Happy ‘New Year!’ A new school year also a time for us all to reflect

This month we are in the throes of Back to School….this often means new clothes, new shoes, new haircuts and backpacks. It’s a time of meeting new friends and teachers. A starting over…a chance to tweak behaviors or reputations from the previous year.

We talk to children about the new school year being “a clean slate” and getting organized and making improvements regarding staying on top of schoolwork, etc. Our desire is for each new school year to be better than the last. We want a year of growth and maturity and learning.

For adults, we tend to see Jan. 1 as the marker for that “new year” motivation…new gym memberships, new diets, setting goals to be organized, etc. and as we all know, most of those “resolutions” typically last about 14 days and then we drift back to our old habits and ways.

Seems to me, maybe we need more than one “New Year’s,” like people who celebrate half-birthdays (it’s a thing!) and taking the time to do a mid-year check in on our emotional, physical and spiritual health would be a great new habit to develop. In the middle of a pandemic, one of the things you actually have control over in the midst of the chaos is your own personal health.

On that note, the start of a new school year seems like a good time to do a check-in….maybe set some goals for ourselves as we do for our children at this time of the year. Renew our motivation. Start over with a new slate. Celebrate a “Happy New Year” even though it is 100 degrees outside.

Here’s a mid-year checklist for you:

  1. Are your sleep habits off because of a looser summer schedule?
  2. How is your eating?
  3. Are you exercising enough?
  4. Is the mess in your car and home reflective of your own internal disorganization?
  5. Are you fostering good support networks?
  6. Are you resting enough? Taking enough breaks from work?
  7. Are you nurturing your spiritual life or have you gotten out of your spiritual habits?

If your answers to any of the above questions were answers you are not happy with, do something about it. Today.

Reflect on your biggest time wasters (social media, anyone?) and set small, obtainable goals. Maybe go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night or commit to a 15-minute walk with your spouse or partner twice a week.

Healthier habits can come in small, incremental changes. In fact, they generally stick around longer when the steps are small. Think of your overall health and wellness as a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race.

For anyone needing support with his or her New Year goals, Psychological Services is always available for you. Give us a call: 832-394-1440.