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  • Shannon Carvalho

New Year Anxiety





New year is an exciting time, filled with optimism and with optimism comes change. Change can be a good thing but the uncertainty of the future can be scary for some and this in turn creates a state of anxiety. New Year Anxiety is a term used to describe this mixture of emotions as we embrace new beginnings following an often hectic holiday period.


Reflecting On The Past


New Year is a great time to look back and reflect however, more often than not we focus on the things we didn’t accomplish. Self-improvement and drive are great mindsets to have but it is important to celebrate our successes and give ourselves a pat on the back for the challenges we have overcome to get to this point. An achievement is an achievement no matter the size. Sometimes, visually seeing our achievements can help us to realise how far we have come. Write down a list of everything you accomplished in the past year and you will most likely be surprised at yourself. Gratitude is a great tool to help you appreciate the past.


Furthermore, it can be easy to compare our achievements to those around us, especially with factors such as social media where we are encouraged to share our lives. It can be beneficial to take a break from such platforms during the New Year period to avoid comparison. It is important to remember that people have different circumstances in life and therefore it makes no sense to value ourselves on the basis of others.


Resolutions For the Future


As the bells ring, we make big proclamations about the ways in which we will better ourselves in the new year through resolutions. These resolutions often centre around fitness, money, dropping habits and picking up hobbies. Whilst resolutions are usually well-intentioned, the pressure of living up to an expectation can make it harder to achieve goals and progress. A study found that most people give up their resolution within the first month before trying again the following year. Instead of viewing them as an immediate change, view resolutions as self-imposed daily guidelines and therefore they must be realistic to avoid setting yourself up for frustration.


First and foremost, be kind to yourself. When we set ourselves new goals, we often become impatient wondering how long it will take to achieve rather than appreciating the journey itself. For instance, If a new year's resolution is to have a more healthy and balanced diet, we can not expect ourselves to be able to adjust to long-standing habits immediately. Start small and work your way up and acknowledge the differences you are making in your life. Celebrate every milestone as a reminder that you are one step closer to your ultimate goal whatever the size may be. If you feel that your resolution is becoming too difficult to achieve, look at the minor ways to alter the format of your goal that will avoid putting more stress on yourself. Life is unexpected with twists and turns, sometimes simultaneously, which we can never fully prepare for so we cannot expect ourselves to be able to make changes smoothly.


New Year, Wiser You


It may seem obvious however, it is important to remind ourselves that every year we become wiser whether that is about ourselves or our environment. Every experience is a lesson and provides us a new perspective. It is important to note that people are not alone in their feelings of anxiousness at this time of year so we should never feel afraid to reach out to those we feel safe around. We do not always have to be self-sufficient and it is okay to ask for a helping hand or words of encouragement. Reflect in positive ways and take small steps to make new traditions. You’ve got this.


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