When we think of celebrating New Year’s Eve, for many of us the images that come to mind are the images that are fed to us by the media: you go to a big party. If you are married, you go with your spouse. If you are single, you go with a date or you go hoping to meet someone. Either way, there is dancing and drinking. At midnight you drink a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year. It can be a great time, but maybe this year you want to do something different. Maybe you don’t drink. Maybe you aren’t in the mood for a big party. Maybe you want to spend the time more reflectively. Here are three ideas for how to spend a more contemplative New Year’s Eve.
Declutter Physically and Mentally
Decluttering and organizing has been in the media a lot recently. Decluttering your physical surroundings can help lighten your mental load, which would be a great way to start the new year. Also, if you want to bring new things into your life–new clothes that fit the career you aspire to, a new habit to improve your health, a new spiritual practice–whatever it is, you need to make space for it. Spend some time on New Year’s Eve getting rid of possessions that you no longer want or need. Get them physically out of your home.
Spend some time thinking about habits. Maybe you stop for coffee every morning on your way to work. If you really enjoy that part of your morning, then keep it. If not, change it. Maybe you would like to spend 30 more minutes at home reading or meditating. Think about the habits of the mind. Do you speak critically to yourself? That would be a good mental habit to change. Have you been holding onto anger? Your anger may be completely justified, but it is only hurting you. Do you still feel guilty about something that is over and done with? Maybe it’s time to let that go. Just as you removed the physical items you no longer need, you can remove the mental junk as well. Take a piece of paper and write down the habits you want to remove from your life and the old anger, hurt, and guilt that you no longer want to carry with you and then you can burn the paper to symbolically rid your life of that negativity.
Create a Vision for What You Do Want
Now that you’ve cleared out some space–physically and mentally–you have room to bring in the new. A great way to make what you want tangible is to create a vision board. To start, spend a few minutes writing down goals you want to achieve in the coming year, experiences you want to have, and what you want your life to be like. You will need a poster board or foam board, tape or glue, something to write with, old magazines, photos, or images from the internet. You will want to include a picture of yourself somewhere on the board and make a collage. If you want to become more physically active maybe you have a photo of a swimmer. If you want to work towards a promotion at work maybe you find an image of a nice office or some other image that speaks to you. Add words, affirmations, inspirational messages, quotes you enjoy, and anything else you want to your board. When you are finished, take a few minutes and enjoy your work. Put your finished board someplace where you can see it every day and use it to keep what you want uppermost in your mind.
Some people make separate vision boards for different aspects of their lives. For instance, you might make one for work and one for home. If you have set a major goal for yourself, perhaps to run a marathon, you might want to create a board just for that. The key to making a vision board is to create something that speaks to you, and you should have fun while you are doing it.
End and Begin the Year in Meditation
Now you have spent some time getting rid of what no longer serves you, literally and symbolically, and you have spent some time contemplating what you do want. Now it’s time to quiet your mind. Take some time to mentally review the year, focusing on special memories and accomplishments. Shortly before midnight, settle in to meditate. If you are new to meditation, that’s okay. A simple way to meditate is to focus on your breath. Sit with your eyes closed, and notice your breathing. You will begin to feel more peaceful. End the old year, and begin the new year with a feeling of peace.
Part of the recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol involves visualizing what you want your new life to be. Having a vision can help sustain your commitment to sobriety or influence your decision to begin your journey. It isn’t enough to treat your addiction; the underlying issues that led to the addiction need to be addressed, and you need a powerful vision of what your life can be when you are free of addiction. At Enlightened Solutions, we tailor a recovery plan for each client that reflects their needs and goals. We offer a range of treatment modalities designed to treat the whole person, including individual and group counseling, yoga and meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic care, art and music therapy, family constellation therapy, and equine therapy. We provide our clients with the skills they need to be successful in the new life they are creating. To take that first step into a life free from addiction, call us at (833) 801-5483.