After a year categorized by challenge and change, many of us want to break free from the pace of 2020 and launch into a new 2021, full steam ahead.
But, mental health experts suggest that meeting the new year with big plans might be counterproductive.
Making big plans for big change may only add to the stress and anxiety of starting a new year that will also represent a new beginning amid the pandemic. While it may seem like things have been slow to progress, 2020 was filled with constant information, changes, and worry, and that in itself is a mental strain.
Mental health experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recommend giving yourself a break, and taking some time to reset in 2021. Sophie Lazarus, PhD, a clinical psychologist at OSUWMC, has three suggestions for clearing your head and moving forward with a more positive outlook in the new year.
Shift Your Perspective
It’s easy to get caught up in what’s wrong in our lives and miss what’s positive or going well. Starting your day by reminding yourself of the good things in your life can help you keep a more balanced outlook in the face of the day’s challenges.
Mindless scrolling on social media can increase stress and anxiety. Put the phone and computer aside and take a walk, cook a meal or ask your family about their day.
Be Kind To Yourself
It’s easy to be overly critical of ourselves right now which only increases stress and makes things worse. Pause to take a deep breath, a bubble bath, a nap, whatever you need that day to help you remember that you’re important too. Just take care of yourself.