Many of us are so ready to say “Goodbye” to 2020. It’s been a year like no other.
Whether you wore masks or slippers and sweats every day, we have collectively grieved and adapted to so much. There has been much to come to terms with both socially and economically. And often we get to the end of the year and focus on all that we haven’t done.
So instead of letting the self-criticism take the lead, I invite you to pause with me in ending this year with a self-compassion practice. I know slowing down to reflect doesn’t come naturally to most of us, especially if we are struggling. Learning to be a good friend to ourselves in the struggle and in growth takes intentional practice. Otherwise, most of us speed up, numb out, or distract ourselves when in pain and stress.
To help you end your year differently, I will offer some ways for you to create space for self-reflection. In doing so, you open up access to the wise and compassionate part of you.
End of Year Self-Compassion Practice
Step 1: Slow Down
While most of the world speeds up and is jumping to claim their New Year’s resolutions or make their vision boards, I invite you to slow down instead. Savor where you have been before you choose where you are going next. Some of my favorite ways to invite myself to slow down are:
- Lighting a candle
- Making my favorite tea
- Focusing on my breath without trying to change it
- Listening to soothing music
- Getting cozy with a soft blanket
- Grounding on the floor with my knees or legs elevated
What helps you slow down and invite in compassionate self-reflection?
Step 2: Celebrate
Now that you have slowed yourself down, it’s time to claim and acknowledge how you’ve grown this year. Consider different areas of your life from emotions, relationships, health, and even work. And honor each growth even if it’s a work in progress. There is power in being witnessed, so write it down or say it out loud to a trusted friend or family member.
Even though there were many challenges this year, there is also much to celebrate! I celebrate witnessing both my own and my client’s growth this year. Here are some highlights from the ways I’ve witnessed you growing:
- Growing in trusting yourself
- Feeling more confident accessing calm from within
- Tending to your needs more than you have before
- Healing your own heart after infidelity
- Mending your marriage by choosing to work on your part
- Understanding and respecting yourself even when others think differently
- Accepting all of your feelings
- Reaching out for help and support
- Enjoying what you already have and living more in the moment
In what ways have you grown this year? What are you really proud of? What did you make progress on this year?
Step 3: Release
Next, I invite you to reflect on ways that you made changes this year that helped you live a healthier and happier life. Maybe it was a habit you stopped. Or you gradually let go of internally treating yourself poorly. Or maybe you want to take a stand today as a way of releasing something that is no longer helping you.
Here are some of the things I’ve witnessed you releasing and letting go this year:
- Letting go of the shame of divorce
- Releasing comparing yourself to others and feeling not good enough
- Letting go of the need for perfection in yourself
- Releasing self-judgment and self-criticism
- Letting go of numbing
- Releasing trying to do it all on your own
- Letting go of worry about future hurt and loss
What have you let go of this year? What have you released that is no longer helping you live your best life? Where do you want to take a stand and say “I’m done…”?
Even though we may be miles and continents away, I witness you. I hear the pain and heartache. And I also see the growth and transformation. I’m honored to support your commitment to yourself and what matters most to you.
May we walk into this New Year having collectively acknowledged how we are making a difference in our own lives, so we can be apart of the change we wish to see in our world. Because the more compassion we have for ourselves, the more we can have for each other. And that is something worth celebrating!
Marci Payne, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri. She helps ambitious men and women create meaningful relationships by first growing within. Schedule a free 15-minute phone call with Marci, and decide if working one-on-one with Marci is a good fit for your counseling needs. (Note: I am currently based in Lee’s Summit MO, but am working with clients throughout Missouri via phone and video sessions).
Note: This end of year practice is inspired by one of my teachers and guides, Christine Arylo. You can receive Christine’s completion and reflection ritual here. I’ve been doing this process with Christine’s guidance for years and it’s a nourishing way to end the year.