“While our minds may want to quickly move on and out of 2020, our hearts know that every moment is precious – even the overwhelming ones.
As we enter the festive month, with many expats unable to return to their home countries or see family because of the ongoing pandemic, figuring out how to deal with what is sure to be the strangest holiday season of our lifetimes can seem rather daunting. But there is something we can do, that’s totally free and takes very little time to help center ourselves and ensure we’ve learned the lessons this year had to teach us – undertake a little end of year journaling reflection.
You may never have done it before. You may think it’s pointless to take up journaling at the end of the year, when kicking off the new year with a resolution to journal may seem more of a logical step. But taking time now to reflect upon how you’ve felt these last few months could be the way that helps you get through the final days of 2020 – and step into 2021 with more clarity, purpose and peace of mind.
Proven to help manage anxiety, reduce stress, cope with depression and boost your mood, the act of journaling allows you to release all of your thoughts and feelings in a safe space – a space when you can be as unfiltered as you wish, to let loose and process your thoughts – giving you the chance to reach realization and relief from the burdens that have been weighing you down.
Offering an opportunity to confront worries or fears, resentments you’ve been avoiding, or dreams you haven’t let yourself admit, journaling is not just about ranting (which can, however, be extremely helpful!) but walking through three vital processing steps: to feel, to acknowledge and to plan.
It’s important to feel what’s showing up for you, acknowledge what you’ve been through, and then take the steps to plan where you might want to go from now on.
So before skipping ahead and outlining your goals and motivations for 2021, move into the new year with these prompts designed to help you both feel and acknowledge:
- What new parts of me am I happy to have developed this year?
- How have I grown because of things that felt out of my control in 2020?
- What do I crave to feel in the coming months?
- What uncomfortable feelings or thoughts have I been trying to avoid or pretend aren’t bothering me to try and stay positive?
- What aspects of me feel like they were handed down from my family or past, that I no longer want to bring into my future?
Want to write it all down in one go? Do it. As a bonus, write a totally honest and open letter to 2020. What are you angry about? What did you plan to have happened that didn’t? What are you grateful for? What would you not have realized, or created, if 2020 hadn’t gone the way it did? How can you say goodbye to this year with a lighter heart?
Let’s not desire to go back to normal. Instead, let’s reflect upon the ways we want to live our lives to the fullest, in alignment with who we really are, and the life we’d like to look back on.
Remember, journaling is a time-tested method of coping and creating. Give it a try – you’ll feel much better –you never know what you may discover about yourself.”
For more information visit Rachael’s website.