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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Small Steps to let go of the Past

a list by Sarah Golden

1. Make a mental folder of all the lessons you learned
2. Change something about yourself (Get a haircut, new outfit, new makeup etc.)
3. Distract yourself (avoid watching, reading or experiencing things that trigger painful memories)
4. Get a hobby (Anything from painting, sculpting, writing or even jewelry making)
5. Cry . . . sometimes you have to
6. Laugh . . . this is always the best medicine
7. Try new things (food, music, books, movies, activities)
8. Ask yourself, "What do I want to do?"
9. Take your time (this is a loss, it can't be rushed)
10. Build a future (write it out, draw it or even act it out if that helps)
11. Build a playlist of songs that make you happy
12. Live in the present as much as possible (talk about recent events, go see recent movies or try on recent styles)
13. Avoid being alone as much as possible (Sometimes being alone gives you too much time to brood on the past)
14. Respect yourself (don't beat yourself up about this loss, or force yourself to do too much at once)
15. Vent it out in a healthy way (write, sing, run, hike, anything that helps you vent)
16. Take a day and just focus on yourself (in the present moment)
17. Believe in yourself, (you can get over this)
18. Create a sanctuary (this can consist of all your favorite things, foods and music)
19. Focus on the future (plan on a future outing, a concert, movie, vacation anything)
20. Make some goals (anything from a small goal to a life plan will help you stay focused)
21. Throw away any reminders (pictures, letters or even songs on your mp3 player that bring up painful memories)
22. Remind yourself how much you have changed (make a list of all the ways you have grown mentally)
23. Invent a mantra and say this mantra whenever you think about the past (something along the lines of "Keep moving forward" or "never look back")

Why I'm writing this: In the past months, I was forced to come to terms with my past by being introduced to a story in my college class. This story affected me so much that I could hardly focus and I began to dwell on the past. I wrote this list for myself, but I also wrote it for anyone who needs it. Maybe this list will help someone who must also face this obstacle.

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