For most, New year’s is a time of celebration and festivities with family, friends and colleagues. It is a time to reflect on past accomplishments and set new goals and resolutions for the next year.
Unfortunately, for some people this time of the year is associated with increased pressure, dread and loneliness. People with underlying mental health issues may experience heightened levels of anxiety, depression and social isolation during this period. People may also re-experience feelings of grief and loss due to a loved one no longer being around. Therefore, it is essential to practice self-care to strengthen your resilience and safeguard your mental health. The following is a list of strategies that may help during this period:
Make time for yourself:
During the end of the year, some of us have many different obligations to attend. For instance, we may have to attend family lunches/dinners, work celebrations, or events with children. This may leave us little time to practice self-care. It is important that we schedule time to have a break. This could be putting aside 10-20 minutes per day to practice mindfulness, go on a long walk, or complete an activity that we get a genuine sense of achievement from. Make time!
Keeping expectations realistic:
Obligations often bring with them our own expectations. For instance, you may be dreading picking the perfect gift or making that good impression with a new spouses’ family. It is important to keep your expectations realistic and be mindful of when you are being too critical of yourself. Setting unrealistic expectations often leads to further anxiety, so remain objective in your thinking!
Practice being assertive:
Being assertive is very difficult for some people. You may be faced with a growing list of work and family events. This may feel overwhelming and like you do not have control. It is important to know when to say “no” for your own mental health and wellbeing. Constantly saying “yes” can lead to feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Saying “no” enables us to regain control and implement boundaries. It also gives us time to prioritise self-care activities.
Seek professional help if needed:
Even if you are implementing the above strategies, you still may find it difficult during this period. If you feel persistently anxious, sad and depressed then please do not hesitate to reach out !
Throughout January we will be exploring the topic ‘Goodbye 2022, Hello 2023’. We look at prioritising yourself, becoming the main character of your life and getting back on track if you have broken your new year’s resolution.