As the time is winding down, we begin to reflect on this past year. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the sad. Tragedies, such as domestic terrorism, devasting natural disasters, and modern-day slavery has turned our world upside down. The great news is, in less than 24 hours, we’ll have the chance to start a new year with new hopes and dreams. It may be difficult at first since but change never happens overnight. Change will be something that we would have to work at everyday that we are blessed to wake up.
Below is a list of bad habits that you may have developed during this trying year that you may want to keep in 2017 and not carry with you into the new year.
- Taking things personally: You must know that not everything is about you. For instance, if someone is having a bad day and they become irritated with you, most likely, their attitude has nothing to do with you. We all go through things and process them differently. It may be a little upsetting, but now is the time for understanding each other more. Learn to just let it go.
- Holding on to the past: Personally, this is easier said than done. The best way to begin moving on from your past is to forgive the person or situation that is holding you back. Whoever wronged you, forgive them. You’re not forgiving them for their sake, but for your sake. When you forgive, you find peace. That person no longer has a hold on you or your thoughts.
- Spending most of your free time on Facebook: Facebook is a great social media outlet for people to connect all over the world. Unfortunately, Facebook has a way of making one feel spiritually and emotionally drained. Between online trolls (people who purposely make accounts to be mean and hateful) and “the world is ending” status updates, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama. You see so many posts on destruction and chaos all over the world and the human psyche wasn’t meant to be exposed to so much trauma at once. Personally, I no longer have a facebook account for this very reason. I was checking it constantly. When I would finally log off for the day, I would feel angry, anxious, nervous, worried, everything but entertained. I had to let it go. I haven’t checked Facebook in four months and I feel a difference. I believe it has honestly helped with my depression.
- Over-stressing: Stress serves zero purposes to your life. Stressing is a complete waste of time. I used to think stress was apart of life, but it doesn’t have to be. What has helped with lowering my stress is believing that all of my problems are in the hands of God. Troubles will arise in my life, but I know that I have help. I know that when those bad things do happen, I will have the strength and integrity to get through them. When you believe in the power of a Higher Power, one’s life struggles becomes easier to deal with.
- Sleeping in late: Have you heard that expression “the early bird gets the worm”? Apart of being happy is being productive and keeping yourself busy. If you sleep most of the day away, you are giving yourself less time to be productive. Use that time to complete a task that is on your to-do or use that time to meditate.
- Fueling drama: When you allow yourself to instigate drama, you are starting an endless cycle of negative energy. This negative energy will stay with you. Next thing you know, you’ll find yourself involved drama that has nothing to do with you. This will then turn you into a toxic person; someone who cannot live without drama.
- Having a poor diet: You are what you eat. Oh, how I miss the juicy taste of a beef burger or the incredible flavor of triple chocolate fudge cake covering my tastebuds. Over the past year, I’ve had to make major changes to my diet. My kids say I eat like our pet Guinea pig since my diet mostly consists of fruits and vegetables. Eating healthy promotes good physical and mental health. Take time out to learn about ways to improve your diet. You may not have to eat like a Guinea pig, but replacing fries with carrots would be in your best interest.
- Complaining all of the time: Do you know that your words have power. When I was younger, I remember my mom always saying that you can speak things into existence. I’ve found out the hard way that this is one hundred percent true. If you complain all of the time, then you are creating a mindset that will always see the bad in any situation your life. When you complain, you are reiterating to your brain that what you are saying is true. Instead of complaining about your situation, try finding what you can be grateful for. For instance, if you lost your car, you can say that at least your helping save the ozone layer until you are able to get another one. That may sound a little corny, but once you begin to train your thoughts to see the good, it’ll eventually become as easy as breathing.
- Overthinking: Overthinking leads to negative thoughts. Negative thoughts can lead to stress. Stress can lead to severe depression and anxiety. I remember being so mad at my husband over a misunderstanding. I allowed my thoughts to overshadow the possibility that it was a misunderstanding. By the time he would ask me, whats wrong, I had already made up in mind everything that he had done before he was able to explain himself. This leads to a lot of confusion and dysfunction. Don’t allow yourself to overthink a situation. If you find yourself overthinking, replace it with reading a book or meditation. You can call a friend to get advice or simply let it go until it presents itself again.
- Gossiping: Simply, mind your business. Spreading gossip about someone is one of the worst things you can do. Everyone has problems. Everyone has stuff going on. How would you feel if you found out someone was spreading gossip about you? Oh, they have? Well, don’t stoop to their level. When someone gossips, they are telling more about themselves than they are the other person. It says they do not respect the privacy of others and what they may be going through. We should all pray for each and be supportive towards one another during our hard times. Life would be so much easier.
- Not living in the moment: Every day is a gift. It’s like one of my favorite quotes says “The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present” by Alice Morse Earle. If you are struggling with depression or any kind of illness, the 24 hours in your day may seem very long and dark. Even if you have to live hour to hour, minute to minute, appreciate each breath that you take. You are here for a reason. You woke up this morning for a reason. You may not know that reason yet, but have confidence that one day it will be revealed, but you must push forward. Everything counts, no matter how big or small.
- Trying to please others: If you think that you can please everyone, you are mistaken. Humanity is not perfect. It is physically impossible to make everyone happy while trying to be happy yourself. Live your best life the best way you know how. If there is someone in your life that is displeased with your decisions, simply remind them that you are living for you and if you are unhappy then no one around you will be happy. Living your best life is the only way.
I would like to wish each and every one of you the best success is 2018. You are wonderful. You are loved. You are beautifully made. Have a very Happy New Year from my family to yours.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” -Neil Gaiman