Mindfulness

It is mid-January and we are already well into a new year. It is at this point where the resolutions are not as attractive as they were a couple weeks ago. If this is true for you, it is completely human, and you are not alone.
At the start of every year, we are bombarded with information about what resolutions we need to make, how to change, how to be better, or how to be something other than ourselves. What a horrible way to begin a new year—feeling as if you already aren’t good enough.
As is becoming our standard operating procedure, Hartstein Psychological Services will be closed for the week between Christmas and the New Year. We recognize the need to practice what we preach and know that self-care is one of the important things on which we need to focus.
This is one of my favorite times of the year, with Thanksgiving just around the corner—the changing of seasons, festive foods, and togetherness with loved ones. It is a time when we are reminded to be thankful for the things our lives include, and the holiday can lift our spirits as being grateful is the essence of Thanksgiving!
When working with clients and teaching mindfulness, I recommend them to "find magic in the mundane." It’s a phrase I use to describe being present with anything ordinary, while also noticing all the sensory experiences about the situation that make it unique. 
Mindfulness. We’re hearing that word a lot lately. Unfortunately, most of us don’t even really know what it means and why it is important. We also often associate it with new age practices, which, for many of us, may cause us to rule it out before even exploring it as a concept.

It’s the New Year and everywhere we turn, we’re being told to set resolutions about how we want the year to go. There are stories in all the news and media outlets focused on how we should be changing as we move into the new year, as if a date is what we need to create new habits and identify ways to make improvements in our lives.

December, the last month of the calendar year, is often a month of reflection—a time when we think back on the past 11 months. Sometimes our thoughts become flooded with joyful and happy memories, while other times our hearts are filled with pain and sorrow.
There are a lot of unknowns right now. Will you go back to work or school? Will you be able to travel to see your relatives? Is it safe to see “that friend” or go to “that appointment”? Our bodies and brains tend to do one of two things—we either push the feelings of anxiety and fear away, or we obsess and overthink about the possible outcomes.