with you (and preferably one who holds you to high spiritual standards). Talk about it. You’ll be surprised how much insight and healing a conversation with a trusted friend can bring.
3. Set up regular appointments with a therapist or counselor – Find a therapist or counselor that you feel at ease with. I think it’s helpful to ask friends and trusted ones for referrals! Have a quick phone call to see if the counselor feels like a fit. If so, book a session. Unless it’s a total flop, book your second session before you leave the office after your first visit!
4. Utilize energy healers – Oftentimes a session with a talented energy healer can help bring the opportunity for quick change. It’s important that you resonate positively with your chosen energy healer. I would also recommend asking friends for referrals! Book a session and feel the immediate shifts!
5. Utilize The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman to help heal any grief you may have. This could be the loss of anything or anyone. It can be a permanent loss such as death, or a change in a relationship such as a divorce. It can even be a loss of a job, pet, or a move to a new house. Identify the loss and sneaky grief that’s holding you back.
6. Do a body based healing that adds to your emotional health. Suggestions in this area include cranial sacral therapy, grief massage, massage by a person versed in energy healing, rolfing, acupuncture, among many others!
7. Give yourself quiet time every day to assess your feelings. Take stock of what feelings are cycling through you. Prioritize this time. It can even be when you’re in the shower or bath or on your drive to or from work.
8. Revisit your childhood in order to heal it. For this, see suggestions #3 and #4.
9. Choose an emotion that you long to feel every day. Make it a goal. Then, make a quick list of the activities that create that feeling in you. Make time to do those things!
10. Perhaps there’s another way you like to process emotions that’s not on this list! Add it in – and PLEASE share it!
May this be your year of healing. You’ve got this!