Chinese New Year falls on 10 February 2024 – Why not make that the start of your ‘New Yea ’

I was going to apologise for this being my first blog of the New Year but I had a re-think and I do not apologise.

I bet, like me, you had great ideas of what you were going to do when New Year arrived. However, maybe like me, January did not go as planned and suddenly it’s February.

Now again like me, you probably started beating yourself up for  being lazy, procrastinating (but go back and read my blog called Positive Procrastination), even getting yourself worked up and overwhelmed with not doing what you set out to do??

Well, stop now. Just do a re-think. You maybe made a New Year’s resolution list – which I can guess was probably too long and even unrealistic. You could go back and look at it or my recommendation is to just ditch it. Start as if February is the NEW start to the New Year. As soon as you do this you will feel better and ready to get going.

Why not welcome in your New Year on 10 February?

This year the Lunar New Year is the year of the DRAGON in China. The dragon is one of the  most revered zodiac signs in Chinese and other cultures. They say that those born in the year of the dragon will find great success and good fortune. We may see changes to leadership within countries, royalty, and the world (we are already experiencing some of these) (and women will start to rise! So take heed my inspirational ladies in Ayrshire Business Women (ABW) affiliated to the Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ASB) and of course all other such Associations. (Of course we wish everyone health and happiness).

This blog would not be complete without mention of one lady, Margarette Bryan, who has been recognised for her achievements and inspiration to others. She is a distinguished member of Ayrshire Business Women (ABW) and in November 2023 clinched the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Association of Scottish Businesswomen awards. Indeed, I am proud to be a member of ABW as alongside Margarette Bryan, Carol Smith won Business of the Year award. She is the creative force behind her own business Scottish Keepsakes.

So back to why I thought about this topic!

I was fortunate that November through to January is one of my busiest times wearing my academic consultant hat and this work has to be done to a deadline of end January. Now I have learned from past experience that I shouldn’t procrastinate – I work well to deadlines but often wait until nearer a deadline to get started. Does that sound familiar? When you do this you get stressed and even anxious. So this time round I decided I would pace myself and with the help of a ‘nagging’ friend I managed to do this and it made such a difference. As many of you know I was still able to take my children’s dogs out for walks in nature. No matter the weather, walking in nature puts a new perspective on  everything and does raise your spirits, despite torrential rain and ending up like a ‘drookit rat’.

The only thing I would say about our weather here in Scotland (Glasgow) is that it can be depressing and even make people angry and upset. I know, it does this to me too. Then I have to remind myself that we are quite lucky that the weather is not as extreme here as it is in many parts of the world, even in the UK. So I do my gratitude affirmation. Another affirmation that really helps is to say two words, and these are ‘thank you’ as soon as you wake up in the morning.

Many of you know if you have been watching and listening to my live videos and reels that my other tip is to ‘smile and laugh’, they cost you nothing. Of course wearing my academic hat meant that I had to put some things on the ‘back burner’ such as those things I would like to do for myself and for my MindCircles. However, when you finish something to a deadline there is not just a feeling of satisfaction but a feeling of relaxing, sometimes so much that you don’t really want to do or start anything else. Now that’s ok as long as it is just a couple of days to recuperate from your hard work. Praise yourself that you have completed the work. Tell yourself it’s ok to relax and take a bit of time off. Do my ABC regularly, so that it becomes your good habit. When you have this good habit you will soon be ready to face anything. You will see challenges as opportunities. You will turn the negatives into positives. You will embrace, not fear, change.

Use your journal to write down your thoughts and plans, be realistic, because if your plans or lists are unrealistic you will just get overwhelmed again and even not even start! I know that we have certain days/weeks/times to raise Mental Health awareness but we should be aware of mental health all the time. We all have mental health – what we aim for is good mental health and I like to think of it is being mentally fit. So if you are working out at the gym for physical fitness, don’t forget to work out your mind (it’s more vital as changing your mindset will change  your attitude to your physical fitness.

Now I know if you are suffering from extreme mental health it is vital to seek professional help. However, for many we can help ourselves by regularly carrying out a mental fitness regime. Now, I can hear you all saying I don’t have time, I can’t do this, It’s impossible. It’s ok to have such thoughts but you need to ditch the negative words, the ‘don’ts’ ‘cant’s, ‘impossible’.

You can do this by using my psychologically proven techniques, ABC. These are easy to use – the hard part is using them regularly (everyday preferably morning and night) so that they become your new good habit. Do them while brushing your teeth which is a good habit. The mental fitness regime can be as easy as brushing your teeth. For something to become a good habit you need to practice it for 28 or 30 days continually (miss a day and you have to start again).

Believe me, you will see a difference.

Don’t get side-tracked by others who will try to bring you down. Even close friends and family, they will try this because they are afraid – they are afraid of change – they are afraid of the new positive you. You can suggest they try my ABC but you can’t make them.

We all want everyone to live healthy lives but you can’t change others you can only change YOU.

If you are someone who often cares for others, you might find it difficult to take care of yourself. But if you don’t take care of you, how can you possibly take care of someone else.

Now don’t worry if you get anxious, it’s ok if it’s moderate and of course if it occurs when there is actual anticipated risk or danger. Anxiety becomes problematic when it interferes with your daily life, such as work, education, family life and relationships.

Keep a lookout for my next blog on coping strategies for anxiety and on that note remember to:

Smile and laugh, they cost you nothing.

Virtual hugs to everyone.

Patricia

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