Ringing in 2017 with Tourette Syndrome

Happy New Years Scrabble Tiles“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery.” (1)

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Setting New Year’s Resolutions is a common tradition that help many people set goals to better themselves for the upcoming year. However, many times these goals can be lofty and unobtainable, which make it difficult to stick to those resolutions consistently.

For 2017, I challenge those of you with Tourette Syndrome, to make a simple New Year’s Resolution that is focused on the acronym “SWAG.”

  • “S” Start Each Day with a Positive
    • Whether it is an affirmation written on a Post-It®, a positive quote, morning yoga exercises, etc., it is important to allow yourself the time to start the day in a mindful and positive way. By giving yourself a reminder of how awesome you are, can set your day up for success.
  • “W” Weather the Storms
    • Everyone has challenges or obstacles that they have to face. Those challenges can feel even greater when you struggle with tics or Tourette’s. When tics wax and wane, it is important to know that you must battle through the hard times, as it will get better. Each day brings a new day, with an opportunity for positive things. Utilize stress management tools by taking necessary breaks during high anxiety time periods, or follow more closely with your comprehensive care team when life transitions occur to enable best success during these times.
  • “A” Advocate
    • Advocate for yourself, for your needs and for the greater good of the Tourette community.   The Tourette Association provides many resources in which you can get involved with support groups, leadership councils and fundraising. You are not alone in this fight, as you have a whole community that supports you. Find out more on advocacy and support at the Tourette Association Website.
  • “G” Gather your Resources
    • Seek the medical, psychological and allied health care needs that you deserve. The Tourette Association and your Centers of Excellences have many avenues for care across the spectrum of disability. Whether it is medication management, therapies, research or school services, you should feel confident that you have support in the New Year.


As 2017 approaches, remember, use the “SWAG” approach when managing tic disorders or Tourette syndrome.

Happy holidays and a happy New Years to you and your family.



  1. Breathnach, B. (n.d.) New Years Quotes. Brain Quotes.com. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/sarahbanbr676231.html?src=t_newyears
  2. McNamara, D. (30 December, 2014) 10 Tips to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions [Picture] Retrieved from https://nwei.org/10-tips-help-keep-new-years-resolutions/

About the Author


Heather Simpson, OTR/L

Heather Simpson graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following…

Read all articles by Heather Simpson, OTR/L