3 New Year’s Resolutions For Those Living With Anxiety And Depression

3 New Year’s Resolutions For Those Living With Anxiety And Depression

New Years has always stressed me out.

I love the build up, the countdown, the champagne as the ball drops, but the next day I’m suddenly flooded with the ever-present pressure to make and keep New Years resolutions.

As a chronically anxious and depressed person, committing to go the gym every day or to try a new recipe every week is a terrifying and impossible task. Sometimes I struggle to get out of bed and put socks on, how am I supposed to also get to the gym before work every morning?

I’ve set many start of year goals over the years and every year I fail after a month or two. So this year I’m catering my resolutions to fit my mental health. I’m keeping my list short and I’m focusing on removing bad habits instead adding new ones. Here we go.

Listen to my brain.

I’m going to be completely candid, 2016 was a really hard year for me for a myriad of reasons. One of these reasons being that I fell head over heels in love and then got my heart broken completely unexpectedly. I subsequently obsessed over never letting that happen again and finding a perfect partner. Dating apps turned from a fun a thing to do when I was bored and became my biggest source of validation. I was going on two (mostly boring) first dates a week. I was going for quantity over quality and completely unsurprisingly ended up feeling drained and lonely. So, I’m listening to my brain (and my heart) and I’m deleting my dating apps and taking a hot second to be with just myself. I’m reminding myself I don’t need a partner to be a person and obsessing over my Tinder bio isn’t going to make me feel better. It is okay to be alone.

Listen to my body.

This year I let alcohol become a deeply entrenched part of my social life. Every time I saw a friend, it was to get drinks. When I went to networking events, I always got a glass of wine. I started drinking every day after work as a way to decompress. It wasn’t an unhealthy amount of drinking, only a glass or two of wine a night, but by mid-December I realized I hadn’t woken up without a headache in months. So I’m listening to my body and I’m cutting down on alcohol, a lot. I’m starting with a sober January (which is already proving to be embarrassingly difficult) and then transitioning into more intentional, infrequent drinking from there. This resolution is taking something destructive out of my life and doesn’t require me to do anything new, just break a bad habit. This feels infinitely easier for days when I’m depressed and far less stressful for days when I’m anxious.

Say no more often.

I have a serious problem with saying yes to way too many things. I want to do everything and help everyone and then suddenly I have a full time job and eight freelance projects and a friend sleeping on my couch and plans every night of the week and oh my god I am way too depressed to see humans, I just want to watch Netflix and eat ice cream in my pajamas. So in 2017, I will be more intentional with my yeses and more open to saying no. I will also force myself to have the alone time I know I need to recharge. With anxiety, it is crucial to give yourself time to slow down and be alone. This is the resolution I’m most scared of, but I am also so excited for me time.

And that’s it. That’s all I’m promising for 2017. Not because I don’t think I can accomplish a lot this year, I know I will, but I don’t want to plan my whole year in the first few days of January. I’m terrified for the political situation, but I’m excited for so many other things. 2016 kicked my ass and so I’m listening to my body and my brain and I’m taking care of me this year. Happy New Years everybody, may it be filled with self-care and the end of FOMO.

Cover image courtesy of Getty Images.