Written by Francine Baffa, LICSW, BCBA-D
Edited by Joe DeNoon
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” — Søren Kierkegaard
So, as we approach the year’s halfway point, it can be useful to look back on the six months that have passed and reflect on what we would like the next six to look like. It’s important to remind ourselves that it is OK if you have yet to reach your goals or do all the things you thought you would by this point in the year. Reviewing what’s happened through the eyes of self-compassion helps you be kind to yourself, and it gives you grace to approach the next phase with momentum and intention.
When things seem like they are getting on top of you, here’s a brief reminder of helpful behaviors for your well-being. Try these prompts to preserve your balance, or re-balance yourself through the second half of 2023.
- Value yourself:
Try to be kind and avoid self-criticism. Whether you want to broaden your horizons or make time for your hobbies, you are the navigator. Learn to play an instrument, take up gardening or do a daily crossword puzzle – do things you enjoy and explore new options.
- Surround yourself with good people:
Networks are composed of different people: family members, friends, co-workers, classmates, or neighbors to name a few. If you want to be healthy, surround yourself with people who help you grow and nurture your true self.
- Care for your body:
Taking care of yourself physically has been shown to improve your mental health. It’s important to eat healthy and drink plenty of water to improve moods and sleep. It is possible to reduce anxiety and improve mood by engaging in regular physical activity, creative interests, and shared experiences with others.
- Quiet your mind:
Relaxation and / or spiritual practices enhance your outlook on life. Research shows that meditation may help you feel calm.
- Breath through stress:
Stress is a part of life: it’s unavoidable. Practice good coping skills: Tai Chi, exercising, taking a nature walk, playing with your pet, and journal writing are some of the good ways to deal with stress. Laughter is a simple way to boost your immune system and relax your body. Don’t forget to smile and enjoy life.
There’s still plenty of time to make the most of 2023, and looking back on what’s happened and what lies ahead can help you to reassess your priorities. Now’s as good a time as any to make that commitment and get started.