Many feel worried about what lies ahead this coming 2021. After all, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has ruined people’s travel plans, closed down businesses, laid off workers and taken the lives of more than a million people worldwide.
Although some hope that 2021 will be better, others feel incredibly worried on the New Year will bring. If you’re feeling anxious about the upcoming new year, make sure you have a plan in place to manage this emotion.
Here are a few things you can do to alleviate anxiety and set the tone for a less anxious and more positive 2021:
- Practice Mindfulness
Staying mindful will help you keep your mind to the present and prevent you from dwelling much of your attention on the future or the past. Pursue mindfulness by undergoing dialectical behavior therapy, a mindfulness-based psychotherapy that will help you regulate anxiety, anger and other emotions.
- Keep Burnout in Check
Although everyone experiences stress from time to time, too much of it can leave you emotionally exhausted. Burnout, when left unchecked, can cause major problems for your career, home life, motivation and mood. If burnout is making you feel anxious, you’ll need to overcome it by addressing your stressors and setting boundaries.
- Set New Year’s Resolutions that Are Positive and Achievable (or Don’t Make One at All)
Another source of anxiety is the looming New Year’s resolutions. If you’re prone to anxiety, you could feel worried about not living up to next year’s expectations or guilty for not completing or achieving last year’s goals.
The obvious and easy way to ease this kind of anxiety is to avoid making any kind of resolution for 2021. After all, many fail to achieve the New Year goals they set for themselves.
If you think that the idea of passing on resolutions would bring you relief, cut some stress out by reframing your statements in positive language.
Here’s an example: Let’s say your goal for 2021 is to “stop feeling anxious.” Rather than stick with that statement, rephrase it by saying, “start your day with deep breathing exercises,” or “think of two peaceful thoughts to alleviate each worry.” Trying to “stop” doing anything can be difficult, but “starting” something new can be easy, especially if you have a specific goal in mind.
- Plan Your New Year’s Eve Celebrations Wisely
A New Year Eve’s party usually comes with alcohol. If you’re struggling with an anxiety disorder, you’ll want to stick with water or other non-alcoholic beverages when you attend a party. Alcohol modifies the levels of serotonin in your brain, which could exacerbate anxiety. Combine that with a terrible hangover and a sleepless night, and you’ll experience an anxiety-filled disaster on the first day of the year.
If house parties or bar celebrations aren’t your thing, do your homework and settle with a New Year’s Eve event that you’ll genuinely enjoy. You could, for instance, host a midnight yoga class, a game board night or a guitar jamming session. Coming up with your plans helps reduce the stress of the holiday and the need to “have a jolly good time” just like what the others are doing.
Hosting events not your cup of tea? That’s ok, too. Just stay at home.
This is a good idea for two reasons: First, this helps “flatten the curve” in your area or country. Second, you can greet the New Year with a relaxed state of mind. So, don’t feel bad about cozying up in your living room, sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace and listening to relaxing music using your comfortable headphones.
Don’t let worry dominate and ruin your first day of 2021. Apply these four anxiety-reducing tips to help you feel more prepared to face the year ahead.