As soon as the 1st January hits, every advertisement seems to switch from encouraging total indulgence to tips and tricks to ‘better’ yourself mentally and physically. Such a drastic change in narrative can cause your New Year to begin in a stressful, pressurised manner and can even lead to burnout.
With this in mind, Dr Catherine Carney of the private rehabilitation centre, Delamere, has offered some tips and tricks to combat the anxiety that January can bring. She also outlines the most common causes of New Year burnout, making avoiding them easier.
Setting unrealistic goals
While there is nothing wrong with being ambitious, pushing yourself too hard will lead to disappointment and a feeling of failure. Rather than comparing yourself to people on social media platforms, writing a short list of smaller, more obtainable goals is always better.
Once you have achieved these, you can start to work on more difficult ones. This may be easier said than done due to the toxic hustle culture everywhere, but it is important to remember that everybody progresses at a different pace.
If you attempt too much in one go, for example, telling yourself you will go to the gym every day or read 10 books a month, you could mentally and physically crash and burn.
Comparing your progress to someone else’s
As stated, different people achieve things in their own time, which is crucial to remember around New Year. If somebody you know has started running 10k a day and you are struggling to get past 5k, try not to punish yourself or exert yourself too much and cause an injury.
Your body and mind can only do so much in a certain period, so it is always important to remember to rest and recharge. Not allowing yourself to do this can make you want to isolate yourself from others due to feeling like a failure and exhausted and worn out. Taking small, realistic steps is key to forming a new habit.
Forgetting to plan your time
Many people struggle with daily life, so adding a new task or activity can cause them to be completely thrown off. Telling yourself, you will go for a run, read a book, or do some writing but not planning a specific time could make you stressed and irritated – especially if you do not end up doing the task.
Juggling work, sleep, a social life, eating healthily, and leisure activities can be very difficult, so it is handy to write tasks and goals down. Setting a specific time would allow you to get things done before the new activity you are trying to stick to and allow you to fill your time efficiently and with things you enjoy.
Neglecting rest, relaxation, and meditation
Sitting down and allowing your body and mind to recharge is possibly the most effective way of avoiding burnout. It can be very easy to forget about this, especially with hustle culture making people feel guilty for not being productive.
However, mentally recharging will make you feel more energised when tackling your New Year’s resolutions.
Meditation and general wellness have been proven to lessen anxiety and depression, allowing you to clear your mind after a challenging day and re-centre your energy. While wellness is not the right path for everybody, it could be worthwhile to try it, especially if your resolutions have left you feeling sluggish.
Forgetting to see friends and family
Many people experiencing depressive feelings will feel compelled to isolate themselves socially. This can be for several reasons, ranging from feeling too emotionally exhausted to leave the house to not wanting people to know how they are feeling.
However, as depressive thoughts go hand-in-hand with burnout, it is crucial to maintain contact with friends and family– especially around the New Year.
If you have not achieved something you told people you would, or are generally feeling underachieving, socially withdrawing may feel like a comforting thing to do.
Sharing your thoughts and worries with a loved one will allow them to offer words of encouragement and support and a potential solution to your issue. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym more often, your friend could offer to go with you.
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