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Embracing the New Year Without the Pressure of Resolutions

As the calendar flips to a new year, many of us find ourselves caught in the age-old tradition of setting resolutions. The pressure to outline ambitious goals for the upcoming year can be overwhelming, often leading to unnecessary stress and disappointment if not achieved. We are all guilty of putting unrealistic pressure on yourself because it is what is expected. Right? It's time to flip the switch and take back our power it is ok to not set unrealistic goals that only add to the stress in our lives. It is always ok to put yourself first. I mean come on we all roll our eyes when we see a new year! new me! post right? 

Reflecting on the Past:

Before we all go head first with the urge to set new goals, let's take a moment to reflect on the past year. Acknowledge your accomplishments, big or small, and the challenges you overcame. Recognizing your growth and resilience can provide a positive foundation for the coming year, promoting a sense of gratitude and self-appreciation. It's okay to feel good about your achievements and celebrate them. 

Embracing a Flexible Mindset:

Instead of setting solid resolutions, adopt a more flexible mindset. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change rapidly. Rather than locking yourself into specific goals, consider creating broad intentions or themes for the year. This allows for change and reduces the risk of feeling defeated if plans deviate.

Setting Realistic Expectations:

One common pitfall in resolution-setting is the establishment of unrealistic expectations. When goals are overly ambitious or unattainable, the likelihood of failure increases, leading to feelings of inadequacy. Set realistic and achievable goals that align with your current circumstances, acknowledging that progress is more important than perfection.

Focusing on Habits:

Shift the emphasis from specific outcomes to building positive habits. Habits are the building blocks of long-term success, and by concentrating on daily or weekly routines, you create a sustainable path toward your aspirations. Whether it's dedicating time to self-care, learning a new skill, or cultivating healthy relationships, habits contribute to gradual, lasting change.

Celebrating Progress, Not Perfection:

Rather than fixating on the end goal, celebrate the progress you make along the way. Break down larger objectives into smaller milestones and acknowledge each achievement. This approach not only boosts motivation but also helps you stay connected to the journey, fostering a sense of accomplishment independent of the final destination.

Emphasizing Self-Compassion:

Be kind to yourself. Understand that setbacks are a natural part of any journey. Instead of succumbing to self-criticism, practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same empathy and understanding you would offer to a friend facing challenges. This mindset shift can alleviate the pressure associated with perfectionism and promote a healthier approach to personal development.

As the new year unfolds, consider reframing your approach to resolutions. By reflecting on the past, embracing flexibility, setting realistic expectations, focusing on habits, celebrating progress, and emphasizing self-compassion, you can foster personal growth without succumbing to the pressures of traditional goal-setting. Remember, the journey is just as significant as the destination, and a more compassionate and adaptable mindset can pave the way for a fulfilling and rewarding year ahead.

How to navigate Christmas Anxiety with a Smile

Ah, It's the most wonderful time of the year or so the song goes right. But what if the tinsel and twinkling lights only serve to ignite a sense of unease in your whole body? You're not alone. As the festive season approaches, Christmas anxiety can cast a shadow over the festivities. And guess what? It's perfectly okay not to feel the Christmas cheer. You are not alone! It is ok to have worries and even fears about the festive. 
person sat cuddling legs with anxiety

In a world that often promotes the idea of universal joy during the festive holidays, it's easy to feel like a lone reindeer with a red nose that just won't light up. The truth is, that Christmas anxiety is a real and a very valid experience for many of us including me. 

Whether it's the pressure to meet unrealistic expectations, the stress of family gatherings, or the weight of unmet goals for the year, the holiday season can trigger a range of emotions that don't exactly scream "Ho, ho, ho! sparkle and cheer. 

First and foremost, let's debunk the myth that everyone should be brimming with holiday spirit. The reality is that people have different relationships with Christmas, and that's perfectly fine. Some may have experienced loss or hardship during this time of year,  something traumatic might have taken place at Christmas, while others simply don't resonate with the commercialized version of the season. Whatever your reason, give yourself permission to feel the way you do. It is ok to feel your feelings they are valid. No matter what people say. 

Now, let's talk about how to manage Christmas anxiety. Embracing your feelings doesn't mean letting them dictate your entire holiday season. Instead, consider trying a few strategies to make the festive period more manageable and even enjoyable:

Set Realistic Expectations: Rather than aspiring to create the perfect holiday straight out of a Hallmark movie, set realistic expectations. Remember that imperfections and hiccups are part of being human, and they don't detract from the joy of the season.

Establish Boundaries: If the thought of crowded shops and endless social gatherings sends your stress levels through the roof, set boundaries. Politely decline invitations if you need time for yourself, and don't be afraid to communicate your needs to friends and family. You need to put your happiness first. 

Focus on What Brings You Joy: Identify the aspects of the festive season that genuinely bring you joy. Whether it's cosying up with a good book, enjoying winter walks, or indulging in festive treats, prioritize those activities. you are important and you can put yourself first instead of pleasing other people. 

Practice Self-Care: Amidst the madness, don't forget to prioritize self-care. Take time to relax, recharge, and do things that bring you comfort happiness and joy. This might include a bubble bath, workingout, or even a Netflix binge-watching session. Find what makes you happy. 

Reach Out for Support: You don't have to face Christmas anxiety alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional who can provide support and understanding. Sometimes, sharing your feelings can lighten the load. call the Samaritans you are not alone, you are worth it. No matter what is troubling you get help. I promise you are a good person and you deserve happiness.

Remember, it's perfectly ok not to feel the Christmas cheer in the same way others do. Embrace your unique experience, and give yourself the gift of self-compassion this festive season. Whether you find solace in the simplicity of a quiet night or discover joy in unexpected moments, celebrate Christmas on your terms, and let the season be as unique as you are. After all, the most important gift you can give yourself is the freedom to be true to your authentic self.