Author: Ann Grandchamp, Mental Health Editor
Wow. What a year. What an adventure it’s been. I’ve hated some of it, but I’ve loved a lot of it. As years go, it could have been a lot worse. I’m finishing the year on a high, because I love Christmas, and even though I won’t be able to host a big Christmas celebration, the small one we’ll have with close family will be precious. I’m grateful I’m not in New Zealand this year, but closer to this home and our dear ones. This Christmas matters to me, more so than other years. So here’s a 2020 round up from me and a cool exercise you can do to get ready for 2021!
Positive things for me in 2020
These are my highs, in no particular order:
- I’ve absolutely loved homeschooling. It’s the third year for us. My daughter is in year 7 and my son in year 5. I love being creative and finding new ways to bring them new materials. Having a dyslexic son, it hasn’t always been this smooth sailing – believe me!
- I’ve loved my work as a Lightning Process practitioner, seeing my clients move from chronic health issues such as Chronic Fatigue, MS, or depression, to better health and sometimes even thriving health!
- I’ve loved my NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) coaching with adults and kids. Seeing lives changed, children becoming more self-confident and resilient, their smiles becoming bigger – such a gift.
- I loved having my husband at home during the spring lockdown. It was a precious time for our family.
- I enjoyed starting this blogging journey with My Swiss Story. I’ve always loved blogging. I had my own blog when I was struggling with Post Natal Depression several years ago. Writing and sharing was my way of helping those who were struggling, even if I was too. Now that I am well, I get to support and coach those who are struggling, as well as teach them the tools to improve their health. On this blog I can share some of these tools, but also invite guest writers and share some moving interviews with you. The series on Women struggling with a Chronic Illness was a very moving project for me. I look forward to sharing many more moving stories with you in 2021, on a variety of topics. Let me know if you have a story to share!
- Turning 40! I was so lucky to be able to celebrate outside with lots of friends, old and new. I may write an article on this topic. I’m loving being forty and not caring who thinks what. Being truer to myself, more and more.
Grateful despite the struggles
Take a pen and paper or your notebook, and write down all the things you’re grateful for this year. Trust me, the negative voice will probably make itself heard too. Ignore it. Be grateful. There is so much we DO have. Here are just a few of mine.
- I’m very grateful for the right to homeschool (it’s not allowed in all Swiss cantons)
- As I finish my second year of being self-employed, I’m so grateful to have had a constant number of clients. I know how privileged I am in the current context.
- I feel so blessed to be in a strong and loving marriage, with two gorgeous and healthy children.
- Grateful for precious friends. There aren’t very many, but they are the best.
- How lucky am I to be doing a job that I’m passionate about?
- I’ve met many interesting and motivating people.
- I’ve done some fascinating course to improve my skills as a homeschooling Mum and as a Lightning Process practitioner.
- Grateful for a warm house with central heating. Believe me, having lived in New Zealand and woken up to a house at 5 degrees Celsius – ha! Switzerland is luxury.
- Grateful for all of my son’s progress. He has overcome so many learning stumbling blocks like a champ.
How to start 2021 with hope and a plan
I encourage you to do this exercise to set yourself up for 2021. It will give you clarity, vision and motivation. It will take you about one hour but I promise you won’t regret it. Put aside all distractions, take a notebook or some paper and a pen, and have fun.
Step 1 – make a list (5 minutes)
Write affirmations: “In 10 years I have / I am…”
Tip: ignore the “buts” and the fears that want to butt in.
Step 2 – choose one of the objectives above and validate it (10 minutes)
To do this, ask yourself these questions:
- why is it urgent and important to me?
- how is it going to improve my life and the life of those around me?
- am I passionate about this? Is it aligned with my values?
- am I willing to do what it takes?
- will it take me out of my comfort zone? (believe me this is important)
- what beliefs do I need to let go of?
You want to be able to say “hell, yes!” at the end. If you’re not, then choose another objective.
Step 3 – Clarify your objective (20 minutes)
Step 4 – Last questions (10 minutes)
- what fears or doubts are still there? (are they true? how can you overcome them?)
- what knowledge or ressources am I missing?
- what obstacles do I need to overcome to succeed? (who can help me? where can I find the ressources?)
- who can hold me accountable? (accountability partner)
- what’s the first step? (put it in your calendar)
- what’s the step after that? (put it in your calendar.
Step 5 – Write your objectif down
Write this objective down like a mantra.
Put it up somewhere you can see it every day.
Write it down every day if you need to.
Create a vision board on it.
Whichever you choose, the goal is to remind yourself of it every day until it has become a reality.
Have fun doing this!
My top advice for the holiday season
After the year we’ve had, more than ever, I believe we need love. Love for each other and love for ourselves. Self-love, or self-care, will increase resilience and lower stress levels.
Here are 12 free gifts you can give yourself leading up to Christmas:
Sunday 13th: look in the mirror, smile to yourself, and say “I love you”
Monday 14th: this evening, light a candle and admire its beauty
Tuesday 15th: take a bath or a longer shower, focus on your senses
Wednesday 16th: write down the 3 best moments from yesterday
Thursday 17th: do something you don’t normally do
Friday 18th: close your eyes and breathe deeply 10 times
Saturday 19th: say something loving and kind to yourself
Sunday 20th: go to bed earlier
Monday 21st: make a list of all your qualities
Tuesday 22nd: put on some music you love and dance
Wednesday 23rd: send a loving message to 3 people you love and appreciate
Thursday 24th: look inside of you and ask yourself, “Today I feel…”
Friday 25th: ask someone you love to give you a strong and heartfelt 20 second hug,
Have a safe and peaceful holiday season. Let’s remember the reason for the season. Let’s care for each other and make memories. I look forward to joining you again in 2021!
Take care! Stay safe!
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