Homeland Magazine January 2021

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Page 24

Real Talk: Mental Health By Jenny Lynne Stroup, Outreach Coordinator for the Cohen Clinic at VVSD

“Whatever 2021 may bring, I am confident

that meeting its challenges and its joys will be much easier when I am gentle with myself while also holding myself accountable to a list that feels attainable.”

New Year, new you? It’s the annual question that starts bouncing around our brains come the end of December. For me it starts somewhere between the gingerbread house decorating and the frantically wrapping presents at all hours of the night. Even as I expectantly await all the joy and thrill of the holidays my mind is already in the new year both wondering and worrying about what me I will be in the upcoming year. What are my goals? What do I want to accomplish? The answers to these questions do not come easily for me. It is difficult for me to articulate what it is I want. It is far easier for me to write all the things I decidedly don’t want.

Planning and direction is better for my own health than being run by the whims and wills of others. So, this year I plan to approach my new year, new you resolutions, goals, and now or never plans with a few priorities that put my health and well-being at the top of the list: My penned list includes: • Focusing on the things I can control. For me these are things like my morning routine, meal planning, and working out. • Creating a daily rhythm that helps me keep a consistent schedule.

I’ve spent many years wishing I were more like my husband with his posterboard, yes posterboard, and markers writing his goals in big and bold print for all to see.

• Scheduling regular check-ins with my best cheerleaders, whether they be close friends, former battle buddies, family, or a combination of all of the above.

When I couple my difficulty of penning goals and 2020 making me feel like I wanted to chuck my planners in the trash, the second question on my mind, is do I even bother making that list this year?

• Expanding upon or beginning a hobby that puts my body and mind at ease. Yoga, knitting, crocheting, sewing, coloring are all good options to keep your hands busy and your mind calm.

As someone who would rather curl up on the couch and wait for hard things to pass rather than meet challenge and change head on, I’ve weighed my options for goal setting this year more than once and I’ve come to this: 24

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• Finding a coach or mentor with similar life experiences to help hold me accountable to my goals and to offer me encouragement along the way.