Lori Bryant Woolridge
The New Year Pity Party Project: Clear the Cobwebs of Yesteryear to Get to the True You!
Happy New Year!!! Really, is it? Happy, that is…
For many of us, ringing out the old, and ringing in the new, means beginning the new year with a hangover—both literally and figuratively. Because as much as we’d like to wish it so, the turn of a new calendar page does not leave behind the reality of our current situation. And 2020 was a particularly hard year, causing us to stumble into 2021 with an inordinate level of fear and uncertainty, regret and chagrin.
And yet, everywhere we turn, the motivators among us are touting the clichéd mantra, “New Year. New You.” A nice but often counterintuitive sentiment—one just as full of hope and possibility as it is dread and confusion. With so many of us beginning this year feeling alone and especially lost and lonely, the question remains, how does one push past the cobwebs to find the new you?
New Year. True You.
Before I address that question, I’d like to invite you to rethink your New Year’s resolution-making. Instead of trying to become a ‘new’ you, which can definitely leave you believing that something is wrong with the ‘old’ you, consider the worth-making idea of stepping into the TRUE YOU. In other words, this year, resolve not what you’ll DO in 2021, but who you’ll BE.
But first, you’ve got to clear the cobwebs of yesteryear before you can unearth and unleash the lovely residing within. So, it’s time to throw yourself a good ole, tearjerker of a New Year Pity Party!
Time to ‘Whine and Freeze’
One of the assignments I often give my clients who find themselves feeling stuck and sorry for themselves is to throw themselves a pity party. I’m a big proponent of the occasional ‘whine and freeze’ party because they can be very liberating. Before I filed for divorce several years ago, I threw myself a pity party to get rid of the anger and sad feelings I was carrying. It was such a relief, and it allowed me to go back home and set things in motion without the rancor that can often undermine such an emotional undertaking.
The New Year Pity Party or any good pity party allows you to get off the not-so-merry go round long enough to respect your feelings of frustration, hurt, and (fill in the blank). As you honor them, you can also look them in the eye, move past them, and forward. If you think it all sounds a tad lame and a bit self-indulgent, think again.
We often don’t realize how comfortable we become stuck in the mire of our negative emotions. Sure, they start off feeling distressing, but in an awful lot of cases, anger, hurt and fear become our comfort zone, merely because it’s what we know and for some of us, it’s our guaranteed way to receive attention—even if said attention is not healthy or growth-inducing.
A pity party is also a signal to your subconscious that it’s time to move on. Time to push away the darkness of your negative emotions and reactions and step into the light of positive feelings and mindful action. So set a date, and let’s get this party started!
The New Year Pity Party Basics
Once you know when the most important thing for you to do is to establish a time limit. I find a three-day, personal retreat to be ideal. One to two days of wallowing ‘in the mud of misery’, as one client put it, is plenty. Experience has shown that more than likely, you’ll get bored before your official end time. Be ready to shake off the self-pity and get on with self-improvement. That’s when clear-eyed and conflict-free, you can begin to outline some action steps toward the amazing person you can now see you’re becoming.
So here are a few quick rules for your ‘Feelin’ Sorry Soiree’:
- Set a start and end time. If you have responsibilities, make sure they’re covered.
- No guests. Seriously, why subject anyone else to your misery? And you need this relationship refresher with yourself.
- P.J.’s are the perfect attire to go with wads of Kleenex.
- Only comfort foods allowed.
- Keep alcohol and the like to a minimum. This is not a drunken binge. You need to be able to wallow and self-reflect, cry, and curse the gods, and ultimately clear your head and heart in preparation for the work ahead.
- As your ‘issues’ surface, honor them. Don’t shoo away the emotions they bring up; allow yourself to feel them. Bring your journal and record your feelings. The purpose of your pity party is not to try and figure it all out, but to purge so the healing can begin.
Once the Cobwebs are Cleared
When your ‘Sad Social’ is over, clean yourself up, and then get to work leveling up your New Year’s resolution-making. First, start with making a list of WHO you want to be in 2021. Then make a To-Do List to support that person. Include at least one or two baby steps to commit to. As you to recycle your ‘woe’ and create it into ‘WOW‘ you are doing many things. You set your own direction, boundaries, and desires as you become the ‘true’ you.
Happy New Year!
Click here to download my Pity Party Guide for 2021, available for a limited time. Inside you’ll find ‘party games’ to help you get unstuck and move towards the fabulous person you already are!
For other strategies to make 2021 a great one listen to this Wonder Series Interview with a few other Living Healthy List Experts.