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Good for Body and Soul

How do you approach the idea of a “new year?”

As a teen, you might hear many adults making plans and resolutions for things they’d like to accomplish or habits they’d like to conquer starting on January 1st. Of course, logically we all know that creating new habits or deleting old ones from our “playlist” can really begin any day of the year. But somehow, many people get caught up in the idea that beginning any new way of thinking on January 1st will somehow hold a magic that no other day of the year can offer.

When battling depression, or even just feeling uncertain about your future or who you are becoming can make this time of year challenging. For some, a new year brings inspiration, but others might feel a bit of panic and pressure related to everyone around them wanting them to “do better” and “feel better.” Ah, if it were only all that easy. If only we could just say, “Starting January 1st, I’m going to be immensely happy!”

If you are thinking about what 2023 could hold in store for you, we wanted to offer some “out of the box” ideas that might be good for both body and soul. Not even resolutions, really. Our list is short, but hopefully some little nugget here might help just a little when thinking about ways to approach the coming new year.

1) Social Media – In 2023 I will remind myself often that what people post are their best moments. No one is posting themselves at their worst. This goes for everyone I might compare myself to; celebrities, TikTok stars, or the people in my school. I will remind myself that Social Media is too often an illusion and comparing myself, when I’m feeling down, to someone else’s perceived best, does not bring me joy. When I find myself in the mindset of comparison, I will step away from Social Media. Whether it is an hour, or a few – maybe even a whole night, I will give my brain a break from the over analyzing Social Media can cause.

2) Get Out of the House/My Room – When I feel myself isolating, I will go out of my space and experience the world beyond my walls. I’ll go for a walk in the neighborhood or somewhere else I enjoy. I’ll connect with nature, feel the sun on my face, and breathe fresh air. Even if I don’t talk to a soul, I’ll remind myself that the world is a big place with so much to offer. Not only will being out in the world most likely improve my mood, getting out and walking around will be good for my body.

3) Bucket List – It is never too soon to start a bucket list so this idea combines the first two suggestions. When you feel those Social Media blues starting to get under your skin and realize that you might need a different perspective, this time, stay on your device. Yep, that’s right! Stay on your device and begin researching places in the world you would someday like to visit. Create your own running list or journal that includes pictures so you can visualize yourself there someday. Spend time researching details such as great places to stay, how long the flight is, and the best sightseeing in each place has to offer. Remind yourself, there’s so many places to go and so much to see in the world.

4) Reach Out – In 2023, I will make a point to be an ally to one person I see struggling. It might be a classmate or an old friend I’ve lost touch with. It might be someone who does show their struggles on Social Media or seems to be searching for a way to connect with someone. Even if it is just a hello or smile at school, or a kind comment on a Social Media post, I will not contribute further to that person’s feeling of isolation. I’ll work at looking for opportunities to make someone feel better because there are so many times I’ve wished someone would do that for me.

5) Work in Progress – In 2023, I’ll give myself grace as often as I can by reminding myself that I’m a work in progress. My life is a work in progress. I have many, many more chapters to write and the feelings I’m experiencing now are not permanent, even though sometimes it feels that way. I know change is inevitable because people grow and change as they get older, and how I might see myself now or how I feel in this moment, is not as it will always be. Even though it is hard at times, I want to see how my story turns out.

Happy New Year!

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