First posted Monday, January 5, 2015
Well here we are at the start of a new calendar year, and with typical predictability social media, printed media and mainstream broadcasting is full of retrospectives of the previous year and awash with messages wishing health, wealth, happiness and so on to all, adverts for diet programmes and fitness guides. Resolutions or intentions, made, broken, forgotten, maybe even progressed, it’s all part of the annual cycle that we seem to go through.
I appreciate that not everyone takes part in this, and whilst I personally have jotted down a few intentions for 2015, that’s pretty much as far as it goes for me. Yes I have a fairly hefty challenge coming up in May for Mind which will be a test of both body and mind (and means I do actually need to do something about my fitness levels), and no doubt there will be more to keep me on my toes as the year progresses. However it doesn’t have to be January to prompt a brief pause and reflection on things, it can be done, and perhaps should be, any time of the year and for any reason.
This year ahead is going to be interesting at many levels. Nationally, May will see a General Election taking place – in the wake of the Scottish Independence Referendum last year and the rise in popularity of parties such as UKIP and the Green Party, the outcome is likely to be anything but certain. At a more local level within Wales, there will continue to be discussions around local government reorganisation, how to respond to public sector budgetary constraints and more in like vein. For many at a personal level, some things will remain the same, but uncertainty continues in some sectors around job futures, and to a degree only time will tell how all of this develops.
Some of the above is of course beyond the control of any one individual, however in terms of attitude and approach to the situations life present, we are all in a position to make a choice on how to deal with it. At times this can seem extremely hard to do, and even the most upbeat and positive person will have times when summoning a smile in the face of a challenge is nigh on impossible. Nonetheless, it is ok to ask for help whether it’s just needing a chat with a friend, or something more hands on. Regardless of the circumstance, someone, somewhere will almost certainly be able to help out or have experience of something similar, and be able to provide support or guidance.
Whether or not you make resolutions, or set intentions, perhaps make 2015 the year in which kindness plays a greater part – be kind to yourself first and foremost, and then be kind to those around you and watch the ripples spread. It won’t fix every bad day but it can make a difference.
Happy New Year!