New Year, Same You.

Whenever the holidays come around, December to be specific. Regret, as well as holiday cheer, is in the air due to the disappointment that stems from what could have been but never came to be after the excitement of the new year is gone and forgotten. It marks closure for an eventful year if a major milestone is accomplished. The thought of a fresh start signified by the date January 1st stirs newfound confidence I can attest to as though the new year brings gifts of new jobs and profit maximization. The worst part of the wishful thinking a new year brings, is the concept that written goals are more likely to accomplish, and a night at church crossing over to the new year guarantees success. Yet as the days turn to weeks and weeks to months nothing about the new year seems new after all. The same disappointments remain and the rut of the days past cross over. Fun fact that isn’t fun. Mental illness despite all the razzmatazz of the holidays is at its peak at the end of the year. Advice on beating mental illness during the next year is also at its peak at this time of year however, there is no advice on getting rid of the rut that never relents. Seasonal depression is likely what you will hear( which is real) or anxiety and the pain of growing older but when you think about it you come to realize you’ve depressed, anxious, in a rut and unproductive for more than a season without realizing.
My first approach to help with the holiday blues is to disconnect. Disappear from all the places and spaces where your presence isn’t required. To disconnect you need to celebrate and engage with just the people that matter to you. Have you ever tried to plan a party and realized all your invites are to people you don’t know well and only know through mutual friends. It’s wonderful being everywhere and knowing everyone until you inadvertently have feelings of inadequacy taking over your life and no one to talk to.
A second approach will be putting in work to master a craft. Writing goals and reposting quotes about success will take you as far as your mind allows. Turn fiction into fact. Allocate time to do what you do best. Failing to put work into talents will have you dealing with imposter syndrome whenever dreams begin to come true.
Another approach that greatly improves your location on the mental health continuum is letting yourself grieve. Grieving is not a straight-line process. Death is also not the only factor that influences grief. There are waves of grief. Some days you are riding the tide and other days underwater struggling to return to the surface. Nothing wrong with any of these stages just remember to keep on keeping
on as cliche as it sounds. Losing a job, ending a relationship or friendship, realizing the source of your unhappiness, are all monumental instances that require some form of grief. There are preachers of iceboxes where hearts should be and members of the congregation taking every word literally walking around trying to prove hurt does not exist. Think about fizzy drinks. Whenever it’s shaken, as long as the cap is tightly on the content remains inside, but the slightest release of that cap will have the contents spilling out. Emotions work the same way when there is no time to experience loss.
A great way to be your best self from right now is being able to decipher toxic self-care tips and productive self-care tips. They’re in movies, music, books, all over social media feeds. The majority of the time as motivation to improve your appearance and alter your personality in a way that shows growth. Awesome philosophy, except that it requires that to protect your peace others must know your life is blissful which leads to overcompensation and unhappiness. If you did improve aspects of your life and changed for the better then A, B or C should no longer matter. Indifference should be the goal instead of acrimony.
There isn’t much newness to a new year. It’s all about improving the quality of the life you have now. What if you don’t see the new year? Do whatever it takes to change your story when the plot thickens as it happens. If you dislike where you live? Move. Tired of your job? Actively pursue a new one. Feel alone in a relationship? Find a new partner. Does change happen overnight and when it’s wanted? No. Stagnation and waiting for a new month also doesn’t bring change. Work on your struggles every day and prevent them from becoming weekly and monthly problems that leave you feeling drained and exhausted by the time the holidays come around. Say goodbye to new decade resolutions and hello to daily solutions. It’s about time mental illness testimonies become mental wellness testaments

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