In fact, feelings of depression, anxiety, nervousness, and even dread are actually quite common during the first few weeks of January. While the beginning of a new year brings the hope of a fresh start to many, for others it creates an emotional low period often referred to as the “New year’s blues.” It’s critical to identify the signs of these post-holiday blues and attack their eradication with optimism.
Many people experience seasonal depression, which for some people reaches its pinnacle on New Year’s Eve. Existing depression makes people more susceptible to the psychological difficulties of such a huge night filled with high expectations. The beginning of the new year doesn’t have to be tense, depressing, or isolating. The holiday may become something nice and an evening that promotes excellent mental health with a few tweaks and new customs.
Admitting that New Year’s Eve isn’t your favorite holiday might be difficult. One of the best party nights of the year, it’s also a time for introspection and setting the tone for the upcoming year. However, these are excessive demands for a single day or night. You can get through this holiday and have a wonderful new year if you let go of expectations, enjoy this day whatever you choose, and concentrate on yourself rather than what other people want you to do.
Typical TriggersFeelings of mild depression following the holidays are triggered by a multitude of circumstances. Some people constantly worry about the future and all the unknowables that lie ahead. Others believe they didn’t measure up when they contrast their accomplishments from the previous year with those of their friends or relatives. Still others look back on last year’s goals and realize that they didn’t achieve what they wanted. It’s no surprise that many people start the year out with a lack of enthusiasm when you combine these unfavorable ideas with a few extra holiday pounds, the absence of holiday lights and parties, and these factors.
Some are More Susceptible than Others
Some people are especially prone to the New Year’s blues because they constantly thinking back on their mistakes and negative experiences without taking any action to change them. In addition, those who are already somewhat depressed may experience worsening of their depression as a result of the stresses of a new year. Many people resort to unhealthy coping techniques like drinking, which only serve to worsen the situation. They also highlight the worst elements of a circumstance or issue, exaggerating how small it really is in the process. These people are referred described as “ruminators” by Yale University psychology professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, who also claims that both men and women experience this condition.
New Year’s Depression is a Real Phenomenon
It is a well-known and well-researched truth that for many people, the holiday season aggravates or precipitates mental health symptoms. This time of year can worsen depression if you already have it, but even those without a mental disease diagnosis are susceptible.
For a variety of reasons, the entire holiday season—from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve—causes tension, anxiety, and sadness.
- This time of year, finances are a major source of stress, especially when paired with the tradition of gift-giving.
- The holiday blues often involve stress. Gift-buying, hosting elaborate dinners, and going to events can all cause excessive stress.
- Grief frequently intensifies during the holidays, especially if a close loved one has passed away.
- During the holidays, some people become lonely, which can cause sadness.
- Bad feelings are also brought on by high expectations, especially if you are unable to achieve them.
- Seasonal depression may be triggered by the lower temperatures and shorter days.
The New Year’s depression has all of these problems and more, but it’s not the only aspect of this phenomena. One of the main causes is isolation and loneliness. On New Year’s Eve, people are supposed to be with friends, party, and share a midnight kiss. It may feel like failure if you lack these things.
The emphasis on contemplation is another aspect that sets the holiday season apart. When people reflect on the past year, they frequently find many disappointments. This is a concern in particular if you frequently contrast your own accomplishments with those of others.
There are enormous expectations for New Year’s Eve, but there is also the issue of aspirations for a fresh start. It is ridiculous for many individuals to believe that one single holiday should determine how the rest of the year will go. Many people believe that if the night is disappointing, the following 365 days will likewise be let down. However, this is not necessarily the case.
What You Can Do
Consider Your Own Achievements, Not Those of Others.
Did you break your resolutions from the previous year? Did you struggle while seeing other people do wonderful things and reach their goals? Did you have a rough year? It may be both a rewarding and a challenging experience to think back on the previous year.
If done correctly, reflection can be helpful. Make a list of what you accomplished, no matter how minor. For instance, if you hoped to drop 20 pounds but only managed to shed 10, consider that a success. The most crucial thing is to not compare yourself to others. Life is not an athletic contest. One of the most pernicious comparison tools is social media, so taking a break from it is beneficial. Without concern for others, concentrate on yourself, your accomplishments, your areas for development, and the kind of person you want to be.
Engage in Distractions
The opposite of reflection is ruminating. Rumination is a form of compulsive thought. Depression gets worse when depressed people obsess over bad memories and situations. At this time of year, reflection can become rumination, prompting greater depression symptoms.
A excellent strategy for overcoming this negative mind habit is distraction. Find a mind- and body-engaged activity to do when you’re drowning in negative thoughts. One of the easiest methods to avoid negative thoughts is to exercise. When the body is engaged, it’s challenging for the mind to fixate. Go for a walk outside to take in the fresh air. If your thoughts don’t go away, go for a stroll alone or with a friend and listen to an audiobook or podcast.
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Reach Out to Others
Depression is only made worse by social isolation. Any time of year, a good support system is helpful in controlling depression. Reach out and talk to someone you trust if the New Year’s holiday makes you feel lonely. Invite a friend or member of your family to join you for a peaceful New Year’s Eve.
A mental health expert is another crucial relationship to establish during a trying period with depression. Call your therapist if you have one to set up further appointments or to resume treatment if you have stopped.
If you’re really having a hard time, think about contacting a treatment center. Some folks find that treatment in a residential facility over the holidays is just what they need. A treatment facility can provide you with a secure environment where you can get more done than just survive the holidays. They can offer you a supportive environment, active and varied treatment, and the resources you need to get the new year off to a good start.
Establish a New Custom That Brings You Joy
It’s time to stop worrying about what other people think. It’s not necessary to have a big party on New Year’s Eve with plenty of friends and a lovely outfit. Do something else if that makes you feel worse. Create a holiday custom that is good for your mental health.
If doing this necessitates staying in with your pets and binge-watching movies, go ahead. Host a small gathering or sleepover with a few close pals if you don’t want to be alone yourself. You might be astonished to learn that they, too, would choose a modest gathering over a large gathering.
Embrace the New Year With Mental Health Resolutions
This is a fantastic chance to create goals for improved mental health if you suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. Making resolutions can give the new year a sense of hope, but they can also leave you disappointed. Set manageable and reasonable objectives. Don’t make oneself vulnerable to failure. Here are a few excellent examples:
- Bring your attention to the aspects of your life that you can influence.
- When you need assistance, ask for it.
- Begin to sever ties with those who don’t make you happy and surround yourself with those who do.
- Receive expert mental health care.
These are goals that you can achieve. Meeting them will improve your self-confidence and make you more aware of how much control you have over your life.