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Year-End Reflection: Mental Health Check-In for a Fresh Start

As the year ends, we reflect on our wishes for the upcoming one. This introspection serves as our annual self-reflection, recalling both the best and worst moments, as well as the goals achieved in the concluding year.

Reflecting on the past year can boost self-esteem and optimism by acknowledging successes and failures. It helps assess and highlight achievements for motivation while recognizing areas that need further attention and effort.

Much like the changing seasons in nature, our lives experience periods of renewal, growth, and introspection. From the blossoming energy of spring to the warm embrace of summer, the seasons often mirror the various phases we encounter. Understanding these natural rhythms can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of our emotional and mental landscapes.

But what if the balance is negative?

One of the most challenging tasks is finding balance when it leans toward the negative, be it for the year or another aspect. It means accepting unmet goals and ongoing aspirations. So, more than the Christmas carols, the negatives from the past eleven months resonate in our minds.

For this reason, we must become aware of our mistakes in a constructive way. Otherwise, it is easy to fall into a negative state of mind. What we aim for is to use introspection as a mechanism to recognize our past experiences and comprehensively rewrite our objectives.

Avoid comparisons

While comparing ourselves can be motivating, doing it excessively or with intense competitiveness is counterproductive. Constantly measuring our worth based solely on achievements can be demotivating and harm our self-esteem.

Avoid comparing achievements with others, as comparing one year to another doesn't make much sense. Despite the pressure of the culture of improvement and productivity, it's crucial to recognize that each year is distinct, and individualities must be considered. Remember: a year with fewer achievements is not necessarily a worse year.

For all this, many of us, perhaps, need a different exercise to close the year. Some questions that might help you create a balance sheet can be:

Have you connected with yourself?

Life can get overwhelming with family, school, and societal expectations. We might lose touch with ourselves, neglecting our true needs. The fear of disappointing others makes us conform, stay still, and prioritize their desires over ours. But it's time for a change. Let's move forward, deeper within ourselves. Tune into our desires and needs, not just what others expect.

Do you keep repeating familiar patterns?

Without realizing it, we unconsciously repeat patterns or attitudes learned from our parents and/or grandparents since birth. These behaviors surface automatically during moments of heightened tension, even if we dislike them and vow not to replicate them.

Don't stress about falling into old patterns as they won't change overnight. The key is to identify and free yourself from them. Remember, your parents had different circumstances, and what worked for them may not work for you now.

Do you know what your path is?

As we free ourselves from the burdens of the past and the chains that governed our thinking, we can look inward and connect more directly with our intuition. From this place, we can feel what we want to do, how we want to live our lives, and what path we should take.

Trust yourself and look for what you have always liked, what fulfilled you and made you feel good when you were little. Listen to the signs that tell you where your path is.

Have you focused on what is important?

Many times, we tend to worry exaggeratedly about things that, when we analyze them with perspective, are not so important.

We must learn to give each event the relevance it truly has, no more and no less. In this way, situations that do not deserve it will stop generating anxiety and we will have more energy to deal with those that are important.

Conclusion

In life's perpetual dance of seasons, we discover threads shaping our mental health. Navigating the yearly balance demands awareness of our cyclical experiences. Embracing each season's lessons empowers us to build resilience, prioritize self-care, and foster holistic mental wellness year-round.

Additional Resources:

  1. APA.org: The American Psychological Association (APA)
  2. Child Mind Institute: Information about healthcare services, facilities, medical professionals, patient resources, and more.
  3. NIMH: National Institute of Mental Health

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