I want to thank Allison from The Nutmeg Diaries for writing this excellent guest post on overcoming the New Year Blues. Please make sure to check out her blog.
Why do some people hate New Year’s? I’ve always despised the holiday. I don’t think turning a page in a calendar is significant enough to warrant a celebration, but there’s more to it.
New Year’s is filled with thoughts such as, “I wish I…,” “I should have…,” and “Why didn’t I….” Focus on those thoughts long enough, and you’ve gone down a bottomless and dark rabbit hole. If you are already dealing with depression or other mental health issues, this is magnified.
I do believe that everyone feels this way on January 1st. The difference is the way people handle those negative thoughts. Combine thoughts of regret with short days and cold weather, and it’s no wonder that people dislike this time of year. But, there are ways to make the new year filled with self-improvement, learning, and happiness. So, today, I’m going to share some tips on how you can overcome the New Year blues.
Overcoming New Year Blues
Don’t Make Resolutions.
Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, create goals for yourself. We often set goals for ourselves without formally acknowledging that we are doing so. It doesn’t have to be a big goal- anything works. But feeling as if you’re working towards something will help you stay motivated and want to get out of bed on those cold mornings.
Resolutions and goals are similar, but not the same. Especially as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to hate the word’ resolution.’ Changing your mindset from resolutions to goals is a straightforward way to help you thrive in the new year.
Related Read: My 2022 Vision Board
Related Read: How To Set Goals For The New Year
Embrace The Cold Weather
Are you a cold-weather fan like me? Or do you prefer the warmer months? Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day ahead of you. Sure, the holidays are over, and the world can feel oddly ’empty’ in January. But there are still a lot of fun things you can do.
If you’re a snow bunny, spend some time on the slopes with some friends. A day filled with skiing, snowboarding, and sledding is always a win in my book. If you’ve never been, most ski areas have lessons for beginners. If you’d rather stay at home, bring your dogs outside and let them roll around in the snow. I love watching my two dogs in the snow- they’re so hilarious! At the very least, you’ll get a laugh even if you don’t join them in playtime.
But there’s also plenty to enjoy inside. A cold, snowy day is the perfect day for a movie marathon. So dress up in your favorite warm clothes and grab some hot chocolate and watch some movies or binge-watch your favorite show. Fuzzy socks, sweatshirts, sweatpants, leggings, cozy scarves, and more are all clothing items everyone seems to love. You can also grab that book you’ve been meaning to read, journal, and so much more.
Clean & Declutter
Unfortunately, thriving in the new year is easier when you have a clutter-free and organized space. Start with your work area. I’m much more productive when I don’t have random things sitting around.
If I’m feeling ambitious (which is pretty infrequent, I won’t lie), I’ll try to do some decluttering. I pretty much always have a bag or two of items I’m donating or selling online. Decluttering is by no means an easy or fun task, but it is a satisfying one. And, if you can turn clutter into cash, that’s a bonus.
Plan for the Future
Whenever I feel like nothing good is happening in my life (and believe me, that happens a lot), I see what I have coming up on my calendar. If I don’t have anything to look forward to, my downward spiral will continue.
Even if it’s just meeting a friend for dinner, I try to make sure I have at least one thing to look forward to on my calendar. Knowing that I’ll have some time where I don’t have to focus on being productive or stress myself out does wonder for my mental health.
But, if you aren’t able to meet in person, schedule a facetime call with a friend. Give yourself a few hours to chat, vent, or even watch a show together. I do this all the time with my best friend in Seattle, and we’ve done it for years.
Celebrate Your Wins
If you’re still feeling down, find a way to celebrate your wins and focus on the positive moments. One thing I enjoy doing is keeping a jar where I record one positive thing from each day. Then, before bed and lights out, I write on a small piece of paper the best thing that happened that day, fold it up and put it in a jar on my nightstand. It can be as simple as making your favorite dinner. Then, on New Year’s Eve, I like to open the jar and read all of my happy moments from the year. I always end up remembering things I forgot all about, and it’s an excellent way to end the year.
Another thing I like to do is take screenshots of any fun text I get from friends. I then add them into a folder on my desktop to look at them anytime I want. I’ll also add favorite blog comments, comments on social media, or photos.
One Last Thing
Remember that the New Year’s Blues and seasonal depression are only temporary, no matter how down you feel. So while a day in mid-January may seem bleak, spring will be here before you know it.
The Nutmeg Diaries is a lifestyle blog run by Allison. Here you’ll find reviews, stories, and her random thoughts in everything from books to travel to gift guides.
Blog: The Nutmeg Diaries