Is the pressure of a new year and a fresh start getting to you? Mental health is challenging all-year round, but some suffer even more in the winter and the New Year.
Here are some tips to help stay on top of your anxiety and/or depression:
Analyse Negative Thoughts
Anxiety can hit us randomly and can affect our day-to-day plans. Negative thoughts often come with anxiety, and they aren’t easy to get rid of.
This tool breaks down our negative thoughts and helps us to cope with them more efficiently.
On a piece of paper write down the negative thought that you are having. Next, think about evidence to support and contradict this thought – is it likely to come true?
Try thinking about how a friend would look at this thought and what they would do and try looking at this thought in a positive way.
Lastly, think about if this thought were to come true, would it matter in a year or five years from now? Using this tool shows how your thought would play out in a more logical way if it were to happen and this can help to subdue some anxiety surrounding it.
To-do lists are great for when you feel too overwhelmed by daily tasks. Break down what you hope to accomplish that day into a list that feels manageable enough to complete.
It doesn’t have to include massive tasks, only add things that you feel you are able to do which can be as simple as making breakfast or going on a walk.
Make Time for What You Enjoy
This is especially relevant to this time of year when everyone is planning big goals and working hard on resolutions.
Try not to get caught up in work or school too much, and remember to keep some time to yourself for a hobby or some relaxation.
Making the time for such activities can help you remember how fun life can be and you can discover more about yourself while you do so.
Use Positive Coping Strategies
When we feel anxious or depressed, we tend to do things to cope with these feelings, however, sometimes what we do can make us feel worse. Substitute unhealthy coping strategies for healthy ones. This is easier said than done, so start off small and discover what helps you best.
Examples of unhealthy coping strategies include drinking alcohol, not getting enough sleep, or isolating yourself.
Swap these out for getting enough rest at night, talking to your friends or family, or exercising.
While these may be difficult to stick to at first, it is important to keep on doing them and you will feel better in the long run for it.
Disclaimer: this article is not a substitute for those who need to talk to someone or need medication for their mental health. If you are struggling, please get in contact with a medical professional such as your GP.
Featured Image Credit: Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.
First year student journalist studying Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Journalism Studies.
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