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How to Feel Like Yourself Again in the New Year

Shannon M. Duffy, MFT, LCPC

It’s that time again when we reflect on the past year and set intentions for the upcoming year. For many that still imposes a few challenges with the unknowns of the pandemic. Even though we are back to doing things pre-pandemic, there is still a cloud of uncertainty that looms around us. When clients reflect on the past year many discuss the parts of themselves that they changed, or the activities they started and either failed or succeeded in, or just being more self-aware. Can we take what we learned from the pandemic to reinvent who we want to be in the new year? Is that even realistic? Our thoughts, feelings, moods, and emotions have been altered continuously during this unknown time of uncertainty. Some of us have been overachievers in wanting to learn new things or take advantage of the time given to find inner peace. Some of us are holding on by a thread to survive financially and/ or emotionally. No question this has taken a toll on everyone in how they are learning to manage stressors at an intense level. So where do we go from here is a question many of my clients propose. Can I go back to who I was, do I even want to, is there a better way to approach the future? 

There has been a sense of acceptance towards this is how life is for right now and into the foreseeable future. Which can provide some guidance towards the changes ahead. However, what about ourselves individually. What about our values, goals, dreams or aspirations, plans, agendas? How do we start to introduce those back into our daily focus and how to incorporate if they are not realistic any longer? How do we start to implement if our overall long-term goals are still what we strive for or need and want? What did we learn and take away from this experience? Hopefully, you can trust your resilience and self-reliance to get through these unknown circumstances. This self-reflection process can be a great area to focus on within psychotherapy to impact how you view yourself and how to keep setting goals and staying optimistic for the future. As you are asking yourself these questions it can be beneficial to start journaling about the experience and what values and components are necessary to move forward with personal achievements. Questions to reflect on such as what is working right now, what is not, and where do your wants and needs play into your daily life?

Feeling like yourself again can also be feeling more comfortable in your own skin, making decisions, and feeling hopeful. A few of the main components to focus on feeling like your true self would be to trust your intuition, believe in your worth, practice self-love, grow your talents, prioritize your joy, forgive easily, laugh often, and follow your passions. Most of these component’s mirror coping skills and self-care tactics in addition to positive thinking patterns. Do you need to change your perspective? Correct any negative messages you are sending yourself? Maybe it is just making the commitment to remembering your strengths and qualities and knowing who you are as an individual to be able to feel more confident in your skin to tackle the new year. It is essential to continue that mindset all year long. 

Wanting to feel like yourself again could be looking back on how you handled the stressors that you dealt with and being able to trust yourself. Take complete responsibility for your life and prioritizing your values. Become an expert in what matters most, become the architect of the life you want. Feeling like yourself again is also putting trust in yourself on making the commitment to yourself on setting yourself up for success. We need to grow, change, and the best way is through our resilience and believing in ourselves in the now and into the future.

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