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A New Beginning

By

Ari Jacobson, LCPC

on

May 1, 2019

Sometimes, I feel like it’s time for a new beginning, but I don’t even know where to begin. HELP!

When we reference a “new start,” I always like to ask my clients where we would like to begin. For some it’s that time before a broken relationship, and for others it may be before a significant move. Of course, some have a simple answer of “I don’t know,” and that is where creativity can thrive. When is the last time you remember being truly happy? In fact, let’s take that question another step further; what does true happiness mean to you? Are you sitting on a beach, cold drink in our hands, sand on our toes, and the sun beating down? Is it isolated in a log cabin at the lake, feeling the winter breeze whisk against our face, with the aroma of fresh pine reminding us of the power of nature? Your new start can be exactly what you want it to be. And, if we believe a new start is possible, do we believe we are capable of following our dreams and making our new story begin.

Hopefully, with some guidance we can identify what our story will look like, which includes happiness. Our picture has been painted, and our book may even have a title: “The Story of You and Your Amazing Comeback.” Chapter 1: Where are we going? Chapter 2: How are we going to get there? We have a plan, but implementing these changes and identifying where to begin can usually be the hardest part. So let’s start with something small. What does a normal day look like for you? Wake up. Make coffee. Read the paper (stress about the news). Go to work (stress about work). Come home. Make dinner. Go to sleep. Rinse. Repeat. Seems rather mundane, doesn’t it? But why does our life have to become a routine of an unhealthy work/life balance. Self-care is proven to be one of the most important teachable factors in life, so why can’t we teach it to ourselves or to others as well?

There are 365 days in a year. That’s 52 weeks, or 8,760 hours. Let’s say we work a standard 40 hour work week. That’s 2,080 hours you have dedicated to making a living each year. If you sleep 8 hours a night, that’s another 2,080 hours you are occupied. Total, we are saying we are already busy 4,160 hours out of our year. That leaves 4,600 hours of time to be able to find something incredible and healthy for us to do. I challenge you… find a new hobby. A relaxing activity you have never thought to participate in before: mindfulness, exercise, arts and crafts, or anything that appeals to you. If we can spend even a small percentage of our free time doing something new, exciting, and enjoyable, I can only imagine our moods will begin to improve as we find a new purpose for our lives. Once we have lit that light at the end of the tunnel we travel down to find happiness, the other pieces will begin to fall into place.

I began working as a mental health worker for preschool children with behavioral and developmental delays while attending college and I found that I really enjoyed that type of work. As a result, I pursued a master's degree in applied psychology with a concentration in counseling from the University of Baltimore. I have been working in the substance abuse field for over three years, and I have specialized in working with adult abusers of domestic violence, as well as abusers in same sex relationships. I also have extensive experience as an "in house" drug and alcohol counselor for two Baltimore city public schools. In my free time, I go to as many concerts/comedy shows as I can, I never miss a Ravens or Orioles game, and I play lacrosse and basketball.

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