There’s this annoying expectation that with the beginning of each New Year, you should don a brand new and optimistic attitude. That it’s a time of year where you should wholly embrace the opportunity to start afresh and on a blank slate.
You’re supposedly fresh from leave, ready to take on new challenges and face whatever the possibilities of the year may bring. You’re also supposedly rip, roaring and ready to go because the holidays did wonders for your soul and you now feel ready to conquer the world.
Lies. It’s all lies, I tell you.
While the first day back may certainly have you feeling like you can face a hoard of dinosaurs in the concrete jungle, by the end of the first week, chances are pretty good that you will be left wondering why: a) you didn’t take more leave or b) you’re an adult who has to work for a living.
What is it about January that has us falling for the same trap over and over again? Why are we so conditioned to believe that we have to be filled with a sense of purpose simply because a date ticked over.
And more importantly, who are these people that are walking with a spring in their step, blazing their way through a trail of fantastic new ideas, thoughts and processes at work, and just generally being the king and queen of bright and shiny things - because I really, really want to know what their secret is.
This time of year there’s usually a string of articles telling you how to live your best life, how to make the most of the new year and how to change and be a better, fitter, healthier, richer person all in all. And for some, slipping into the role of ‘new year, new me’ is a transition that is as effortless as donning a new outfit.
But what if you’re not feeling that way?
What if you, like me, are still trying to recover from the festive season madness that you just barely survived? And what if you’re too tired to feel a new sense of purpose? Too unbothered to make a change because frankly, you can't summon up the energy to review your life?
What if you were so battered by 2015 that you’re feeling more daunted by the prospect of the year ahead than what you’ve left behind?
There’s a ton of articles that are so eager to dish out advice on how to be better, but almost none on how to survive the first month of the year when you’re suffering from depression.
It’s like these hoards of articles refuse to acknowledge that there’s a percentage of people who can barely bring themselves to get up in the morning, even during a period of time which is punctuated with So. Much. Positivity. Vibes.
What advice do you have for someone who can barely make it through a day? Where are the pieces on how to get through the first month of the new year without giving up completely?
Because let’s face it, a new year doesn’t necessarily mean a shiny, new life. And being positive doesn’t always come easy, no matter how hard you try.
So, while I’m certainly not against all those “be a better you” articles that are currently doing the rounds (and while I’m really happy for those who are genuinely excited for the year ahead), can we please have some more honest, how-to-get-through-the-first-month-of-the-new-year type of articles as well?
After all, those trippy-happy-positivity-infused features inadvertently often serve to make people feel a lot worse about themselves, achieving the opposite effect of what it originally intended to do.