Bring in the New Year with a clean and clutter free mind
As the end of the year draws near and you’re left wondering, “how that happened?!”, now is the perfect time to sit down, give yourself some headspace to clear out the mental junk that has accumulated over the big and busy year that has been 2018.
This is something that I do every year, because I simply have to. My body and mind cannot fully let go if I don’t process everything that’s happened and address some of the things that I’m holding onto – or even resisting. Because who really wants to see in the New Year and trying to achieve new dreams and goals, whilst still dragging around the few bits of baggage that is hanging on from last year?
For empaths and highly sensitive people in particular, this process is the only way I can see in the New Year feeling calm, energized and at peace. Not bad for a couple of hours of work!
So I highly encourage you to take some time out over the next few days before New Years Eve, to sit down in a quiet space, with a notepad or journal, make yourself a cuppa (make that an iced tea if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!) and settle in with yourself for a few moments. Then, slowly go through the below list to help declutter your mind and release tension from your body to fully let go, so you can see in the New Year feeling calm, clear and energized.
Reflect on 2018
For many people, 2018 was a massive year! Full of new businesses, promotions, relocating, new babies, new relationships and so much more. If you’re not sure on where to start with decluttering your mind, starting with a reflection on 2018 is a great way to jog your memory, feelings, emotions, and progress to continue in a meaningful way. Simply open up your journal, write the title, “My reflection on 2018” and see what comes out. Long or short, there is no right or wrong way to do this and no one else has to see it either!
Things I’m proud of
It’s really important to remember all the incredible and amazing things you feel proud of yourself for. These can be small or big things – the only thing that matters is how you feel about it. As long as you felt proud of it, it can go on the list! For example, my list this year includes: Getting a car and actually driving it and going down to 4 days a week in my day job to spend more time on my business. Make a list of everything that makes you feel super proud of yourself, letting go of any judgement of whether it is “good enough” to be on there. If it makes you feel good, then it’s certainly good enough to be on the list!
Achievements and Celebrations
Another beautiful list creating exercise is to jot down all the achievements you’ve made this year – from all areas of your life. This could be from your work after successfully managing a challenging project, to achieving a meaningful milestone in your relationship – whatever the success, it deserves to be recognized! And after reflecting on all your achievements for this year, it’s time to recognize all the wonderful celebrations of the year too! Remember all those weddings, birth announcements, engagements, business milestones and anything else that was a cause for celebration throughout the year – it’s time to remember, reflect and write those down so you don’t forget all the wonderful moments that the year brought you and your loved ones.
This can be such a beautiful, therapeutic and challenging exercise that is full of benefits. It sounds a little too simple, but it’s amazing how powerful the written word can be. Freewriting is just writing anything that comes out of your head – like a written version of a braindump. Just pick up your pen and let the words flow as your mind processes any tensions, issues, concerns, worries, anxieties, resistance and watch it all come out. At first, your body and mind may resist the process (that’s totally normal!), but as you settle in and let the words flow onto the paper, it’s incredible how powerfully detoxing it can be. It’s an easy and great way to let go of anything that’s been bothering you and it can also help provide some logical and practical answers to make progress in the right direction.
How I want to feel next year
I love this exercise because it requires really tapping into your intuition to notice how you’re feeling right now and projecting forward into the future to see how you really want to feel next year. It’s all well and good to create incredible new goals and milestones for the year ahead, but as sensitive people, we need to be really mindful about how we get there to make sure we don’t burn the candle at both ends and fall into a slump halfway through the year. This can also help to create a beautiful mantra or affirmation to keep you on track for the year ahead. My affirmation for 2019 is: “To feel intuitively freeing, calming, energizing and full of unconditional love.”
Write a letter to yourself
This is as simple as it sounds. Write a letter to yourself about what you want to have achieved, how you want to feel and how you want your 2019 to look. Write from the perspective as if it’s already December 31st 2019 and you’re writing to yourself about all the amazing things you’ve done and achieved that year. Pop it in an envelope and put in a reminder in your phone to read it at the end of next year to include in your next years’ reflection. I have a beautiful letter writing downloadable in my Freebies Library that is perfect for this activity!
Things that are just for me in 2019
It’s easy to forget what we love to do and what we really need to re-energize when we’re so busy all the time. So whilst you’re sitting in a quiet mindful moment, write down all the things that you want, love and need to do for yourself for next year – so they can serve as a reminder and a fallback when you need some extra love for yourself.
Organize your calendars
This is a super practical one and great to alleviate full and anxious minds. It only takes 10 minutes to get out your calendar and compare it to 2018 one to move over all the important dates you need to remember for next year. Key dates include: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, events, public holidays, booked holidays, medical appointments, conferences, workshops, births, deaths, milestones and anything else that you need to be reminded of. It’ll help it clear your mind, knowing your organized and not going to miss anything important.
Cleansing your mind and home
Once all these activities are complete, I find it refreshing to ‘cleanse’ my home by doing some sage smudging. This is an old ritual that helps ‘cleanse’ the energy in the home to remove negative thoughts and any bad energies, to clear the way for the year ahead. If you don’t have sage, palo santo is a beautiful smelling wood that can be used for smudging or else you can use some incense or even a scented candle. Whatever smells good and works for you – as it’s a symbolic practice for many you can use what is accessible for you. When you have chosen your fragrance, set it alight, let it burn until you can see the smoke plumes and you can smell the aroma. Then walk around each room in your house, gently waving the sage around, speaking a gentle blessing in each room – giving a bit of extra love to the doorways and windows. My own blessing is: “I cleanse this house, I bless this house and everyone in it”, but you can create your own meaningful words if this works better for you. Once the house is cleansed, rest the sage onto a heatproof surface and let it burn out.
Now you are hopefully feeling clearer and calmer and ready to bring in the New Year in a calm and energized way. Whilst it might seem like a lot of steps, they don’t actually take that long to complete especially if done over a few days, as deep-diving can be tiring but it is so beneficial, especially if you’ve had a pretty big year this year.
I’d love to hear about your experiences and what works for you in the comments below.