Starting over isn’t easy, especially when it is being forced upon you. But the good thing to know is that you can create new beginnings of your own free will anytime you need to. Your mental health is much like clay, it is resilient and malleable to a fresh start at any time. Here are some tried and true ways to get you moving toward that refresh you have been looking for.
1. Time to get honest
Start holding yourself accountable for how things are currently. Stop justifying what isn’t working and begin doing things differently (even something small can make a big impact).
2. Begin to journal
This can help with getting honest. Explore and write down how things really are instead of how you think they are. Spend time thinking about what’s happening right now and work toward the future you want. When we write things down, our mind is better able to process them and to help formulate plans. That pencil to paper action makes a huge difference. Don’t believe me, just give it a try!
3. Forget regret
We can regret the road taken or the road not taken. Assess your regrets, and figure out what you can learn about yourself and your future intentions by looking at where you lie in your regrets. In doing so, you can use regret “productively to make sense of where you’ve been, inform the decisions you’re going to make, inform your future actions and, …[to] help ensure you don’t make the same mistakes again (Hagan, 2014). After careful consideration, are you someone who needs to act more or someone who may benefit from sitting back and assessing the situation more?
4. Think about your ruminations
Oftentimes we feel like we have to push away our irrational or racing thoughts. But in doing this, we actually end up thinking about them more. Work by Daniel Wegner suggests that we actually assign ourselves “worry time” (as cited in Hagan, 2014). You can schedule as much or as little time as you wish, but ensure that you devote yourself to worrying during that period alone. While it may seem counterintuitive, consciously focusing on a worry can help leave concerns in the past and get you to move on to something new.
5. Discover new interests and activities
Think about things you have wanted to try and plan to do them. Allow yourself to explore new things that you may have otherwise been too busy or nervous to try.
Remember that a refresh will not happen overnight. It takes time and effort. You must put in the work. But once you do, you will reap the rewards. So go ahead and shake things up a bit, let loose, and give yourself that refresh you need! As always, if you need a little assistance to get going, reach out to a local therapist and start working with them.
Hagan, E. (2014). 5 Steps to a fresh start. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201403/5-steps-fresh-start
Peterson, T. (2022). Give your mental health a fresh start. Healthy Place. Retrieved from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-health-newsletter/give-your-mental-health-a-fresh-start#freshstart
Staff, H. (2009, January 13). New Beginnings! What to do, What to do?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/celebrate-love/new-beginnings-what-to-do-what-to-do