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The Only ‘Resolution’ You Should Make for Your Mental Health This New Year’s

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It’s a day like every other, no different from the one before or the one thereafter. And yet, as it looms, I am filled with dread. This one day, the day to mark the end of yet another year, has been christened with such power by society that it weighs down upon me. I try to ignore it and pretend it doesn’t matter, but I cannot ignore the synchronization of the clock’s hand with the beating of my heart. One second more, one heartbeat less.

The past year has been wonderful, I tell myself. I try to focus on all the positives with all my might. But what about all those failures? What about all those promises you made that you never kept? What about all those friends you’ve lost and failed to gain?

I want to strip this day of its power over me. I am not setting “resolutions” because this day is no different to any other. I can start going to the gym whenever I find the time; I will always be working to improve my music skills; I will always be working toward my goal of being a published author.

But perhaps the one thing I do need to do is learn to forgive myself. I think I’ve always had a problem of asking too much of myself. I’m not saying that my year was a complete failure — it was far from being so — but still, I am filled with the sense I could’ve done so much more had I tried a little harder. But I forget I am only one person and as New Year’s reminds me every year, time is ever so precious.

I did what I could, no more nor less than anyone else could’ve done. My setbacks and delays are not failures; they are only failures when I give up on my goals. The deadline of New Year’s Eve does not define the success of them.

So, I’m not setting any defined resolutions this year, even though I feel like I should. There are plenty of things I wish to change in my life, sure, but those are in my life, not just this year.

I don’t know if these thoughts will help anyone. But in case there’s anyone else out there who feels the existential dread of New Year’s, I want to encourage you to change your perspective and realize it’s just another day, it only means what you want it to mean. Its power is only what you give it.

That being said, I hope you’ve had a good year. I wish you all the best for the coming year and the years after it!

Photo by Drew Colins on Unsplash

Originally published: January 1, 2020
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