As the new year approaches, it’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety. There can be a lot of pressure to set goals and make resolutions, and it’s easy to feel like you have to accomplish everything at once. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm and, in some cases, even depression. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or depressed as you start 2023, here are a few steps you can take to start the year off on the right foot and set yourself up for success:
1. Set realistic goals.
It’s important to have goals, but it’s even more important to make sure they are realistic. Don’t try to take on too much at once. Focus on a few key areas that you really want to work on, and break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps.
Setting even just a few specific goals that will challenge you can actually lead to higher performance than no goals at all.
As self-help author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins says, “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.”
2. Take breaks.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a new year, but it’s important to take breaks and give yourself time to rest and recharge. Make sure to schedule in some downtime each week, even if it’s just a few minutes to sit and relax.
My favourite way of doing this is to go outside for ten minutes with a cup of tea or fresh glass of water. The fresh air and the calming nature of tea help bring down any anxiety within me.
Consider indulging in self-care activities during your longer breaks, such as using a jade roller and gua sha set (Buy on Amazon Here) to massage your face or taking a relaxing bath with a group of handmade bath bombs (Buy on Amazon Here).
3. Practice self-care.
Taking care of yourself is crucial, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or depressed. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and engage in activities that you enjoy. This can help to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.
As the mental health organisation Beyond Blue (www.beyondblue.org.au/) states, self-care is an important aspect of maintaining good mental health (beyondblue.org.au/personal-best/topics/self-carelf-care). Consider trying out some self-care practices such as meditation, journaling, or yoga to help you relax and recharge.
Consider incorporating a natural Himalayan salt lamp (Buy on Amazon Here) into your self-care routine, or you could try using a weighted blanket for a soothing and calming affect (Buy on Amazon Here).
4. Reach out for support.
If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted friend or family member for support. You can also consider speaking with a therapist or counselor, who can help you work through your feelings and develop coping strategies. Having a strong support system can help buffer against the negative effects of stress.
The American Psychological Association (https://www.apa.org/), states that licensed psychologists who are highly trained mental health professionals have been shown to help individuals recover from depression, especially those with mild to moderate depression (depression/overcoming).
If you’re looking for a helpful resource to guide you through the process of self-improvement, consider checking out “The Self-Care Solution: A Year of Becoming Happier, Healthier, and Fitter – One Month at a Time” (Buy on Amazon Here).
5. Be kind to yourself.
Finally, remember that it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s important to be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t accomplish everything you set out to do. Instead, focus on the progress you’ve made and the things you have accomplished.
According to the Centre for Clinical Interventions (www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/), Self-compassion involves being aware of our own pain and suffering, and understanding that this is a hard, but normal human experience (cci/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Self-Compassion).
Starting the year off on a positive note is possible, but it takes some effort and self-care. By setting realistic goals, taking breaks, practicing self-care, seeking support, and being kind to yourself, you can start 2023 off on the right foot and set yourself up for success.
Remember, it’s a new year and a new beginning. Don’t let feelings of overwhelm or depression hold you back. Take control of your life and make the most of this fresh start. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
So go out there and make this year your best yet. You got this.