Visionaries and Mental Health: Be careful about how you close your year!


Wow.
Another year has come and gone! Can you believe it?  
As we prepare to close out yet another year, a lot of different emotions have probably already began flood your mind and heart.  Whether you are busy with family, your social scene, and travel, or busy closing out your business year, its still extremely important for you to be mindful of your mental and emotional health in these final days of 2019.
The holiday season and winter months tend to heighten depression and anxiety for many people in general, but I believe this season affects entrepreneurs and visionaries in ways that they are probably not even aware of.
Think about this:
We come into the holiday season with Black Friday Prep.  You hardly enjoy the thanksgiving holiday because you are putting all of your effort and energy into blowing out on the biggest day of the year.  If you do great, you feel amazing.  If you don't, you feel like a failure.  Even if you do ok, you have to deal with seeing all of the posts from other business owners that did way better than you, which ultimately makes you feel like you aren't good enough.
After Black Friday, you are dealing with the hustle and bustle of Christmas, and making sure you can still make a few coins before the year is out.  Or perhaps, this is a slow season for your business and you have an abnormal amount of downtime on your hands.  You're trying to not let it get to you, but deep down inside you're taking the slow season personal.  
In addition to the holidays, you are also in the final days of the year, which naturally causes you to begin to reflect over the year.  You're looking back at what you have or haven't accomplished with pride ideally, but in most cases the first thing we tend to acknowledge is what DIDN'T happen over the course of the year.  We either begin to beat ourselves up about how we missed the mark, or we begin to put insane amounts of pressure on ourselves (and God) to try to make up for a year that we didn't really love.
We immediately begin to put pressure on ourselves to figure out what we can do the next year, even though we are still dealing with closing out the current year.  How can I fix this? What can I do better?  Then January rolls around and EVERYTHING is slow after the holiday... 
Discouraged.  Lost.  Overwhelmed.  Alone.  Nobody understands.
On top of all this, we are in the most dreary time of the year.  Its cold and gloomy, and seasonal depression is real.  If we are single, all of this is magnified by 10, because we spend so much time alone, and we often try to drown ourselves in work to distract us from our reality.  And don't let us being dealing with grief, failed relationships, or the loss of a loved one.........
Do you see how all of this creates the perfect recipe for depression, anxiety, and sleepless nights?  It can sneak up on you without you even realizing it.
Once you've realized what variables are at play, you know how to combat them.  Are any of these variables at play for you?  Be honest:  How are you really feeling right now?

I have been affected by all of these variables at some point in my life.  Over the years I have learned to start doing a few things intentionally during this time, and I would like to share them with you.

  •  Keep moving!  Get up.  Move Around.  Go to the gym.  Walk around the grocery store.  Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself moving.  Whenever you start to feel down, don't lay down or get in the bed... force your body in the opposite direction.  Physical activity causes your body to release "happy hormones" that will legitimately make you feel better... trust me!
  • Limit your time on social media.  Some sort of social media usage is necessary for most of us, but try to keep it to the bare minimum during this time.  Comparison is a bitter bug that can bite any body at anytime.  You are especially vulnerable to it during this time, so try to limit the scrolling!  You are running your own race, your own way, on your OWN TIME! Stay focused!
  • Give yourself a break.  YES, You might have missed the mark this year.  You might have mismanaged money.  You might have fallen off. But you can't do anything about it now.  Use your shortcomings as cheat sheets to develop strategy for the future.  What did you do right this year?  In what areas did you make progress?  Focus on THOSE things, and plan to do better in the other areas in the future.
  • Watch your conversations.  Its good to express your emotions, but continuing to repeat all of the negativity can be really detrimental to your mental and emotional health.  Tell your brain where you want it to go.  Talk about things that are light, fun, or that have nothing to do with the areas of your life that are stressful.  Matter of fact, if you can help it, don't even say things/words like "stressed", "depressed", "I give up", "I failed", etc.
  • Build yourself up.  This is a great time to make self care a priority all around.  Take baths, get a massage, change your hair!  Looking good will make you feel better.  Give yourself a fitness goal to work toward.  Find some good books to read.  All of these things are healthy outlets that also build you in the process.
  • Remind yourself what God says about you and your future.  One thing that I love about the bible app is that you can type in literally any emotion and devotionals and scriptures will pop up for them.  There are tons of great devotionals on anxiety, letting go of the past, looking toward the future, building your faith, - literally everything you can think of.  Start and finishing your day with prayer, devotion, and declarations. 
  • Lastly, surround yourself with positive, like minded individuals who won't make you feel like you're crazy during this time.  Everybody is doing their own thing during the holidays, so it can be hard.  However, whether you plan a game night with friends, attend a conference, or go to an event that encourages and inspires you, just be intentional around getting around some positive people.

This is a large part of the reason why I decided to host my first event in almost 5 yrs at the top of the year. (The Visionary Intensive: January 23-25th, 2020).  I wanted to created a positive, iron-sharpening-iron type environment for visionaries to be able to come together and plan their upcoming year. From faith to finances, from our personal lives to branding; we are going to get our lives together from top to bottom, and have a great time doing it.  If you're in need of this type of environment, I strongly suggest you joining me at The Visionary Intensive.

If you've been following me any length of time you have probably heard me say this:
 The vision is only as healthy as the visionary.
A successful business or a life thats pretty on facebook means nothing if YOU, the visionary, are not okay.  So take some time to pay attention do YOU during this season.  Your future will thank you for it later.
- J.Renee

 

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