10 Ways to Lighten Emotional Burdens & Create Change In The New Year

What is the number one New Years resolution, year after year? Is it health or happiness? No. More time with family and friends? No, not that, either. A financial windfall? Not even money makes the top of the list. It's weight loss.

Surprised? I wasn't, either.

There's a real shortage of self-appreciation, self-love, and self-acceptance in our society. We look at ourselves with a sharp, critical eye that's been honed to find each and every imperfection. We compare ourselves to others instead of accepting and celebrating our differences. We allow ourselves to be defined by our perceived shortcomings which, in turn, begins the cycle of self-deprecation. When I lose this weight I'll finally be happy. I wouldn't look so bad if my thighs weren't so big. If I looked like__, my life would be amazing. If I wasn't such a mess, I'd have gotten that job..... and so on, and so on. Why would it be a surprise to find that with all that we could aim for in the coming New Year, our appearance tops the list?

The reasons for how we view our bodies, and why we feel about them as we do, are as diverse as the bodies we've been taught (or have learned) to hate. No matter the reason, it's time that we put a stop to this, break the never ending cycle, and start to build a loving, healthy relationship with ourselves... and our bodies.

Let's resolve to focus less on losing body weight this year and focus more on losing the weight of the emotional burdens we carry with us every day. Those excessive, self-loathing, depressing, guilt-filled burdens that serve no positive purpose and that deprive us of living fully and joyfully. Yes, let's lose those. They are a heavy weight that we were never meant to bear.

10 Ways to Lighten Emotional Burdens and Create Change

  1. let go of resentments
  2. stop dragging the past into the present
  3. forgive and be forgiven
  4. appreciate your body, your spirit, yourself
  5. let go of negative self-talk
  6. stop comparing yourself to others
  7. accept yourself completely without
      prejudice to your appearance
  8. let go of thoughts/memories that do not
      serve to heal, help, or support you
  9. let go of feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy
10. move past what has held you back...
      with positivity, courage, and conviction

You may find the New Year to be a symbolic time to implement change but if you don't, the truth is that change doesn't require a special day. It can be created at any time... with huge leaps or small steps. It all depends on what works best for you. Just begin. Start. Difficult or easy, make it happen. You are capable and worthy of the change you seek.

Happy New Year! 

see also:
10 Self-Nurturing New Year's Resolutions
An Exercise in Bringing About Change
5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Change Your Life
Letting Go Of Resentment 
15 Quotes For Recovery In This Brand NewYear
What Are You Afraid Of? (Change)
Is What's Holding You Back Worth Holding On To?
Recovery and The New Year
New Beginnings 

new years stat source:http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

10 Recovery Survival Tips for the Holidays

Are the holidays stressing you out? Are you worrying about how to navigate some of the pressures and situations that may arise?  Here are some survival tips to help see you through:

1. Take time to relax. No matter how busy your holiday plans are, create some time just for you. Breathe, relax, de-stress. Just a couple of minutes to decompress from the pressures of the holiday can make a world of difference.

2. Choose your battles. The good intentions of family members and friends can often leave you feeling trapped and outnumbered during a time that stress levels are already at peak capacity. Adopt a take it or leave it attitude. Take from it what you can use to help you through, and leave behind what doesn't. Remember that you don't have to own everything thrown your way.

3. Plan ahead. Though you cannot plan ahead for every scenario that may arise, knowing your options in advance will lessen anxiety, fear, and stress. Know what your options are beforehand. If you're attending events with someone that you trust, let them know that you're struggling with a safety word or phrase (that you've agreed upon in advance) and have a plan of action set in place.

4. Allow for imperfection. Don't hold your holiday, or yourself, up to standards that are impossible to attain. Nothing is perfect. Expecting everything to be so sets yourself up for disappointment and failure. Let the events unfold as they will and enjoy the unexpected. Some of the best times are created when things fall apart and people come together.

5. Keep things in perspective. Sometimes we read more into a comment or action than is intended because of what we are carrying around with us. Our fears, emotions, and trials can influence our interpretation. Take a moment to remove yourself from your initial feelings and give yourself a chance to see if what you're hearing/witnessing is what is really being said/done.

6.  Create a positive, supportive inner dialogue. Your thoughts create your reality. "I am capable of handling any situation with grace, confidence, and compassion." Don't dwell on negative possibilities. Keep your self-talk supportive and positive.

