Happy New Year 2019!
I love the excitement of heading into a brand new year. The new year signifies renewal. Release. Letting go. Freedom. New beginnings....
How exciting! As we embark upon new year 2019, my personal ritual is to set aside a time for both introspective review and setting purposeful intention for the year ahead. I begin by lighting three white candles and playing tranquil music to attract positive energy. I then acknowledge all the year's blessings and accomplishments, honor and bless the people that helped or hindered my path, let go and forgive that which no longer serves me, and appreciate all that I am grateful. I then set blessings and overall intentions for the new year to come.
I’ve never been one to set New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to set small attainable goals as needed throughout the year, rather than one large goal at the beginning of the year.
However, New Year’s resolutions are quite popular. There are many theories as to how far they go back. Merriam-Webster quotes numerous pledges dating as far back as the 1600’s. It also cites speculation from an unknown author that New Year’s resolutions dates back well over 200 years giving people in the early 19th century—much like those today—an excuse for misbehavior up to New Year's Eve.
Today, many people still set New Year’s resolutions and try to achieve them. Most resolutions are based around self-improvement including losing weight, quitting smoking and/or drinking, and improving finances. Though over 40% or more Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, according to the University of Scranton research just 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals. Many of these resolutions do not even last a few weeks.
The question remains, why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed?
For many, the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season.
Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25 as the celebration of the day when Jesus Christ of Nazareth was born. Jews celebrate Hanukkah or the "Festival of the Lights," an 8-day observation between November 30 and December 26. The holiday of Kwanza is a week long celebration of the African heritage starting December 26. Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day, the enlightenment of the Buddha on December 8. Krismas is a secular holiday that celebrates most of the elements of Christmas, with the exception of the story of Jesus' birth. This came about in 2004.
Most cultures recognize the Winter Solstice worldwide with an interpretation of the event varying from culture to culture. Depending on the shift of the earth's axis, it is either December 21 or 22 of each year. The commonality is a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.
For many, the season is a time of joy and celebration. A time of giving and sharing time with family and friends. Honoring traditions by reveling in the beauty of the holiday lights, decorating trees, watching holiday movies, and sharing in good food, laughter and the making of memories.
In contrast, others find it overly stressful and are turned off by the excessive shopping and overindulgence. Many have lost their Christmas spirit. The season brings up intense feelings of sadness, loneliness, physical and/or emotional pain, depression, anxiety.
If this season represents a sense of loss due to divorce, separation or passing of a loved one; if you or a family member is suffering from illness, emotional or physical, substance abuse or dealing with a problematic family member, the holidays can present a whole different set of obstacles.
Pressure to visit multiple homes, unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and excessive commitments can also cause stress and anxiety turning the once holiday sparkle into the holiday blues.
If you need a holiday boost, there are some self care tips you can do to lift your spirit and take care of YOU this holiday season. Putting you first is often difficult to do but is a must for survival and ensures your tank is filled so that you have more to give others. Read on for tips and tricks. Practice one per day to get through them easily and effortlessly!
Pamela Schubloom, CHC, CPC, AADP
Certified Holistic Health Coach
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