Anxious for the New Year? You’re Not Alone
Is it just me, or is New Year’s not as awesome of a holiday as people make it out to be?
There tends to be a lot of pressure during this time of year . . . everyone wants to ensure that they enjoy the time off and end the year on a high note. I’ve noticed a pattern of New Year’s being a time when many of my clients experience heightened anxiety and self-doubt.
This actually makes perfect sense to me.
New Year’s is a time filled with self-reflection and thinking about the future. Accomplishments, successes, setbacks, perceived failures . . . it’s no wonder that December 31st can bring on so many mixed emotions. On the one hand, I appreciate the ambition and fresh start that the new year brings. However, there’s a part of me that feels straight-up frustrated when it comes to this holiday.
Not to mention the weird “twilight zone” that many college students and young adults in Minneapolis / St. Paul experience during this awkward time between Christmas and New Year’s. The days just start blending together. With so much downtime, it’s hard not to fall into the trap of overthinking.
Anxiety and Comparison
We focus so heavily on the upcoming year and on making the perfect New Year’s resolutions and we start asking ourselves, “how can I be better?” This sudden push for self improvement and change can create an overwhelming cycle of comparison and anxiety.
While change can absolutely occur by setting New Year’s resolutions, change doesn’t necessarily have to be this big, sweeping revelation that happens over New Year’s. Change and growth can happen any day. 2019 is another year filled with 365 opportunities to learn, grow, and reach our goals.
(And by the way, if you do have new years resolutions for yourself, go get ‘em. I totally support thinking toward the future and creating goals for yourself. Just try to be gentle with yourself and remember to take it one day at a time).
Give Yourself Some Room to Breathe
Here is my reminder to you: It’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling, whether it be tired, low, anxious, excited, afraid, overwhelmed – feel all the feels. I previously wrote about giving yourself permission to be anxious because it can be such a weight off our shoulders when we’re able to just accept where we’re at without judgment, expectation, or self-criticism.
That being said, know that there is no shame in reaching out for help if you continue to struggle. If you’re experiencing anxiety or low mood for weeks on end, speaking to a qualified mental health professional can help. Feel free to read more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and working with an EMDR therapist in St. Paul, MN, or schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation with me so we can connect and see if we would be a good fit.