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Managing 'New Year' Anxiety

January 02, 2022

Managing 'New Year' Anxiety

Everything fresh radiates a sense of novelty, accompanied by different expectations or intentions. The beginning of each year is accompanied by many demands and expectations (many that we place on ourselves). 

Worry ensues as we create plans, resolutions, and pledge to make the new year "the best ever," all the while knowing that we are unsure what the year will bring or how the year will actually unfold. The sensation of worrying is natural and unpleasant, making it challenging for many of us to find a way to find motivation going into the new year.

If this sounds like you, you are not alone, and thankfully, there are strategies to cope with this feeling. We'll walk through several techniques that can be used as a guide to overcoming new year anxiety so that you may begin the new year with a bit more ease, resulting in an overall feeling of mental well-being and overall success. So let's get started.

Strategies to Manage New Year Anxiety

The following strategies explore practical ways to feel less anxious and improve mental health at the turn of a new year:

Avoid Using Cliché Phrases in the New Year

There is an endless list of new year cliché phrases that many of us say at the end of every year. It sets a standard of expectations and aspirations for most people, which unfortunately aren't always met. 

It is reasonable that, as humans, we want to fast forward and become immediately successful without having to navigate through the slow and sometimes tedious route. We want those triumphs to arrive all at once. Maybe it works that way for certain people, but the fact is that it is easier for us to find our path to success gradually. Those pressing ambitions and aspirations will undoubtedly manifest, but be patient enough to create easily achievable goals.

Change your perception of what the New Year means.

Our approach is heavily influenced by the meaning we assign to the new year. If we adopt the mindset that the year is meant for perfection, we do ourselves a disservice and set ourselves up for disappointment and dissatisfaction before the year ever begins. We must acknowledge that there is no such thing as a flawless new year. Our mindset has a significant impact on our objectives. Although it may be difficult, we must adjust our perspectives regarding social norms on what 'new year' implies. We should not strive for a year of perfection but rather a year of development, introspection, and ongoing self-awareness.

We can easily measure our progress and achieve our goals without feeling overwhelmed by fear by adjusting our perspectives. So, when the new year, January 1st, arrives, approach it with mindfulness, the practice of living in the present, without feeling pressured to plan for the future. This prepares us for the unpredictability of the events that may occur throughout the year.

Set Feasible Goals

When we set goals, it's vital to set feasible ones. Many goals are challenging to achieve because they are too big or focus heavily on the result. However, having smaller goals gives clarity on how to actualize these goals. What's more, it reduces the anxiety that builds up from setting big goals. Setting smaller goals does not in any way diminish our potential. Contrary to that, it is a more strategic approach to goal actualization.

So, while it's essential to set feasible goals for the new year, we must determine to select ones that we can achieve over time. Setting and achieving small goals will give us a sense of accomplishment. While we're at it, we should pat ourselves on the back, acknowledge our successes, and appreciate all the effort we put in!

Identify the things you can control and those you can't

It is deceptive to believe that we can control every scenario, situation, and circumstance that occurs in our lives. Simply put, we cannot. Life happens, meaning things will happen that are beyond our control. To reduce our anxiety levels as we enter a new year, we must accept this reality now. It may be true that we are most obsessed with the things we cannot control, which affect productivity, builds up anxiety, and open the door for depression. The best life hack we can have going into the new year is identifying things we can control and something that we have no control over.

An internal locus of control is a psychological situation where we believe that we influence what happens. This simply explains that after identifying the things we cannot change in the new year, we will concentrate more on the things we can. And this action has a considerable anti-anxiety effect.

Consider Selective Commitment

Another strategy to reduce anxiety in the new year is to avoid over-committing. Simply put, stop saying yes so much! Many of us are victims of our efficiency. Hence, saying no can be challenging. As good as this can be, having too many things to handle could bring unwanted pressure and anxiety during the year, triggering depression.

Having a lot of commitments can be physically and emotionally draining. It is okay to take a break sometimes. We should take a moment to evaluate our responsibilities and determine our tolerance levels (the boundary line that says we should stop before causing ourselves unnecessary stress, anxiety, and depression). Selective commitment creates room for optimum efficiency and enhanced growth. So why not save ourselves the stress?

Avoid Procrastination

It's always good to start on a fresh note, and the new year offers so many prospects in that regard. Generally, procrastination can be described as pushing off a difficult chore by focusing on less essential, more straightforward tasks. 

Most of the time, when the attitude of procrastination is setting in, it will usually unfold with genuine excuses – why what is supposed to be done should not be done, hence, the greater temptation to procrastinate. Similarly, as the adage goes, procrastination is a robber of time. Therefore, we need to guide ourselves against it. The first step to conquering procrastination is to list the most important tasks to complete during the day. Next, we must identify the reason we procrastinate. This means, even if we are well-organized, specific tasks might still overwhelm us. Perhaps we have concerns about our abilities and are afraid of failing, so we put it off and find solace in doing something that seems easier to achieve.

Procrastination is a behavior pattern – a deeply rooted habit. This implies that we won't break this habit in a single day. Habits only quit being rituals when we discontinue doing them. Hence, we can utilize as many techniques below to increase our productivity. 

  • Make a firm commitment towards the work: Concentrate on doing rather than avoiding. Compile a list of all the tasks needed to execute and the time allotted. This will assist us in implementing new fierce strategies to complete our projects.
  • Be holistically productive: Rather than allowing things to pile up over time, take care of them as soon as they emerge.
  • Master project planning and scheduling: These tools can help us manage our time wisely and minimize our stress levels if we have large or numerous projects on the go and don't know where to start.
  • Take on the most challenging jobs while we're at our most productive: This has to do with the best time that suits our productivity. Hence, we must determine when we are most effective and do the most challenging activities for us at those times. 
  • Distract yourself as little as possible: Periodically, disconnect from your email and social media, and turn off the television while you're working. This will increase your productivity.

What to do when the steps mentioned above don't work?

We believe it is safe to say that our chances of success are higher as long as these steps are observed routinely with the utmost delicacy. With the strategies mentioned above, we can manage new year anxiety. However, therapy is also helpful if you still feel anxiety while stepping into the new year. To find the best therapist for you, go online and search for 'therapists near me,' and talk therapy might just be the help you need.

Once you find a therapist, you can explore these areas of therapy; behavioral therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. There's always a psychologist near you.

Final Thoughts

The best ways to manage anxiety are found in the steps mentioned above. Once the new year takes its entire course, don't forget them! Tuck them away in your mental health toolkit! With that, you'll be glad you did at the end of this year.


At Mon Amie's Mental Wellness Solution, our mission is to improve mental health literacy and reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions. We provide on-demand digital training and in-person wellness training during workshops, conferences, and keynote speaking.

We also create inspirational designs and wellness merchandise that is a positive daily reminder to people worldwide.

Mon Amie’s Mental Wellness Solutions does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. 


How to Manage New Year Anxiety

How To Deal With The Anxiety The New Year Brings You

How to Change Your Mindset to Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

Credits: TobyBliss, Copy-Editor: Amy Ogunyemi

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