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New Years Eve Anxieties

Dear Insight,

As the year's winding down, I've been feeling pretty anxious. I can't shake the thought that I haven't really accomplished anything this year, and it's making me feel kind of useless and defeated, you know? I get that I shouldn't let it get to me, but it's hard not to. Plus, on top of all that, it's gonna be the fourth year without my mom around. Just a lot on my plate right now. What can I do to feel better and not let me down off this situation?

Any advice on feeling better and not letting this situation bring me down?

Sarah


Dear Sarah,

Hello Sarah. Thanks for writing. New Year's Eve anxiety is common, so know that you're not alone. Fortunately, there are skills to help. To turn your health resolutions into lasting habits, start by setting realistic goals. Make the upcoming year a time to focus on self-care and self-improvement by considering these tips for setting goals for a healthy lifestyle.

Common health resolutions focus on diet, exercise, substance use, and mental health. Improving any of these can reduce your risk of heart disease and other conditions for a longer, healthier life. When setting goals, follow the S.M.A.R.T. method: be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented.

Healthy diet:

The best long-term diets are intuitive, not restrictive. This means that when you are hungry you eat the food that really satisfies you, but at the same time you must be aware of moderation. For example, control portion sizes of your favorite foods instead of skipping meals, counting calories, or eliminating entire food groups.

Workout:

Remember, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Don't expect to jump from the couch to a 5K—start small, up the intensity gradually, and find activities you genuinely enjoy. The more you like it, the longer you'll stick with it.

Substance use:

It's fine to have a glass of wine with dinner, but if you often drink just to get drunk, reconsider your relationship with alcohol. Quitting nicotine is different for everyone—some do it gradually, others use medication, and some pick a "quit day" to prepare for the change. Consult your doctor and check out resources like websites, hotlines, and support groups. For a healthier lifestyle, start with small changes like choosing lighter drinks, staying hydrated, and reducing smoking to one cigarette a day.

Mental health:

Mental disorders, as well as excessive stress, can take a toll on your body and make it difficult to live a healthy lifestyle. If you constantly feel anxious or depressed, achieving your mental health goals can be an ongoing challenge. However, there are many ways to find joy and relaxation in everyday life.

Set realistic expectations, avoid unnecessary pressure, and reflect on the positive aspects of the past year—focus on accomplishments and personal growth, not perceived shortcomings. Try mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation to stay present and manage anxiety in the moment.

Here are some reputable sources that provide information and resources to help individuals dealing with Stress:

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

Disaster Distress Helpline: CALL or TEXT 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish)

You can also contact The Samaritans for emotional support 24 hours a day - in full confidence. Call 116 123 - it's FREE.

For immediate assistance or if you are in crisis, please consider reaching out to the following hotlines:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text "HOME" to 741741

Remember that while these resources can provide valuable information, it's essential to consult with a mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist, for a personalized assessment and treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. The resources you choose may depend on the severity of your stress and your personal preferences. It's important to find the support that works best for you, whether that's through professional therapy, self-help tools, or a combination of approaches. If your stress is overwhelming or persistent, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for personalized guidance and support.

Disclaimer: The content on this website is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice. Please consult with a qualified mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment.

If you or someone you know is in need of talking to a professional, contact us now to schedule your initial virtual session. You can call us at 888-409-8976 or click HERE to schedule it online.

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