New Year, New Start: Are You Ready for a More Positive 2014?
Most people say “New year, new start” but what if you’re not feeling so positive at this time of year? While friends are taking care of their wellbeing with new diets or quitting smoking, you can’t seem to shake the feeling that 2014 is no different from 2013, and you’re stuck in a rut. Depressive thoughts such as these aren’t only damaging to your wellbeing, they can also affect your corporate wellness, making you less productive at work and less satisfied in your job. If you think you may be depressed, as yourself the following questions:
- Have you been withdrawing from friends and family?
- Have you missed or been late to work a lot in the past few months?
- Has there been any conflict or tension with your colleagues, friends or family?
- Has your boss or colleague complained about your work performance?
- Have you put in excessive work hours?
- Have you been pacing or engaging in other repetitive behaviours?
- Are you more emotionally distressed than usual?
- Has your usual behaviour changed significantly?
- Have you used more drugs or alcohol than normal?
- Have you been making negative comments about positive things in your friends’ lives?
If that sounds familiar, you might need to talk to your GP about depression. Even if it isn’t medical depression, and you’re just feeling a bit low, it’s good to know where you stand, and just talking to a doctor doesn’t hurt. Once you’ve got your doctor’s advice, why not try some of these tips for getting yourself out of that funk?
Here are some tips on how to get through the holiday period with your wellbeing in tact:
1. Manage your expectations: You often get upset when your expectations are let down, so be very careful about what expectations you are communicating with your family and colleagues. If you’ve set yourself unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, for example, you may be unintentionally setting yourself/or others up for disappointment. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, especially to your kids as they have minds like elephants. This doesn’t mean not aspiring to anything; just be honest with yourself.
2. Don’t over-commit: When you set yourself resolutions for the new year, you can end up trying to fit in too many activities and end up overloading your mental shopping trolley. If your schedule is already pretty full, don’t try to cram things into every nook and cranny. After all, you need some downtime, otherwise your trolley will spill over and everything will break!
3. Keep things simple: Take a look at your weekly to-do list – do you need to do every one of those things yourself? Find the activities/tasks that you need help with or can delegate to someone else to do, be it a work task, cleaning, the gardening or preparing a meal. Would you rather spend your time doing things that others could do, or would you rather spend it on yourself or with your family? It’s sometimes cheaper and easier to do things yourself, but at what cost to your health?
4. Celebrate your successes: While it’s important to manage your expectations, when something good does happen in your life, celebrate it! Make time to reflect on and savour the past year, paying attention to all the positive things that have happened. Have you learnt any new skills, made any new relationships or achieved anything you’re proud of? Even if it was just one thing, celebrate that thing and find ways to make similar achievements this year.