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How to Reduce Anxiety Before the New Year

December 1, 2019 Martha Lueck

With only one month left until American New Year, you may notice New Year anxiety and/or depression. To learn about why some people might struggle with negative emotions and how they can cope, read this article.

Signs of Unhealthy Stress and Anxiety Over the New Year

Perhaps you or a loved one dread New Year ("How to Prevent Anxiety with Self-Care in the New Year"). You might be thinking: "Why didn’t I complete my resolutions this year?" or "What have I accomplished?" or "What’s the point of starting a new year? It will just be the same as last year."

These thoughts can lead to one of two things: end-of-the-year avoidance or stress. You might think that stress is normal for the holidays. Although this is true, too much stress can wreak havoc on your mental health. Here are some signs of unhealthy stress:

  • You constantly try to recall accomplishments from previous years.
  • You find it difficult to recall accomplishments from this year.
  • Even if you can acknowledge accomplishments from this year, they do not feel like enough.
  • Any time someone talks about their accomplishments, you feel bad about yourself.
  • You can never seem to enjoy the moment.

5 Ways to Reduce Depression and Anxiety About the New Year

If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms of unhealthy stress and anxiety over New Year, here are five coping techniques that can help.

  1. Talk about your feelings. If you struggle to identify ways in which you have succeeded this year, talk with a friend about it. This does not have to be a long and awkward conversation. If the person you talk to is a true friend, he or she will not frown upon you for being vulnerable. Perhaps your friend is going through the same thing. If this is the case, you can support each other.
  2. Remember that a year is a small fraction of your life. Many of us set strict goal deadlines. One year can seem like a long time to make certain achievements. I know this feeling very well, as I set monthly writing deadlines to finish my current book this year. I am nowhere near meeting my goal. In past years, I would have beaten myself up over this. But I now realize that one year is just a small fraction of my life.
  3. Acknowledge seemingly insignificant accomplishments. You might find yourself comparing your accomplishments to those of others. This can create resentment and jealousy. These negative emotions can be toxic and lead you from anxiety to depression. To distract yourself from comparisons, remember that you possess your own wonderful strengths. As long as you are alive, you are making progress in life. Every little positive thing you do, even if it’s just waking up in the morning, is an accomplishment. Because of this, you have accomplished at least one thing every day of the year.
  4. Set small, realistic goals for the rest of the year. In past years, I wanted to end the year on a high note by making some grand accomplishment. But after so many disappointments, I learned that slowing down and reaching a more realistic goal can be just as satisfying. Having a realistic goal creates less pressure without burnout.
  5. Identify something positive about the present. Sometimes focusing too much on the new year can cause you to miss out on the good things happening right now. Take a few moments to appreciate one pleasant thing that is around you. Write down what it is and how it makes you feel. As you do this, the new year might seem less stressful.

If you have any tips on how to deal with stress and anxiety about the new year, please share in the comments.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2019, December 1). How to Reduce Anxiety Before the New Year, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2019/12/how-to-reduce-anxiety-before-the-new-year



Author: Martha Lueck

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Chris H.
December, 11 2019 at 2:46 pm

Great article, love the suggestions

Lizanne Corbit
December, 2 2019 at 4:17 pm

This time of year brings so much with it, a lot of positives but also stress and anxiety for many reasons. I love your five suggestions. It's amazing how quickly a year can go but then how much pressure we can put on a single one, your reminder of perspective is a keen one for us all to remember. This is a wonderful time for self-reflection, gratitude, and praise!

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