As 2020 comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to write about reflection and responding to the close of one year and the start of a new one. Granted New Year’s Eve may feel very different than previous years, feelings of hope, anticipation, sorrow, fear, and many others are still ever-present. If anything, we may be feeling these sentiments and emotions more deeply than ever before.
To begin a reflective practice over the next few days, start by cultivating a safe space for you to process and freely express what comes up. Reflection can be done through journaling, talking with a safe person, or through a meditative practice such as breathwork, guided meditation, or mindful walking. Whatever space you choose for reflection, extend self-compassion to yourself, and set reminders of truths you can return to, such as: I am safe, I am doing my best, I am learning, and I am allowed to feel what I am feeling.
Reflection gives us the space to explore the past, including lessons, difficult moments, joyful experiences, or what could have been; it also allows us to cultivate a response. When we choose to sit with our emotions, to notice our thoughts and feelings, we have a chance to respond. A chance to choose to do things differently, to notice how we have grown, or how to use our experiences as catalysts for change. Feelings and emotions come to us for a reason, and as we close on a collective chapter in our lives, now may be a time, more than ever, to dive into why these feelings and emotions are at the surface.
The following are a few prompts for first noticing what we are thinking/feeling about the past year and exploring how we can take what we learned into the New Year.
- 2020 was a year of…
- What was something you discovered about yourself?
- What worked for you this year? What did not work that may need to change next year?
- Was there a theme that persisted throughout this year?
- What did you do to care for yourself this year?
- What happened this year that was positive for you personally?
- What was a difficult moment (s) this year?
- What is something you learned this year that you would not have experienced otherwise?
- What are you looking forward to this year?
- What are some intentions that you want to set for the new year?
- What can you do to care for yourself (and others) come the New Year?
- What are you leaving in 2020?
- What are you taking with you in 2020?
- 2021 will be a year of…
We wish you moments filled with connection to yourself and others, reflection, and peace this New Year!
Written by: Chardyce Kott, LSW