The year isn’t even able to begin before we’ve already set up major expectations, commitments and high hopes, which we’ll use to measure the success of the year ahead. This time of year may be motivational for you or you could be overwhelmed by the perceived need to do or achieve more. This anxiety is common, so many of us end up in the same boat.
As such, we’ve compiled a few tips for avoiding the pressure of “New Year – New Me”
1. Be mindful of your (media) consumption
One of the biggest contributors of the familiar New Year’s messaging is the media. You may begin to see new exercise machine ads, healthy eating tips on your favourite day-time shows or storefronts showcasing workout gear. Facebook ads for a Peloton may follow you around the internet or your favourite online celebrity may be launching a new self-help program. Even “wellness” companies that claim mental health to be a foundation of their business are not exempt from the marketing trap.
This is a good time to be conscious of the people, shows, news outlets and other media you’re currently following. It may be time to let some of them go. Maybe a temporary mute is in order or a purge of the accounts you follow.
2. Try to stay in the moment
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword these days, but it can truly live up to the hype. New Year’s is both the most difficult and most necessary time to maintain focus on the “now” as opposed to dreaming into the future. Although it is important to maintain routines that will help you live your best life, setting large goals can quickly become overwhelming and catastrophizing can follow.
Do your best to anchor yourself to the moment in whatever way works for you. Maybe it’s dancing, listening to your favourite song or meditation. Whatever it may be, use these tools to continue coming back to the current moment.
3. Spread the sentiment
One of the worst aspects of anxiety and depression is the deep feeling of loneliness and with the current physical isolation we’re all going through right now with the pandemic, it can be hard to find ways to connect with others.
Chances are, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of this year, you’re not truly alone! This cultural pressure to commit to grand changes effects everyone to some extent, and there is a chance that many people in your life may be feeling the same way.
Try your best to find comfort in a group of friends, family or online communities who place value on mental health, mindfulness and those who can help you release the pressure you may be feeling.
4. Find a Professional to talk to
Sometimes you try all the tips and tricks on your own, and it still doesn’t seem to be enough support. If you’re feeling this way, it may be time to consider looking into counselling or therapy near you. Depending on where you are there can be a variety of counselling options
available to you including: group sessions, specialized mental health providers, helplines and currently many online options.
If you’d like to work with a professional, Reflection Centre may have a team member that fits your needs. Have a browse through our team of professionals here or reach us at (705) 792-1313.