The countdown is on for the end of the year, and the decade. People are gearing up for epic celebrations with flowing champagne and shimmery outfits. This is a very exciting time!
You should be feeling happy, right? The truth is that the end of the year can be a very challenging time, especially for people who struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s easy to slip into thoughts of everything you wish you would have accomplished, and all you hope to do in the following years and decades. All of this can be very overwhelming!
With the year coming to an end, it is normal to take stock of everything that happened in 2019, but don’t get stuck ruminating too much on the negative. You may have a lot of accomplishments to be proud of, but you still might not feel it is ever enough. If you are getting stuck in negative thought patterns in your reflection of 2019, it can be useful to talk it over with someone, like a therapist or a guide you trust, who can help you transform those thought patterns into more healthy ones.
If you are feeling regret, it may be because you know you can do better and you need to take some action. Come up with small everyday steps you can take toward your goals. Whether it is for career, health, or relationships, come up with something small you can do consistently. This small action can really decrease feelings of anxiety and get you closer to those goals you feel you did not quite reach yet.
For people who live in a cold climate, the feelings of anxiety or depression can be made worse by seasonal factors. In Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the shorter days and cold weather make mental health problems worse and lower your energy. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are more than 3 million cases of SAD in the US every year. Light therapy and dietary supplementation can help. You can also warm up in a sauna or sit by a fireplace. With these small changes, the End of Year crisis can be much more manageable.
Ditch all the unrealistic resolutions that make you feel stressed out. These only leave you kicking yourself when you inevitably don’t reach them. You don’t need to become a new person. Being you is enough. Focus on your small, practical daily actions and be kind to yourself while you are slowly building new habits.
Instead of resolving to lose 10 pounds and kicking yourself when you have a doughnut, resolve to eat more mindfully and become more in tune with your body and what it needs. Take a fun dance or exercise class that you enjoy to get moving. Self-compassion is very important for your happiness.
The truth about happiness is that it is an experience that can’t really be quantified. Measuring yourself by your accomplishments is not a measure of your happiness, although our society tells us otherwise. It’s not about what projects we complete or how much money we earn. Community, gratitude, and connection contributes much more greatly to our happiness.
Try to take your focus on enjoying the simple pleasures you had in 2019 and the holiday season. Think of your friends, family, and activities you did that you enjoyed. Let go of the need for a strict resolution, and celebrate yourself as you are at this time.