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I’M SCARED OF THE NEW YEAR

Q I hope you can help me. I don’t have a prob­lem as such, it’s more to do with a feel­ing. 2016 was ter­ri­ble for me. My fa­ther passed away, I was ill fre­quently and my ca­reer nose-dived. I’m now fear­ing what the new year might bring.

AFirst, please ac­cept my sym­pa­thies for the loss of your fa­ther. Every­one is fa­mil­iar with the term ‘time is a healer’ and there’s truth in the state­ment. What isn’t clear, how­ever, is how much time. Every­one works through loss in their own way and at their own pace. There are no set mo­ments in time over how you should be feel­ing and when. But you can take prac­ti­cal steps to help your­self along the way. First, avoid fo­cus­ing on phrases such as ‘get­ting over it’ or ‘mov­ing on’. In­stead, I pre­fer ‘go along with it, un­der­stand it and come to terms DHIREN GUPTA with the emo­tion you feel from it’. This way you are able to ex­plore how you are feel­ing fully and ac­cept it as part of the process.

You say you’re wor­ried about what the new year will have in store for you. I as­sume, be­cause you are griev­ing, you are strug­gling to see things clearly. It may feel like things couldn’t pos­si­bly im­prove, but they will. Use this time to your ad­van­tage. Again, ‘time’ is the key word here; time for you to stop, look and think. You wouldn’t cross a busy road with­out look­ing and care­fully judg­ing your next move; the same ap­plies to life.

Take stock of where you are, don’t rush head­long into life’s traf­fic. Avoid putting your­self un­der the pres­sure of ex­pec­ta­tion; go with the flow.

Take a close look at three ar­eas of your life – re­la­tion­ships, health and ca­reer. Un­der­take a mini­au­dit of all three and es­tab­lish a pos­i­tive start­ing point for each. The seeds of re-en­gag­ing in a more pos­i­tive way lie here and you need to nur­ture those seeds and fo­cus on their de­vel­op­ment. New growth takes time to es­tab­lish it­self – it’s the same with hap­pi­ness. It may be dif­fi­cult to find the time to just ‘be’, and to re­con­nect with your­self and oth­ers. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew, though. Small steps for­ward com­bine to form one big leap. So do it in stages.

Wor­ry­ing about the fu­ture is a waste of en­ergy. Life is un­pre­dictable. Liv­ing in the present, learn­ing lessons of the past and plan­ning for the fu­ture is all we can con­trol, so fo­cus on what is im­por­tant to you.

Where your work is con­cerned, get­ting your­self in a good place will help you to make de­ci­sions with greater clar­ity. It may be time for a change, or it may be that you just need a break to re-en­er­gise your­self. RUS­SELL HEM­MINGS

is a life coach, and clin­i­cal and cog­ni­tive be­havioural hyp­nother­a­pist

50 man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of 4C Mort­gage Con­sul­tancy, is a fi­nan­cial ex­pert

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