On Friday, I got a new car…I was uber excited when it all worked out because I doubted that it would work out and I was more than ready to walk away if it came down to it. My goal was to save money monthly, get a lower APR, get some great safety features, and get a hybrid vehicle to save money on gas during my commute. So when it all fell into place, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. As I cleaned out the trunk of my old vehicle to switch over to my new vehicle, I realized something very insightful. It was a complete and utter mess. I had things in there from back in 2015 that should have been cleaned out long ago. I had a bag of clothing that I meant to donate from two Springs ago and never did it. How was I going to go in 2018 anew when I couldn’t even clean out the junk in my trunk (or my emotional baggage)? Mind-blowing, right???!!! Who would have known I would have thought about something so deep as I was doing something as mundane as cleaning out my vehicle?
As a single mom, we can walk around with a lot of emotional baggage – troubles with our children, their fathers, our families, work, school, friends, betrayals, new relationships – whatever comes our way. And because we are single moms, we tend to just forge ahead and get through it. Yes, this is an asset, and shows the strength of a single mom, but at the same time, it can be very defeating. Over time, it breaks us down mentally, emotionally, and physically. It can begin to define you. You start to feel like there’s no you without the emotional baggage. You feel damaged and incapable of moving forward. When it gets to that point, it is way past time to let go of the emotional baggage and start to live life anew. I found myself walking into 2018 with the same issues and drama that I had in 2017, and I am now on a mission to change that. Carrying that emotional baggage was becoming draining, and I couldn’t see myself continuing on that same depressing and defeating path.
So how does a single mom go about leaving your emotional baggage behind and starting anew? (Well first and foremost, clean out your trunk – seriously, when’s the last time you’ve cleaned it??!!)
Here are 5 tips to go about cleaning up and leaving behind your emotional baggage in 2018…
- Admit that your emotional baggage exists. What is the first step to recovery of any type? Acceptance. Letting go of emotional baggage is a form of recovery. You have to face your emotional baggage in order to ever let it go and get past it. You don’t want to take your emotional baggage into a new relationship, or a new job, or basically into 2018. Acceptance can take some time and you may even need some therapy, but when you finally get there, it is truly a refreshing and uplifting feeling.
- Evaluate your opinions and biases, and change your outlook. Take the time to review how you’re feeling, and understand how your thoughts are impacting your ability to move forward. For example, are you feeling like you’ll never find love again due to your bad experience with your ex? Are you doubting if you’ll find a great job to support your family because you’re in a job that is going nowhere fast? Take hold of these opinions and biases and get control of it. Don’t let it take over your mind, your chances for love, or your path moving forward. Our thoughts and feelings can be our best friends or our worst enemies – make sure to not allow it to remain your worst enemy.
- Remove the toxic baggage from your life. It’s a New Year, it’s time to take stock in everything in your life, and start removing those toxic people and things that have brought you down in 2017. We all know people that just drain us emotionally or physically, and instead of removing those people from our lives, we just continue returning for the abuse. It’s time to let those people go in 2018. If you want to seek a new path in 2018, surround yourself with people with encourage, challenge, inspire, motivate, and drive you. Let go of those people who limit, subtly degrade, negatively criticize, or encourage you to continue what you’re doing now.
- Create affirmations to make it through every day. It’s easy to take the things that have created a negative impact in our life define who we will become, but in a negative way. It’s important, though, to take those negative experiences and make it into a lesson learned. Take the time to make a list of positive messages, responses, or actions that you’ll use to motivate you each day and help you to keep moving forward.
- Monitor your progress, and reassess where needed. Leaving behind your emotional baggage is not a one-step action. It will take time and effort, and a continued update to make sure that you’re still moving forward. You may have achieve success in one area and need to re-emphasize your efforts in another area. Take a regular assessment of your progress and make sure to make it work for you!
- Reward yourself! Leaving behind your emotional baggage is a big step, and one that you should reward yourself for taking action on. Reward yourself along the way in a meaningful way, a way that will make you feel empowered and refreshed. It can be as simple as a pat on the back or as complex as a spa outing, just make sure that is meaningful to you.
Cleaning out the junk in your trunk and leaving behind your emotional baggage is a complex undertaking. But it is a necessary and important aspect to becoming the best version of you. We can’t move forward or be there for the ones we love if we’re holding on to our emotional baggage. I hope that these steps help you to make that much-needed change in your life for 2018!