7. Get plenty of rest. Get a good night's sleep the night before. Everything is easier when you're not already dealing with an overtired, sleep-deprived body and brain.

8. Count your blessings. All of them, right down to the tiniest one you can think of. We all have our fair share of burdens but count your blessings and you'll find they tip the scales in your favor.

9. Know your limits. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may still find ourselves in a situation that exceeds our ability to cope. If you find yourself in a situation that you can't handle or that posses a threat to your recovery give yourself permission to take your leave.

10. End the day with a good helping of self-love. At the end of the day, whether it was good or bad, remember that you are worthy of your own love and acceptance. We are all imperfect beings on an imperfect journey. That's what life is. We strive to be better, do better, and achieve more but at the end of the day remember to love yourself no matter what.

Here are some links to help you navigate through the holidays: 
(please note that some are entitled Thanksgiving. The techniques are still the same no matter what holiday it is)
Links to Help See You Through This Holiday Season
Eating Disorders and The Holidays: Links To Help See You Through
Surviving Thanksgiving When You Have An Eating Disorder

Have a wonderful holiday! 

Love, Believe, Forgive: Recovery Image

Love yourself right now, exactly as you are. Believe in yourself you are more capable than you realize. Forgive yourself and others let go, free yourself of the yesterday's burdens and begin anew.

Anxiety and Eating Disorders

POLL: Do you have an eating disorder and experience anxiety? Please take a moment to participate in the poll, located in the sidebar to your right, and share your experience.

What is Anxiety?

 1 : a painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill
      b : a cause of anxiety

 2 : an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it.

Generalized anxiety disorder :
an anxiety disorder marked by chronic excessive anxiety and worry that is difficult to control, causes distress or impairment in daily functioning, and is accompanied by three or more associated symptoms (as restlessness, irritability, poor concentration, and sleep disturbances)

Everyone feels anxious at times. The "fight or flight" response is a normal response that is intended to keep us safe. Adrenaline rushes through our bodies which in turn moves us towards action. It's normal to feel stress, or to worry over major changes in our lives such as divorce, a new job, tests, etc. It's when anxiety interferes with our daily lives, keeps us from doing what we need to do, or hinders us from enjoying our lives fully that it is time to reach out for help.

Some Facts:
via NIMH~

Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobia).

Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse.

Most people with one anxiety disorder also have another anxiety disorder.

Nearly three-quarters of those with an anxiety disorder will have their first episode by age 21.

via adaa~
A 2004 study found that two-thirds of people with eating disorders suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives and that around 42 percent had developed an anxiety disorder during childhood, well before the onset of their eating disorder. Other studies also confirm that an anxiety disorder usually the onset of an eating disorder, but panic disorder often follows.

Some Signs and Symptoms that may indicate you have an Anxiety Disorder:

Are you constantly worried?
Do you feel as though danger is imminent?
Do you feel tense most of the time?
Do you experience intense feelings of panic?
Are you easily startled?
Do you have irrational fears?
Do you avoid ordinary activities/events because they cause you to experience feelings of uneasiness?
Do you often feel on edge?
Do you also experience shortness of breath and/or rapid heartbeat?
Are you often irritable?
Have you lost your energy?

Self-Test Links for Anxiety

Anxiety Tests 
Anxiety Self-Test
Anxiety Test 


Anxiety and Depression Association of America (adaa.org)
Anxiety Org
Anxiety Disorders Foundation
Mental Health Resources
Eating Disorders Resources
Breathe and Visualize 

*Please take a moment to participate in the poll located in the sidebar.
Thank you!

Previous Poll Results

Sources: definition source:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
stats: hhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml#Anxiety

Recovery Image: Choose To Bloom

The most beautiful flowers are those that, despite overwhelming odds, plant their seeds of hope and reach for the sun. Be resilient, persevere... choose to bloom!


Recovery Image: Stop!

Click to enlarge
Stop putting yourself down, comparing yourself to others, holding on to past mistakes, counting failures instead of blessings, hating your body, punishing yourself, expecting perfection, waiting, mourning 'what ifs' and 'could haves,' allowing what was to decide what could be. Let go. Move Forward. Stay Positive. Believe.

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