You might be struggling with New Year anxiety if you don’t feel as motivated as you “should be” as you turn the calendar into 2023. Typical symptoms include:

  • Laziness and lack of motivation
  • Severe fatigue and losing track of time
  • Feeling overwhelmed and lost
  • A drastic change in appetite and sleeping schedule
  • Short temper and lingering frustration

While you may be tempted to brush all these bad feelings off and think you just need to snap out of it, the reality is far more complicated.

Is New Year Anxiety Real?

New Year anxiety is a newer term to the mental health conversation. It is refers to the unexpected “down period” after we head into a new year, controversial to the excitement, motivation, and energy one would expect as we leave the old year behind.

Technically, New Year anxiety is another seasonal disorder. Do you feel low and moody when it rains? Perhaps the winter days take all your energy away? New Year anxiety is just like that. It hits the hardest over the first two weeks of January but could extend way into March, especially if you already struggle with other SADs (Seasonal-Affective-Disorder).

What Causes Anxiety at the Beginning of the Year

There are a few reasons that can cause anxiety and depression over the first few months of the year:

Post-holiday-season Fatigue

All that partying, family gathering, gift shopping… Let’s admit it: as fun as holiday seasons are, they can be exhausting. Think of the days back in school. Don’t you feel drained once finals are over? Similarly, post-holiday-season fatigue is the No.1 reason why you don’t feel as refreshed as you’d like to be during the first few days or even weeks of the new year.

You Overplanned

New Year resolutions are great, but Rome isn’t built overnight. However, being over-ambitious could lead to New Year anxiety or simply a burnout state. You feel like you have to be the new person, but you’ll only end up overwhelming yourself!

Shadows from the Past 

Turning the calendar doesn’t always mean turning the page. You may happen to be in sticky situations that require more time and effort to resolve. In that case, you might feel frustrated that you’re carrying old problems into the new year.

Learn to Plan Your Days

Switching from the holiday schedule to a normal one can be challenging at the beginning of the year. That’s when a daily planner comes in handy.

Instead of looking at the week or month ahead, start with planning your day-to-day activities. Having this routine allows you to anticipate what comes up and significantly reduces the anxiety from not knowing. Planning your days also helps you reduce anxiety from work if you’re back at your 9-to-5 right after we hit 2023.

Stay Grounded and Present

There is no better way to reduce anxiety and stress than staying grounded and present. Mindfulness practices are a great way to achieve that mental state. Grounding practices can reduce anxiety quickly. So, if you don’t have time to sit for a 30-minute meditation because you have to work or handle other things, having a few grounding techniques could save your day.

Take Care of Your Body

Most people overate and overdrank during the holiday season, and there’s no reason to be ashamed. We should party hard when we can, but we should also get back on a healthy routine once it’s over.

It’s critical to take care of your body, especially during the first few months of the new year. So, it’s time to turn on that heated shiatsu foot massager, draw yourself a big bubble bath, and readjust your diet for a healthier routine.

Reconnect With Your Support Group

If possible, do a forecast meeting with those closest in your support group to help you evaluate your 2023 goals, challenges, and strategies. This may sound a bit over the top, but reconnecting with your support group will bring you access to what you need to pivot this year.

Take Some Time Off

We can relate to the desire to plunge into new adventures as the year begins. But sometimes, your mind and body may need to take some time off so they can refocus on what truly matters. Give yourself a wellness retreat and practice self care. if you journal, now is a good time to flip through some old pages and give yourself some late kudos.

Head Into 2023 Stress-Free

Anxiety is not a monster and there are ways to make yourself feel better as the new year unfolds. Take a deep breath, stay grounded, and steadfast forward. It’s always one step at a time, you know?

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