We're officially in the first month of the year. It took a while to get here but we made it! Many of us are using this time to set New Year's resolutions and assess the success of last year's goals.
While I recognize and appreciate everyone's excitement to brainstorm and create resolutions to become better people this year, I am often devastated by the amount of processing people don't do before moving on to a new year. It's almost as if people expect new doors to open without closing the ones they're leaving behind.
Part of moving on, even if it's just to a new year, is processing all the grief, pain, triumph, and joy that the previous year provided. It's understanding how last year's events transformed you (in both good and bad ways) into the person you are today. It's also recognizing what can go with you into the new year and what should be left behind.
It's just as important to end the year with loose ends tied as it is to begin a new year with a fresh perspective and new energy. Keeping that in mind, below are a few ways you can reset and re-center yourself to ensure you're starting your new year off right!
Process Your Year.
Every year brings with it a new set of wins and losses. Some of us have experienced breakups, some of us have experienced new love. Some have lost loved ones, and others have experienced the birth of a new life. Some of us have battled depression and others may have come out of theirs.
Whatever this year brought you, it's important to take the time to process it. Write down the lessons you learned from each situation, come to terms with how each moment made you feel, and reflect on the transformation those moments afforded you. Walk away from this year with a summary of pivotal moments and an understanding of how they've shaped and shifted your life. Doing so will allow you to enter next year with an appreciation for the direction your life is headed.
Heal Your Heart From Its Hurts.
If you truly believe the new year is a new start, you must heal your heart from the pain in the past so that it does not affect the present. Starting your healing process before a new year is critical to ensure you approach it with restored hope. It's important to work through the pain you experienced before embarking on new journeys this year.
If you are not fully healed (or at least trying to heal) from what happened last year, you threaten the fulfillment of all that can happen this year. Don't go into the new year harboring ill feelings about people, places, or things; instead, work on healing from the pain associated with them.
This year you may have fallen short. You said and did some things you're not proud of. You've made mistakes. I know. Many of us have that same story.
Before entering the new year, forgive yourself (and others) for everything. Your one-woman pity party is sure to impede on your celebration for the new year, so stop beating yourself up, sis. What happened last year, stays in last year; leave the shortcomings of that year there and don't look back. The only things you should move forward with are the lessons you learned.
As you wrap up the year, it's important to acknowledge how you feel about things – particularly yourself.
What did you want this year to bring? How have you manifested those desires? What are the ways you stood in your own way? What are things you've spoken over yourself? Ask yourself difficult questions.
Get into your own mind and figure out where you may have lost control, or where you have been completely victorious. Taking the time and thought to ask and answer these questions can help you identify key habits to work on next year. Resolutions aren't just about achieving goals, it's also about understanding the self-work that must occur to reach those goals. It's about abolishing insecurity, doubt, shame, and regret to truly operate in your calling, become a better you, and get the work done.
Let It Go, Sis.
One of the worst things you can do when embarking on a new journey is bring old, useless baggage with you.
In order to fully flourish, you must learn to let things go. Healing can help take care of letting go of the emotional and mental bondage the painful moments caused, but sometimes you must let go of the things that didn't happen, too.
Harboring hurt from the unmet expectations of last year only prevents you from anticipating in the goodness of this year. So let go of all that didn't happen. Let go of feeling let down. What you expected of the year may not have transpired, but you can't hold that against this year. Let it all go and step into the new year fresh and free. And while you're at it, let go of the toxic people, places, and things too.
Before you rush off into the new year, use this month to cleanse and reset in preparation for it. While you will always bring parts of last year into the new one (after all, you are just an iteration of the things that happened to you in past years), it is important to end each year at peace.
Make a commitment to yourself to start the new year with a renewed spirit and energy by processing, healing, forgiving, reflecting, and letting go. I promise it'll make your resolutions even more attainable.
Featured image by Getty Images.
- New Year Cleanse + Reset Retreat | Yoga on High | Columbus OH ›
- Sweat and Reset for the New Year Tickets, Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 10 ... ›
- 16 Ways To Hit The Refresh Button In The New Year | HuffPost Life ›
- 10 Ways to Reset Your Kitchen for the New Year | Kitchn ›
- Time for a reset? How to make your New Year's resolutions work ›
- Time for a reset? How to make your New Year's resolutions work ›
- 5 Ways to Reset and Revitalize in the New Year ›
- THE NEW YEAR, NEW ME RESET - YouTube ›
- Asset Keeper Pro - Housekeeping / Reset for New Year ›
- Asset Keeper Pro - Housekeeping / Reset for New Year ›
- 20 Ways To Reset, Reflect, And Refresh For The New Year - The ... ›
- Reset for a New Life, Not Just a New Year. ›
Zoe Hunter is the writer, speaker, and creator behind the women empowerment brand DEAR QUEENS. She uses vulnerability, storytelling, and spiritual development to empower women toward healthy decision-making. Stay connected to Zoe's work by visiting DEARQUEENS.com or following her on Twitter @zDEARQUEENS.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If you’ve ever wondered what type of mindset it takes to reach icon status like Oprah Winfrey, it’s probably best to start by knowing which one she’s managed to avoid over her long-standing career.
And let’s just say imposter syndrome didn’t make the cut.
While promoting her new book, Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier, with her co-author Arthur C. Brooks, Oprah shared in an interview with People that when it comes to imposter syndrome, it’s one emotion she hasn’t experienced.
"I don't have any of that imposter feelings that so many people have," she says. "I didn't even understand it, I had to look it up."
According to the acclaimed talk-show host and media mogul, she attributes this to her early life experiences, specifically the impact of her father's influence as a child. "I remember as a young girl being a strong orator in the national competition for speaking and winning the local championships, then the state championships. And then placing, I think it was No. 3 or something, in the nationals," Winfrey shares.
"And I remember after every contest, the families whose kids were just in the contest were going to celebrate and their families were all excited. My father's thing was, 'Get your coat.'"
She continues, "I learned, in all these years, every exciting thing that would happen to me it was always, that's good, get your coat. Get your coat. I don't know if that was ingrained in my personality or I just learned that nobody's going to be excited about it, so you might as well just get your coat and go. I don't have high highs and I don't have low lows. Which is a good thing, because no matter what I'm going through, I know I'm going to come out of it and be okay."
Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon, is a psychological perspective of persistent self-doubt and the feeling of being a fraud despite evidence of one's competence, skills, or accomplishments. People experiencing imposter syndrome often believe that their success is due to luck or external factors rather than their own abilities and fear that others will eventually discover that they are not as capable or knowledgeable as they appear to be.
With over 40 years of accolades and history-making impact, it’s clear that Winfrey doesn’t shy away from the fact that her success is due to her hard work and diligence, with everything in her life being that of what she earned — which she finds deep value in: “the ability to live in the space of true appreciation for a life, not just well lived, but well-earned."
From coming from the lineage of an enslaved great-grandfather who earned 80 acres of land in exchange for labor, to becoming the first Black woman billionaire in the world without the foundation of generational wealth, Winfrey beams proudly at her ability to shift her and her family’s legacy for the better.
"I didn't have a grandfather, a great-grandfather who could give me land. But now...I am able to have my own and to know that I work for it. And it wasn't a husband that did it. It wasn't a brother or an uncle, or whatever did it, but I did it," Winfrey says.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images