The New Year is a time for letting go of everything that happened in the past to instead focus on what’s coming. For those with tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as mind body syndrome, the last year may have been one full of pain. In order to let go of 2018 and move forward into 2019, it is best to try and set some New Year’s resolutions — to inspire growth and keep things on a positive note going forward. Below are six New Year’s resolutions which can greatly help those with mind body syndrome.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of remembering to fully take in moment-to-moment experiences. It’s about letting go of our preconceived notions and just focusing on the present. So much of our negative emotional energy is spent on preconceived notions and living in the past (or hoping for the future). If we can live in the present — truly experiencing things as they come — we may feel much better in our own mind.

2. Meditate More

Another important resolution for those with TMS, or any form of chronic pain, is to try and meditate more. Even just a little bit of meditation each day can have significant impacts on reducing stress levels and clearing your mind. In fact, when practicing mindfulness, it is often helpful to meditate in order to get a clear head. Meditation is great for reconnecting your body to your mind as well as opening up parts of your mind which may be hidden behind day-to-day life.

3. Journal Every Day

For unlocking emotions and getting out all of the pain and rage you feel, consider making journaling every day a new resolution. It’s a truly great way to write about your day, document your journey and let your emotions have a non-destructive outlet. If anything, I’d say that it can be a very constructive outlet because you may be writing, writing and writing then look up and realized you’ve actually been feeling very strongly about something which you hadn’t previously considered. It can shed new light on old or buried feelings.

4. Take Breaks

This resolution is directly because of the nature of many with TMS. Those with TMS tend to be overachievers, perfectionists, go-getters and high bar setters. We also tend to be extremely hard on ourselves for anything less than perfection, especially mistakes. Sometimes we need to remember to slow down, to take breaks and even emotionally let ourselves off every once in a while. Humans are imperfect so it’s important to remember that taking breaks is necessary.

5. Improve Your Diet and Habits

This is a general New Year’s resolution that most people usually put on their list. For this with chronic pain, however, it is important to eat healthy and lessen bad habits such as excessive drinking or smoking. When trying to get rid of pain, you want to lessen the chance your body has for combining your pain symptoms with side effects of other things, such as smoking. So, trying to eat healthier and lessening those naughty habits is always a great resolution.

6. Get Enough Rest

Along the same vein as improved diet and good habits, getting enough rest is another aspect of daily life that a lot of people know they should strive to include as a resolution (but often fail to follow through). It can be difficult to set aside time to sleep, especially for those who are busy or have exciting days planned, but it is wholly necessary. Getting enough rest can reset our minds and rejuvenate our bodies — a crucial step in realigning the mind and the body. Getting more rest is always an excellent resolution to have. Plus, who doesn’t like sleeping?

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