When people say New year New me, they put a lot of pressure on themselves to do better, to be better and they don’t give their future selves credit or even a simple compliment. Life is tough and this year has probably been a lot tougher than people imagined it would be.

New Year’s Eve appears and all of a sudden there is an insane amount of pressure to go out, get drunk, do something fun, maybe even something outrageous. Why do we have to do something? Christmas has just been, and we are most likely exhausted, mentally and physically and now we must do something extravagant for New Year’s Eve? It’s exhausting.

With New Year’s Eve, comes new year’s resolutions, which some people make very unrealistic because they do not have any idea of how they are going to achieve their goal. New year’s resolution is a tradition where an individual wants to change something in their life, a behaviour, or even a trait they may not like.

Resolve to be yourself

‘New year new me’ can be damaging and can affect your mental health, the reason being is you may fail. A lot of people make resolutions that don’t seem to be very realistic such as, ‘this year I’m going to get rich’, or ‘this year I’m going to write a book’. All may be possible; however, you need to have a strategy, come up with a plan on how you will achieve this, which people forget to do when making these resolutions or life may simply get in the way of that goal, there may be certain circumstances that stop this from happening. It can be disheartening if your resolution hasn’t been fulfilled and the individual may be too hard on themselves for not achieving this.

Although having a new year’s resolution can be good because it can motivate you, get you to look forward to something and even feel like you have a sense of direction, it can also be bad as there may be a lot of pressure to achieve this goal and it may not be achieved.

Instead of making resolutions huge, why not start off small and focus on yourself; do more things that make you happy and make you feel good about yourself. Be selfish, have a ‘self-care’ pamper day where the day is solely focused on you and looking after your body. If you feel unhealthy or unfit why not make a realistic goal, again start with something small like; start walking more throughout the day and eating more nutritional and healthy meals. Don’t make your goal too big where you have a lot of pressure put on you such as: lose so much weight by a certain month.

These resolutions should help you indicate what you want to change, however, patience is key. Don’t pressure yourself to achieve this goal, take your time and be kind to yourself. Stay in the moment, set your intention, be patient and do what makes you happy.

Remember that a small about of pressure or stress is fine, it can even give you that extra bit of motivation you need to complete something, but if we have too much pressure or stress placed on us, we may feel we are on a verge of a breakdown, there must be a balance.

Setting mental health aware goals for 2022

Around this time of year mental health is so important, as even I have witnessed this year a lot of people feeling lonely, negative, or generally just feeling low when the new year begins. Stress, Anxiety, and depression seem to be just a few things people tend to feel around this time of year. As everyone has been battling with covid-19, whether you have had it or know someone who has makes it hard to look forward to the new year because some are still frightened, and some are scared and worried about the future, what restrictions and rules are coming next for the new year. People are scared, worried confused and frustrated.

During the New Year, people may develop ‘New Year Depression’, or even seasonal affective disorder (winter depression; SAD) where the seasons affect their mood and during this time it’s dark when we wake up and dark when we finish work, it can feel slightly depressing. It can be a difficult time of year where it can trigger mental health issues or more even worsen them.

During this season a lot of stress, anxiety and depression can develop. You may get stressed organising meals, nights out etc. You may have high expectations from others and yourself, financial issues, isolation or loss/bereavement, grieving over the missing loved ones this time of year. There are a lot of mixed emotions when going into the new year.

As we have started 2022, don’t set yourself up for failure or make unrealistic resolutions, surround yourself with positive people, ask for help when needed, reflect on the year positively. Make a change, instead of having a resolution about money, possessions or even comparing yourself and what you have to others, focus your new year’s resolution on you. Simply just you.