The last few months signalling the end of the year can be overwhelming with some people experiencing what is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s no doubt that twelve months can be a roller coaster and having to pass through the numerous challenges you are faced with from work to family to other aspects of your general life all year round,can have you stressed and exhausted over time without you even realizing.
There are several reasons why you might experience year-end anxiety or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It’s very usual to feel sad and anxious about the end of something, think how it felt when you left high school, the University, started a new job or made a career change. As with beginnings, endings can come with a lot of anxiety.
In between trying to track your goals for the year, hit set deadlines, wrap up your plans and get yourself ready and prepared for the new year, there’s a lot of emotions that follow these closing events. But it’s important to note that all the emotions you might feel from anxiety to depression, frustration or anger can be caused by persistently judging yourself, feeling like you are undeserving, imperfect or not good enough. Or perhaps you set certain goals to hit before the end of the year that you are yet to meet or you’ve been unable to break out of a habit you desperately wanted to OR that you’ve worked so hard yet achieved only very little.
Another cause of year-end anxiety might be the high expectations from family and friends. The festivities come with a lot of overwhelming activities that can have you tired, exhausted, stressed and mentally drained.
You need to understand to give yourself credit and while snapping out of the low mood can take a while, here are a few strategies to help you deal with anxiety and improve the welfare of your mental health.
- Carry out self-evaluation
Sometimes it’s possible that in chasing the goals we believe to be the “big goals”, we forget to acknowledge the little progress we have made along the way. Self-evaluation helps you track your progress, what you have achieved so far in the year, it might come as a surprise after you write down all you were able to do and you realise it wasn’t a bad year after all. Self-evaluation also helps you look at better ways to still go after the things you are desperately looking for.
- Get support
One major reason why year-end anxiety happens can be attributed to the fact that you might have been carrying so much burden alone, doing everything yourself year-round, and not realise you’ve reached the breaking limit. Everyone needs support, and there’s no shame or harm in asking for help. Consider reducing the workload on yourself by asking for support where you can, seek connection with other people and give yourself room to breathe.
- Stop the self-criticism and hate
Blame games make every situation difficult. It’s OK to admit that things did not go exactly how you planned them. Constant self-blame only further leads you into depression.
- Pay attention to your health
Feeling low and depressed are influenced by poor mental health activity and your mental health is over time influenced by stress and other unhealthy habits. Eating less than required, sleeping less than required etc can impact your health. Find a balance between work and rest during the year as an accumulated stress is partly why you may feel overwhelmed by year-end.
Finally, you have to consider the fact that perhaps you are putting so many expectations on yourself and struggling with perfectionism. Wanting to always be perfect might be a reason why you’ve procrastinated and delayed on achieving a lot of your plans for the year. We’d advise that you look at creating achievable and feasible goals for yourself at the start of the year and understand that It’s OK to experiment with the little steps that over time lead to perfection.
If your seasonal affective disorder symptoms persist, then consider speaking with a healthcare professional or therapist to help you with the emotions you have. Also, you can join the good people at Wellatribe, and become a member of the tribe, there are a lot of relaxing activities scheduled for the end of the year that’ll help lighten and better improve your mood positively. Click here to join.
If you find this post helpful, don’t forget to share.