The year is winding down, and it seems like we were just celebrating the start of 2021. The New Year is a big reminder for us all that time continues to pass us by. We all want to grow, expand, and feel like we are living our lives meaningfully. When you feel stuck or stagnant, mindfulness is the tool that you need. How can you close out the year with intention? Here are 5 ways you can wind down the year mindfully:
Mindful walking is a wonderful tool that can take you out of your head and into the present moment. Mindful movement helps with anxiety and depression because your body is able to release any stuck energy that is causing you to feel wound up or melancholy. Focus on each step you take as you walk. Be mindful of the sensations you feel under your feet. Observe the thoughts that come in as you are walking, but don’t allow yourself to get stuck on them, just let them walk on by.
Observe your thoughts
Practice mindfulness by taking at least 15 minutes per day to sit down and just observe your thoughts without judgement. When you pay attention to your thoughts, you start to notice patterns. Certain thoughts create emotions, which show up in your body. When you allow yourself to be still, you create space between the thought and the way you react to that thought. Instead of letting them carry you away, you can discern which thoughts are true and important, and which can be tossed away.
Write a letter of validation to yourself
It doesn’t have to be a formal letter, you can just let the words flow. Giving yourself praise is important, and you can’t always wait for others to give you the amount of praise you need. Your relationship with yourself is important, and learning to treat it like you would any relationship will help you find strength and a deep sense of security within yourself. Acknowledge your accomplishments, the things you love about yourself, and all the ways you showed bravery this year. Reflect on where you were last year and where you are now. This can really help put things into perspective if you feel dread about going into a new year. Allow yourself to feel it all–the good, the bad, and feel grateful for everything that has transpired this year.
Reduce mindless scrolling
Do you find yourself mindlessly staring at a screen and doomscrolling? This can be a major source of stress and anxiety for you. It doesn’t help that when you try to stay off your phone, you have a million notifications that seem to pull you in. Try to reduce mindless scrolling by turning off notifications and putting your phone on do not disturb. Let yourself be bored and notice how much your creativity expands as a result.
Having a curious mindset will help you end the year more mindfully and be more aware of what’s going on internally and externally. Sometimes, when we become more self-aware, we end up judging and criticizing ourselves because we are still acting and behaving in ways we realize aren’t good for us. When this happens, look at the discovery you’ve made with curiosity. You’ll find that what you discover about yourself becomes more playful, and instead of judging yourself, you feel compassionate, like you would towards a loved one or a small child. Get curious, not just about yourself, but the world around you, too. This will increase your joy and wonder about the mystery of the world around you.
Happy New Year! May your 2022 be filled with peace, love, balance, playfulness, and compassion for yourself and others.
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Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.