Whoever gave us the idea that we must make humongous decisions in a specific time of the year. You see, life keeps on moving, and we keep on making decisions, some small, some big. All of them form part of our existence on this planet. This reality is not going to change, up until we bid farewell to our loved ones, this very world and its systems.
However, the trend still remains, huh?
Unfortunately, very few make peace with the fundamental idea that the festive season, including the new year,comes and goes, literally every other year. The few who do, look somewhat weird in the eyes of those who don’t. Whether that really matters, stays to be seen as the years pass on.
And to be seen, Yes, it is seen, almost always, manifesting as symptoms of anxiety.
According to Arielle Tschinkel, the biggest contributor to festive anxiety is the idea of the new year resolutions.
“Making lofty New Year’s resolutions are almost a guaranteed way to end up somewhere in the space between disappointed, annoyed, and thoroughly discouraged,” she notes
The reality remains for 87 per cent of the population. 1001 times will they make promises to themselves about planned things to achieve in the new year and 1001 times do they end up feeling like failures since the year ends with little change significant enough to raise their esteem.
The question is that of meaning, I suppose. Well, peradventure I am right, then we need to structure ourselves in a manner that will make peace with our very own selves when making decisions that resonate with meaning. These decisions do not have to always come at the beginning of a new year. The idea of seeking meaningful growth and evolution by biting off massive chunks of change every new year is a horrible scam. A hoax for lack of many other expressions of disappointment.
It is worse when you have struggled with Anxiety.
Check out this idea as your festive anxiety sets in.
To begin with, it is important to understand your needs, and that they take the first priority. As such, your goals must really be crafted around your needs and sometimes beyond the basic ones. This should remain true, no matter how anxious you get.
Build on this kind of confidence, that no matter what happens, you have to keep on improving on the goals into a manageable vision for easy achievement. Now this takes a process, so make peace with this fact. Instead of taking big chunks of decisions that trigger and exacerbate your anxiety this festive season, seek to make peace with process thinking. This will help you dig into your goals slow and surely, in manageable pieces that are anxiety free.
Even with this kind of process thinking, sometimes anxiety does not just go, and it can make you feel like you are overreacting. Ideally, when there is nothing to think about, you are supposed to think about nothing, that is very rational. Yet, the reality is we might need to talk more on how to manage anxiety. A few thoughts on how we can manage new year anxiety are discussed below.
Make a new year’s resolution not to have any resolutions until later in the year
Make peace with the fact that your goals were not waiting for the new year so that they can set in. It is weird, I know, yet very important not to succumb to the pressure of the New Year. Make your plans timeless, if you have a way of resolving a few months before the festive season the better. It will ease you unnecessary pressure in the New Year. If you can make your resolutions in February or March, again, better, it will save you new years anxiety. Decisions made this way will help you look at your life as a continuous process that may not be necessarily linear.
Acknowledge that Anxiety exists.
Feelings of anxiety need to be acknowledged. Taking your time to listen to your own self can help you a great deal in feeling better about what is happening. Truth be told, anxiety is a big deal and is a mental health problem. Anxiety for whatever reason can affect you both mentally and physically, and spiral down to your sleep , appetite and concentration among other things and with severe side effects. Acknowledging the presence of anxiety is the very first step to deal with its effects.
Also, acknowledging that anxiety exists helps you remove all the judgments that may leave you guilty-tripped, consequently adding to the troubles. Whatever your anxiety makes you feel, it is OK and normal, you have every right to feel the way you do devoid of self judgement, self criticism and blame.
Craft your own way of celebrating the festive season
Sometimes festive anxiety comes as a result of too much pressure from what is conventional. There is basically no rule that asks anyone to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a specific fashion. In case you find yourself getting too anxious this festive season, take time off in the open air to clear your head. Take deep breaths and time out for yourself or with people who can help you calm down, anything you need to be okay. More importantly, remember there is no specific way to celebrate a specific holiday. Be a free spirited bird.
The festive season is generally a difficult period for people living with anxiety. Conventional things can actually compound the problem even with well meaning but misunderstanding loved ones around you. Most of the times, and actually always, you are responsible for your mental welfare. This festive season, seek to make peace with whichever circumstance you are in. Lets beat anxiety! Together! You’ve got this.