Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?
Happy freaking New Year!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, or as good as it can in this state of the world. It was definitely a weird Christmas and didn’t feel the same. I had prepped for honestly 2 months buying gifts and having a Christmas movie countdown with Vince and it still just felt weird. I loved the gifts I received and was so excited for the gifts I gave. However, I do feel like there was just a sense of fear in the air with omicron and how easy it is to transmit and the fear of getting loved ones sick and/or having to quarantine over Christmas. I was blessed that I wasn’t in that position, but for anyone who was, I am sending you love and hugs because I am sure that was so depressing and hard.
Now you may be expecting me to start talking about New Year’s Resolutions and all the things I want to accomplish this year, but I’m not. I have been learning more and more that sometimes it is okay to be stagnant. It is okay to not have these insane dreams and work yourself to the point of sickness. It is okay to acknowledge that we have been battling a pandemic for 2 years now and it has been incredibly nerve wracking, sad, and just awful. It is okay to NOT have a resolution. I have goals for the year, yes. But I am not about to drive myself crazy to reach them. I have also been just trying to deal with my control issues. The pandemic has brought about a lot of anxiety because of control issues. It is really hard for people with mental health disorders to deal with the sense that they are out of control. The pandemic brings about every single fear of that. I have been trying very hard to control it, but the truth is- it can’t be controlled. Instead of allowing myself to ruminate over this, I have been trying to just use my faith as a way to feel better. When I start to feel out of control, I just think to myself- “it’s in God’s hands”. You don’t have to be religious to throw that responsibility onto someone or something else. I personally am very spiritual so it brings me comfort by putting that control in a higher power’s hands. But you can honestly put that power in anyone’s hands and it will make you feel better. You can say “things happen for a reason and it’s okay” or “mother nature’s got it”. Reminding myself that I don’t have control is hard, but when I place that control in someone else’s hands (figurative or realistic), it helps me feel better about the situation. Hopefully that makes sense, but that has been helping me a ton.
I also wanted to validate that it’s okay to not be excited for a New Year. It feels like a cruel joke since 2021 didn’t seem too much better than 2020 and we were so excited for 2021, lol. I don’t feel excited about 2022. I know that many of you have entered 2022 with fewer people than you entered in 2021. It is okay to not be excited for a new year because you’re fearful of what this year can bring. I think everyone tries to look at the New Year as a complete opportunity to start again, and if you look at it that way, that’s great! But for me, especially in the season of life we are in, I am just looking at it as a continuation. I am hoping for a better year, but I am not claiming it. You may say I am superstitious after 2020 and 2021 screwed us all over! Haha. I also think it can be overwhelming to think about a whole year. Years seem to go by fast but sometimes the days and weeks are long and it can be difficult to look ahead for a whole year. Sometimes, you really just need to take it day by day. I also think that setting resolutions can seem like a good idea until you fall off the wagon or struggle to make a habit. Then you can beat yourself up about it until you’re back into a bad mental state. Remember that a resolution doesn’t need to be an every year thing. Take some pressure off of yourself.
I think it is important to be appreciative of making it to another year and celebrating that. I also think that it is okay to not feel positive right now. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is okay to feel all the things. It is okay to take comfort in whatever gives it to you. If you still find yourself super anxious about the pandemic and everything going on, I have a couple pieces of advice.
- Stop scrolling Tik-Tok endlessly. I don’t know about your “For You” pages but mine is FULL of doctors and covid stories and honestly, a lot of information is contradictory and gives me massive anxiety.
- Cut back on watching the news. Remember that no matter what news channel you’re tuning into, they need alluring topics to drive views and therefore make more money. Try to not get too absorbed in every horrible story they share. If I were you, I would skip the news all together. Studies have shown that you will have a worse day if you start your day watching the news.
- Do an activity that isn’t on your phone. Get an adult coloring book, an adult paint by sticker book, or just read a book. Getting your mind away from screens is the best thing you can do. Do this as your last activity before bedtime.
- Try to work at your desk if you’re working from home. It can become very depressing if you sleep, relax, and WORK from bed. It won’t be good for your mental health. Trust me- I know.
- If you are working from home, try to get out during the day. Go for a quick walk around the block or get a drink from your favorite drive thru, just get out of the house because it may help you not feel trapped.
- Just remember that everything should be done in moderation.
I hope this helps in some way or another. Just remember that you are so strong and it is OKAY to not be okay 100% of the time.
Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3
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