New Traditions for the New Year

By Robin Stimson, MADD Mid-Atlantic Victim Services Manager

With the 2021 coming to an end, it’s a perfect time to start new goals, new mindsets, new traditions new everything! Maybe 2022 can be the year of new ways to honor your loved one, maybe 2022 is a perfect opportunity to incorporate self-care more this year, or it’s the year to leave things that no longer serve you in the past. Change might sound overwhelming because it can be scary- which is completely understandable because not a lot of people like change. Change is uncomfortable and it can leave a lot of uncertainty.  Maybe start off with small changes that you feel comfortable doing so its not overwhelming all at once. Or if you don’t foresee any changes being made just yet, this article is here for reference when you are ready! Have listed some idea that we can all try for the New Year if you tried one or two and it didn’t work well- that’s okay!  These are just ideas, but the important thing is that you try to find what works for you.

Here are examples of small changes you can do to ring in the new year:

  1. Set a place at the table to honor your lost loved one during important gatherings and/or serve their favorite foods. This can be great way to memorialize your loved one during the times where you miss them the most.
  2. Write your loved one a letter, tell them all the things you wanted to say. You can either share with the people who you are close with, or store them in a box, or burn them after writing. This is a good way to express all these things you wanted to see to them.
  3. Put regrets in a fire pit/fireplace; writing down your regrets and any guilt that you have from the past, then throwing the paper in the fire. This will symbolize letting go the things of the past and creating a fresh start for the new year.
  4. Do at least 1 thing a day to take care of yourself; this can look different day to day, it doesn’t have to be an expensive task to do, like 5-day cruise to the Bahamas or having a spa day. Self-care means taking care of yourself, and that can look differently among others. If taking care of yourself looks like drinking more water, journaling your thoughts and feelings, asking for help, taking some time out to mediate and be mindful- do that. Do things that replenishes your happiness!

For more ideas, please check out What’s your Grief (