Ringing in the New Year means ringing in some new resolutions too. While you might instantly cast your mind to common resolutions such as getting fit or spending less money (guilty as charged), there's one crucial pledge you need to make in order to ensure a better, healthier year: shed off some stress.
Most of us would agree that 2017 was already stress-packed enough, but that doesn't mean we should just throw in the towel, chug a glass of wine, and call it a day (or, year). As the year draws to an end, this is the perfect time to turn things around on a personal level so you can bring in the 2018 year with a fresh outlook. Partake in self-care and re-organise your life now, here are four things you can do to minimise the stress attack next year.
1. Reflect on your accomplishments from the past year
Feeling like you didn't accomplish everything you wanted to the previous year can fill you up with negativity and cause you to feel immense pressure everytime the new year comes around - that's no way to kick off a brand new chapter in your life. Instead, turn your thoughts to all the little accomplishments you've achieved and how much growth you've experienced this year.
However minute, your achievements are never inconsequential; moving forward is always a feat worth celebrating. After all, there will always be years where you'll struggle and and learn from your mistakes more often than accomplishing a dream - that's just how life works. Though you may feel stagnant, you're actually slowly morphing into the person you are meant to become. So cut yourself some slack - it's been an eventful year.
2. Create a list of short-term goals
Take some time out of your day to think about what exactly you want out of the upcoming year and break it up into smaller milestones that are more realistic and easier to achieve.The key is to work backwards and come up with shorter-term goals which can be easily accomplished in less than a month so that you don't feel overwhelmed (or give up on your resolution completely due to less visible results).
For instance, if you seek to get a lot fitter next year, you can start by breaking down the steps required to reach that goal first. Consider how far you'd like to be able to run without feeling overly exhausted in a month, how long you'd wish to hold a crunch position for in about a fortnight's time, if you need to intensify your workout regimen further.
Once you figure out the steps, you'll be able to easily knock them off your list one by one, until you get closer to your larger scheme of goals.
3. Clean out your home
Less mess equals less stress, and there's nothing that'll make you feel better than starting the New Year with a home that's spick-and-span. Plus, having structure and feeling organised at the beginning of the year will grant you a peace of mind, keeping all your uncertainties and feelings of unrest at bay.
With that said, we'd advise against trying to organise your entire home in one day - you can easily get discouraged or even frustrated when looking at the full scale of the workload at once. Break the organisation project into phases instead by setting aside 1-2 hours each day over the course of the week and focus on one space at a time.
Decide on what you truly need and then donate, sell or throw-away the rest - decluttering is key to maintain a cleaner home. When deciding where you want to store things, make sure to make a mental note about where these items are stored; this guarantees you better control over your own home. Also, you'll have lesser freak-out sessions while searching for something in panic once you're well-organised. We'll do away with those mini panic attacks, thank you very much.
4. Clear your inbox and text messages
While we're on the topic of purging, it's also a good idea to do a digital cleanse. Scroll through your emails and delete those you no longer need, unsubscribe from newsletters you're no longer interested in, and re-organise your inbox so you know where everything is. Same goes for your phone, delete idle text message chains and organise your apps in a systematic order.
While you're at it, it's also a good time to look back on your old photos. It may bring out some fond memories while you purge unwanted spam pictures to clear the memory space on your phone. P.S. bust out a glass of wine for this process. It makes things a lot easier, just sayin'.
This article was first published in Her World Online