It’s the beginning of the first full week of a brand new year.
Back to school.
Back to work.
The circle of life has recycled itself.
How do you feel right now?
Excited? Motivated? You have probably already set your goals for this year because you are determined to do better, be better and live a better life.
Does any of this differ from how you felt this time last year? How did you end your 2015? Goals accomplished or not?
A calendar year symbolizes change, newness and a fresh start. It is perfectly normal for us to be excited about the opportunity to delve further into life’s ocean. The catch is to be able to enjoy it in a healthy way. This is where many have experienced falling a bit short. We get so caught up in trying to strategically do life that we don’t enjoy it because we are so overwhelmed.
Anxiety: Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday things.
Reflect on last year for a brief moment and consider your goals. What really kept you from accomplishing them? What really kept you from enjoying every day life? Sure, you might have had unavoidable crises to occur, but did you allow the crisis to dictate your expected outcome for each day that followed? Did you find yourself thinking about the same thing over and over again? How many sleepless nights were spent antagonizing over events that had yet to occur?
You may have experienced anxiety. If you have experienced it in the past, this is an alarm for the future.
There are ways to prevent or manage anxiety.
It starts with today, at the beginning of a new year and a new week. You might have already gotten back into the flow of office work or attending classes and the reality of the demands are starting to surface. You might even be starting something new; career, college, diet, etc. How you think and deal with it today will affect how much you worry about it tomorrow. If you continue to train your mind to constantly worry about things, it will do just that and you will become so overwhelmed that you can not concentrate or function.
So what do you do?
First, remember that:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
It’s not that you are not concerned or don’t plan for your future. Planning is a part of executing goals. For example, if you have a busy course load this semester, you might prepare by purchasing your materials, outlining a weekly schedule and do less partying. If you choose to think you are going to fail because you don’t see how you will be able to handle your course load, then you have already set yourself up for failure. You have already chosen your expected end by unrealistic worrying.
When you start to feel an anxiety alarm, here are a few tips offered by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
Tip 1- TAKE A TIME OUT
Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
Tip 2- GET ENOUGH SLEEP
When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
Tip 3- EXERCISE DAILY
To help you feel good and maintain your health.
Tip 4- COUNT TO 10 SLOWLY
Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
Tip 5- DO YOUR BEST
Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
Tip 6- ACCEPT THAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING
Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
Tip 7- WELCOME HUMOR
A good laugh goes a long way.
Tip 8- MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Tip 9- LEARN WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR ANXIETY
Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
Tip 10- TALK TO SOMEONE
Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
For full list of tips, click here.
Remember, to break barriers to your success this year by taking it one day, one step at a time!