5 Steps To Overcome The New Year Blues

There is a period of time around Jan. 1 when people greet by saying, “Happy New Year”.  Depending on your surroundings, you’ll hear it 226 times a day – or more.

Dumb, huh?  Why do we do that?

Tradition?  Or since it’s after the Christmas frenzy, maybe it’s meant to be a post-hypnotic suggestion to be happy, even with the mental-crap that settles at this time of the year.

I don’t know about you, but the last few days of December and the first part of January are not the happiest time of the year for me.

There are a whack of end-of-the-year billings, payments, adjustments, inventories, and evaluations.  There is a review of the past year, and planning for the next.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a year where it turned out as I had planned.  And peering into next year seems overwhelming, even daunting.  There are stresses over Christmas spending, credit card balances, and upcoming bills.  There was over-eating, over-drinking, and a lack of exercise.  And there is… (you can add your own).

I’m usually a pretty happy dude, but with this going on, I have been known to pout a bit.  And it puts stress on my relationship with the most important other person in my life, Carol.

Happy New Year?  I dunno ‘bout that!!

Am I whining and feeling sorry for myself?  You’re darn right I am.  And I’m going to continue doing it for 18 seconds more … there – I’m back.

In the past, my tendency was to be miserable for weeks, or maybe months.  But it served no useful purpose at all – for me, Carol, or anyone nearby.

What happens for you at this time of the year?

This article is not meant to bog you down, but to remind you to use these episodes as great opportunities for learning.  It’s just a reminder.  I know you have all the resources you need to overcome the New Years Blues.  It’s just that…sometimes we forget to apply what we know.

Disclaimer: If you want to be angry, pout, or feel victimized, set this aside now and leave it in your inbox until you’re ready to move forward.

If you want to head into the New Year with renewed gusto, here’s your challenge, if you choose to accept it.  Just 5 things to do now: Notice, Talk, Accept, Let Go, and Notice.

NoticeHonestly take an inventory of your feelings.

If you feel ecstatic, joyous, and pumped, I commend you.  Keep on doing what you’re doing and share your energy with everyone around you.

If you feel anything from a bit uneasy, to darn-right-ticked-off, mad, or scared, read on.

Noticing your feelings is an incredibly powerful.  Every experience ends in feelings, so this awareness can help you to manoeuvre, and even eliminate, challenges that arise.

Since you can choose a feeling, decide how you want to feel.  It’s not likely that you can go from mad to joyous in one swoop, so choose a feeling that offers slightly more relief than what you are feeling now.

Talk: Ask someone you know, like, and trust to listen to you.  Ask them to listen to understand, without questions, solutions, or arguments.

Your life-partner is a perfect person to ask.  This sharing of your thoughts and feelings can greatly enhance the relationship.  And the simple act of conversation may be a great improvement if you have been stuck inside yourself.  It is a great indication of trust in the relationship.

Talk about what’s going on for you.  The act of getting it out of your head and heart can be a great relief and usually you will find solutions or possibilities just through hearing your own voice.  Or you may realize that what’s bugging you is not a big deal.

AcceptAccept where you are and surrender to your situation.

Your situation is what it is because of choices you made.  Honestly evaluate your choices.  What are the lessons for you?  What patterns show up about the choices and the motivation for making those choices?  How can you use these lessons in the future?

Let GoLet go of what happened in the past.  You can’t change it now.

Forgive yourself and forgive others so your interactions can be fresh, respectful, and compassionate.  Healthy relationships are the key to success so apologise powerfully for conflicts and grievances, even it you thought you were “right”.  After all, do you want to be right – or happy and effective?

Letting go allows you to look forward with a fresh perspective.  Adopt a solution-focused, possibility-oriented attitude, and be willing to flow with changes.  Like it or not, change is going to occur, and in fact, it’s inevitable.

NoticeNow take an honest inventory of your feelings again. What do you notice?  What’s going on for you?  When you are ready, choose a better feeling and continue this process.

Will these 5 Happy New Year steps work for you?  Only you will know.  If you need support, hire a good coach.  I can recommend a really good one – I happen to be married to her.

Were these 5 steps easy and convenient for me?  Absolutely…not.  However it was transformational.  What has it done for my relationship with Carol?  It has allowed us to gain understanding, build trust, and expand our conversations about our bright future together.

Happy New Year?  It is for me!!  What about you?