New Year's Resolution: 6 Ways to Get More Peace of Mind
This year, I’ve decided to get a jump on my New Year’s resolutions for 2017.
And while I could always lose five pounds, get more exercise, and drink more water, none of my resolutions will concern those perennial golden oldies.
Instead, I’m planning to concentrate on something more elusive—peace of mind.
Stress seems to me the most neglected factor in type 2 diabetes—we’re always so busy concentrating on diet and exercise and medications and taking our blood sugars that stress—which can boost blood sugars—gets short shrift.
So here goes:
- I will endeavor to be more in the moment. For me, nothing provokes stress more than rushing around and not noticing what I’m up to. My resolution is to try to concentrate to be a bit more aware of my environment and actions. This means not mindlessly tasting cookie dough as I bake or accepting a second serving of eggnog only because it’s offered. I’m not after nirvana, only a certain degree of mindfulness.
- I won’t say yes to everything. It's the time of the year when there are demands everywhere—to bring potluck, to buy gifts, to bake those cookies. But I’m going to take a pass here and there in an effort to find time for myself. I’m going to put exercise class ahead of making rugelah (I can always buy some at the co-op) and make sure that I don’t skip yoga, even if it means missing a year-end gathering. I’m making myself a priority.
- I’m going to do something new. It probably isn’t the best thing to add something to the schedule, but I’m going to give it a try. I’ve been oil painting in a class for over the past three years—a very meditative hobby—and in the last hours of 2016, I plan to set up a studio in the back of my house so that I can paint at home. It means clearing out a small room behind the kitchen, setting up an easel and arranging some supplies. I might not get any painting done in the waning days of this year, but I’ll be ready for 2017.
- I’m going to devote 10 minutes first thing in the morning to meditation. There is that stress factor again. I’ve tried this before and failed, but it’s worth another try. Meditation can help fight depression and make it easier to get through the day in a conscious way.
- I am going to listen harder and say less. As an extrovert, I always have something to say (How do you think I got this blogging gig?). But in the New Year, I’m going to try to hold my tongue on occasion and learn to hear other people more deeply. And without the pressure to be the one talking, I might learn something!
- I’m not going to punish myself if I don’t fulfill all or any of these resolutions. Because these goals are stress-related, I hardly want myself to stress out over whether I succeed or not. What I’m going to do is to try to calm down during the holiday season enough so that I arrive on the doorstep of the New Year a bit less crazed. Which sounds do-able to me.