It's that time of the year again.
As finals wind down and students return home, the discussions of New Year's Resolutions begin. For most people, this is something they not only enjoy talking about, but get excited about. Many look forward to setting and accomplishing New Year's Resolutions, becoming filled with a sense of hope. However, for those of us who live with anxiety and other mental health struggles, this time of year can be quite difficult to enjoy. Thinking about what we did or did not accomplish in the past year can be disappointing and lead to cyclical thinking. Considering what we aspire to accomplish in the next year can trigger negative thoughts and amp anxiety levels through the roof.
So what can we do to cope?
How can we not let this stress and pressure get to us?Although it can be difficult to ease anxious thoughts, it is not impossible. Whenever I need a little help remembering to breathe when discussing the ever-stressful concept of the new year, I do the following.
1. Remind yourself of all the things you DID accomplish this year. Although there may be things that you didn't accomplish that you had planned to, there are surely more tings that you have accomplished this year. That A on the exam, the day you made your best friend smile. There are so many things you did, and there are so many things you have to be proud of.
2. Celebrate the fact that you are alive. You are beautiful. And that you are loved.
3. Motivate yourself to make one positive change next year. Whether it be unplugging before you go to bed, cutting down on tv, or spending more time with family. A New Year's Resolutions doesn't have to be one huge plan, it can be as simple as one small task that you feel confident that you can achieve.
On top of all of this, please make room to remind yourself that it's okay not to be okay. Tomorrow is a new day; every new day is a new opportunity.
Written by Julia Perry