We’re 3 weeks into the new year and I wonder how many people who have set resolutions are still keeping to them.
It’s tough keeping new resolutions if we have unresolved trauma – and the old habit that we were trying to break was in fact a self-protective measure put in place as a band aid for our trauma.
What can typically then happen is we berate ourselves and shame ourselves for not managing to break the pattern and we just end up feeling even worse.
Even after we have done trauma work, we still might be left needing to break a habit.
I wonder if we can resolve to try some of the following:
1. It’s ok if I don’t keep my resolutions because it’s too difficult and the habits I’ve been trying to break are tied to a deeper emotional reason that I haven’t addressed yet.
2. If we are trying to begin new, more healthy behaviours, can we set ourselves small goals instead of punitive big ones?
3. Can we set an intention rather than a resolution. “This year I intend to stop smoking” or “this year I intend to eat healthily”. We can put a post it note up to remind us of the intention.
4. Can we ask for help with behaviours we want to change that just feel too difficult to change on our own. Once we’ve decided we want to change, often the next step is being ready to receive help from others.
5. Could we think about trauma therapy as an option to really understand and shift our internal wounds that are causing us to behave in maladaptive ways that we now find dysfunctional and that we want to change.
6. Can we be kind to ourselves. We have started the year in lockdown (in the U.K. at least). This is tough stuff for many people. Can we be gentle, kind, loving and accepting of ourselves, wherever we are at.
Author: Lucinda Gordon Lennox
Trauma Specialist MSc (Reg MBACP, FDAP Accred)