Mental Tips to Stay Sane in the New Year

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If you’re going crazy as the end of 2020 draws near in anticipation for what the New Year has in store—breathe. Take a moment to channel your thoughts and energy and stabilize your mood.

With a clear mind you can beat any obstacle that gets in your way, whether it be health and fitness related or something with your social network or work. Here are a couple of great tips to use when you’re feeling overwhelmed this year and need to reset and discover your inner chill.

Find a Meditative Practice

Set aside time for mindfulness meditation or deep breathing to center your mind and create focus throughout the day. Many people don’t realize that taking 15 minutes to just quiet your mind and focus on your breathing is a super simple and effective way to center your mind. You may feel silly doing it, but be mindful of the breath coming into your lungs and filling your whole body. Try to picture your deep breathing filling your extremities and when you exhale, visualize your body squeezing out every last inch of breath you took. You’ll be amazed at how relaxing the sound of breathing can be. If you’re opting for something more active, you can choose a steady practice like journaling or yoga, as long as you stick with it long-term. There are several apps online where you can access meditation exercises or guides, such as Headspace. You can also put spa music on and unwind in a bath. (Maybe with a glass of wine, too!)

Finding a practice that is relaxing and cathartic will keep stress low, and it will boost your mentality and create more positivity in thought. Plus, it’s a break in the day for “me” time, where you can focus on healing for yourself, rather than attending to others. Do it every day if you can, or a few times a week to get the most benefits. If it’s a yoga practice, you will be working your body too for greater flexibility and strength — bonus!

Learn to Say No

Although it can be challenging to say “no” to friends, family and co-workers who may want you to attend their social gatherings or virtual dates, you need to prioritize those obligations to avoid getting too burned out. Even in a covid scenario, zoom burnout is a very real thing.

If you are always saying “yes” and your schedule is packed with social events, you may become overwhelmed without some down-time throughout the week to recharge. It’s okay to say no sometimes.


Change Your Perspective

Life has ups and downs and is surely not perfect. Yet, instead of dwelling on the negative aspects, shape your perspective to a more positive one. You can consider what good may come from this disappointment or you can simply do a gratitude exercise to get those feel-good vibes flowing again. Especially in these times of great economic and pandemic duress, perspective is very important. No matter how down you may be feeling about your own lot in life and your daily stresses, there’s someone out there who knows how you feel or maybe even has it worse than you. Being mindful of yourself and others is key to gaining perspective — which can, in turn, help you prepare for any challenges coming your way.

For instance, think of three things you appreciate in your life, three loved ones you are thankful for, or three attributes about yourself you take pride in.

Showing gratitude makes you feel more connected to those around you and to feel more balanced and happy with where you are, no matter the obstacles you might be facing in the New Year. You can take it a step further and keep a gratitude journal where you can write down your thoughts and hold onto them to revisit when you need a pick-me-up.