If you’re already feeling overwhelmed in the beginning of 2020, you’re not alone. As we go back to our realities, backlogs, and pending emails, workouts or your regular routine, trying to start the year right might make you feel anxious.
If during the first week of the year, you’ve found yourself at the mercy of your bed, or your couch instead of planning the year ahead, don’t beat yourself up - that is okay and it’s normal. The first thing to do is to sit still just to clear all the post-holiday mind clutter. Here are some tips on how to keep you centered and focused with less New Year anxiety.
Simplicity Is Key
Start Planning in Increments
You don’t need to figure out the full year to get a good head start. Regaining structure in your life can start by planning the week ahead, followed by managing your hours per day. Studies show that small, realistic goals are not only easier to maintain, but they also bring less mental burden to you. Running for 15-30 minutes instead of a kilometer, or small chores like remembering to water your plants every morning may be easier to maintain in the long run.
Create Routines that Support Your Resolutions
The key to creating habits, again, is simplicity. At the beginning of every year, we find ourselves overwhelmed mostly due to relying on willpower alone. Doing everything all at the same time in big bursts is proven to be ineffective, and also causes one to relapse more. If one of your goals this year is to run a marathon, start by running a lap a day, or if you want to lessen your sugar intake, start by swearing off sweetened drinks.
Write Your Plans Down on Paper
It’s been proven that writing with a pen on paper enhances focus and improves brain power. Writing your plans down on paper limits distractions and sparks creativity, which in turn brings about a sense of motivation. Materializing your ideas into paper also makes you commit to plans more.
Move, Take Action
Often, when we feel overwhelmed, we try to disassociate from the stress and the anxiety which causes us to seek distraction. Some people also freeze up and end up wasting the rest of the day in a loop. The most effective way to combat this is to just move, without thought. Walking away from distractions such as your phone or your laptop somehow recenters you. Doing anything physical, such as a quick jog or breathing exercises, will also get you out of that rut. When you’re about to start ticking off your tasks and goals and it gets a bit intimidating, just start moving. Shake off the nerves.