The new year is supposed to bring happiness and excitement for the year ahead-- but in many it comes with New Year’s anxiety. Whether feeling like you should have the year planned out or disliking the pressure you feel to change yourself, New Year’s anxiety is quite common, but it shouldn’t hold you back from feeling hopeful and optimistic about what the year holds. In this article, we’re going to discuss what causes New Year’s anxiety and provide tips on how to go into the new year feeling less anxious and more positive.
What Causes New Year’s Anxiety?
Although it’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” not everyone will think of this time that way, and that’s ok. Many feel like they should have the year planned out to make it their “best year yet,” creating unnecessary pressure and dread.
New Year’s anxiety can feel especially overwhelming as it can sabotage every decision one makes and impacts thousands every year. This form of anxiety is characterized by a feeling of worry that the individual will not be able to live up to the resolutions that they set for the year.
Furthermore, psychologist Heather Silvestri explains that "New Year's anxiety often doubles down on itself: It bubbles up from the past year, attached to whatever we feel we have not accomplished, and then it darts ahead to the upcoming year, laced with pressure and performativity.” This causes the individual to create goals founded on anxiety, an ineffective motivator, and enter a cycle of feeling poorly about themself.
Tips for Dealing With New Year’s Anxiety
While the new year may cause feelings of dread or worry, don’t let it stop you from making your goals for the year ahead become a reality. Let’s look at some simple techniques that can help to mitigate New Year’s anxiety to come out feeling hopeful and excited.
Create Intentions Rather Than Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions often don’t pan out with 80% of New Year’s resolutions failing by February. The data shows that resolutions are ineffective, so what’s the solution?
Intentions. While resolutions often hold a negative connotation that an individual has a problem and that it’ll be solved once the goal is achieved, intentions are inherently positive and process-oriented. For example: the age-old resolution to “get in shape” is vague and doesn’t have any specific steps one can take to reach their goal.
An intention for the same goal would be to create a more balanced diet or to exercise more frequently, which can be easily planned out and implemented on a daily basis without creating abrupt change in one’s daily life.
Intentions offer a solution that will help you achieve your goals while simultaneously feeling good about your progress, giving you momentum to continue to grow in the new year.
Reflect on the Positives
Holiday songs and cheer are all about spending time with family, feeling happy, and celebrating the year that’s just passed. Instead of taking stock of your accomplishments and comparing them to high expectations for yourself, take a moment to reflect on those around you and the happiness you bring them and that they bring you.
Rather than resolving to “do better” or set lofty goals that could lead to disappointment, don’t bind yourself with the pressure of a strict resolution and enjoy who you are and the people around you. Remember that you are always valued and loved and keep that feeling going into the new year.
Lean Into Activities You Enjoy Most
Activities you enjoy such as exercise, reading, journaling, or something as simple as going on walks can reduce anxiety and depression. For example, exercise releases feel-good endorphins which can help you to enhance your self-image. By doing their favorite activities, one can take their mind off of any worries they have and return to a problem with a fresh mind, ready to solve it.
The longer anxiety goes unaddressed, the worse it gets so it is important to work at it daily with basic activities you like to do.
Practice Breathing Techniques
Take it back to the basics: breathwork. Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing is one of the best ways to manage anxiety and panic attacks.
As we are focusing on breathing deeply into the stomach, holding our breath, and then slowly releasing we can decrease our breathing and heart rates effectively. Using a tool such as an anxiety necklace is a great option for those with New Year’s anxiety. This comforting tool can be discreetly worn around your neck and used whenever you feel panicked.At Moksha, we designed the Beam anxiety necklace to help reduce anxiety and stress during the times when people need it most. Designed with a split path airflow, this tool optimizes deep breathing and will decrease any anxiety-related symptoms you’re experiencing in any situation - even at parties or at work. For more information on how you can take control of your anxiety, get in touch with us today.