How to ring in the new year with less anxiety
The time leading up to New Year’s Eve can be daunting. Whether you’re stressing about what to wear to that New Year’s party or anxious about what the next twelve months has in store, it’s not unusual to feel a little...off. It’s no surprise that there tends to be a lot of anxiety around the night itself. Most people have high expectations about what New Year’s Eve is supposed to look like, whether it’s a huge bash or a romantic dinner with a significant other or some other idealistic fantasy.
The reality is that our own expectations are often unreasonable, which can make the evening less fun than it could be otherwise. It’s not a great way to jump start a brand new year. So first things first: if you’re stressed about your plans for New Year’s Eve, take a deep breath and know that you’ll have a wonderful time. Now, for anxiety that might extend a little further into the new year, consider some of the following tips to keep bad feelings at bay.
As funny as it sounds, breathing is often an overlooked treatment for anxiety. Practicing “belly-breathing” is the best way to try this. Start by closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing through your nostrils. With one hand placed on your belly and the other on your chest, take a deep breath in while counting to four. Once you inhale, hold that breath for a count of three, then exhale while counting to four. It’s referred to as belly breathing because the hand on your belly should blow up like a balloon when you breathe in and deflate as you exhale. Try to concentrate on your breathing and let go of other thoughts.
The belly breathing exercise above could be considered a type of meditation, though there are plenty to choose from. Starting your day with ten minutes of meditation can be extremely helpful in setting a calming tone for the day. Spend some time each morning in silence and solitude, either focusing on your breathing or repeating a positive mantra. Setting aside the time to do this can help you act and react in a more calm and measured way throughout the day.
Revamp your budget
A lot of stress and anxiety stems from financial causes. Having a large amount of debt can trigger anxiety, depression, and even insomnia. Rather than sinking into these negative states, it can be helpful to take charge of finances and revamp your budget. Not only can this restore feelings of control, but it can help you create a game plan to lower debt, save more money, and achieve financial security. Start by tracking your daily expenses for one to two weeks. Look for areas where you can cut back. For example:
Opt to cook more rather than dining out frequently
Save money on gas by biking to work or other nearby places rather than driving
Switch insurance or cable providers to a cheaper option
Reduce or eliminate other unnecessary purchases made throughout the week
Making just a few small changes can be a step in the right direction and an effort that can significantly reduce anxiety around financial matters.
Clutter can be a significant cause of stress and anxiety. Not only does it cause excessive stimuli that overwork our senses, but it can be a distraction that steals energy away from the important stuff. If you find it increasingly difficult to relax (either physically or mentally) in your space, it could be caused by clutter around your home.
Tackle small projects (with some help, if you can find a friend who’s willing) to start organizing your home and working towards peace of mind. It can be good to choose one small location (a junk drawer, cabinet or closet) and focus on organizing that space alone. Create four piles for 1) things to keep, 2) things to donate, 3) things to sell, and 4) things to throw away. Getting your home in order can reduce unnecessary stressors and distractions, reducing anxiety and making your home feel calming.
See your doctor
Not feeling up to par or feeling more stressed out than usual? It could be worth looking into with your primary care physician. Sometimes stress and anxiety can be linked to more serious health disorders like heart disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or respiratory disorders.
Even on their own, anxiety disorders can be uncomfortable and symptom-causing. Anxiety often causes heart palpitations, rapid heart rate, headaches, and chest pain. Anxiety can also put you at increased risk for high blood pressure or a coronary event.
Decent makes it easy to see your doctor through both our Pathfinder and Trailblazer plans. Both include free primary care, meaning you can see your primary care doctor whenever you’d like and as often as you’d like...for free. So the next time you’re feeling anxious and in need of a de-stressing game plan, you can reach out and get the care you deserve. Get a stress-free quote today and see if one of our plans is a fit for you!