New Year Blues

New Year Blues

For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent the morning of each December 31st writing down a list of new year’s resolutions. I would journal using a calligraphy font, with a bunch of positive affirmations as the icing on the cake – “You got this!”

For as long as I can remember, the first week of January was spent waking up early to go for a jog, drinking green tea instead of coffee, keeping myself hydrated, deleting the UberEats app, cooking healthy meals and being mindful about the social media content that I consume.

2021 was a bit different.

2020 had been traumatic, so I tried not to have any big expectations. Being away from family during the holidays was depressing. My family/friends and I pretended on Whatsapp and FaceTime that we are having a good time and that we weren’t secretly crying buckets; longing to give each other a bone crushing bear hug.

The Christmas cheer was gone from the streets. I reluctantly tagged along with my housemates to a New Year’s Eve celebration. We were lucky enough to see the fireworks from our terrace this year. At 12:00am, we took videos of the fireworks, posted it on our Instagram story and retired for the night. (We also took selfies in our backyard because, hey, we only had a handful of opportunities to get glammed up in 2020!)

The morning after was nothing special. I felt the blue waves crashing through me. I had no serotonin left to transform my life, run a marathon, do a headstand, give out positive vibes and change the world. I scrolled Instagram. Replied to messages on Facebook messenger and Whatsapp. Replied “hahahaha” on some memes that my friends tagged me in and rolled me eyes at some motivational social media posts. I thought to myself, “Well, I guess it’s a new year and same old me.”

New year resolutions and goals look different for everyone.

For 2021, I decided that I will stop putting unrealistic expectations on myself. I will focus on my mental well-being one day at a time.

1. I will cross each bridge in my future when I get there.
2. I will be mindful about situations that trigger my complexPTSD symptoms and practice care towards myself.
3. I will allow myself to sit with my feelings instead of running away from them.
4. I will learn how to run by walking first.
5. I will choose my battles and will only entertain the monkeys in my own circus.

I don’t know what 2021 holds for me, but I know that on my darkest days before going to bed, I will tell myself “This too shall pass. I am proud of you.”

This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.

To book your first call visit: https://my.efriend.org.au/preregistration/

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