New Year’s Blues
By: Beth McHugh 2010
For most people, New Year is a happy time. A time of new beginnings and a fresh start. An opportunity to change ourselves, to lose weight, to take that evening course, to change jobs, houses, even partners. The “newness” of the New Year gives people a sense of buoyancy and a child-like hope that things will be better once that calendar rolls over.
Of course, the New Year is merely a man-made event and means nothing in the real sense, but it is so entrenched in our thinking that this makes little difference. It is time for a new start.
But for some people, the New Year is a time of unhappiness, even depression. The realization that another year has passed. That time is marching on and achievements and hopes are not being met. A feeling that time is running out and life is leaving them behind. And usually, an accompanying sense that everyone else is moving ahead and having a great life and you are not.
So, the thought of the New Year coming can bring a sense of dread to some. There can be either a desperate bid to find some entertainment to do on New Year’s Eve just so we can convince ourselves and others that , yes, the New Year is a great time.
Others head for under the covers where they never have to listen to the sounds of Auld Lang Syne, deemed the world’s saddest song after Danny Boy.
It is a myth that the New Year is a happy time. The secret is not to put too much of an expectation on this day. After all, it is only one day out of 365. Your year and your life can start on any day of the year. It is up to you to decide on a new you. The traditional behavior of making New Year’s resolutions is not really a smart move – after all, is there a worse time in the year to start a diet, an exercise program or make any major overhauls. Everyone is too busy, too tired, too cash-strapped, and so on so the process of resolution-making often becomes a recipe for disaster.
New Year need not be a cause for unhappiness. It is not a magical day. Nor should you expect it to be and put undue pressure on yourself. If you must decide to change, change at your own pace. And if loneliness is the big issue on the big day, consider that loneliness is a problem for you every day and is something that can be addressed on any day of the year.
The new you starts when you want it to.