How to Manage Your New-Year Expectations

How to Manage Your New-Year Expectations

A ‘Happy New Feels-The-Same Year’ isn’t too exciting a prospect. Here’s how to emotionally prepare yourself for the excitement lag.

Ah, New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, and it’s finally time to leave the wreckage of 2020 behind. Except for many people, it seems as if not much will change except the year on the calendar, making the new year feel about as much of a refresh as a frozen browser. There isn’t even another date you can count down to. If you’re wondering how to emotionally prepare for the groundhog-day months ahead — and maybe even find some joy in the coming season — here’s some advice.
Plan small treats.

If you’re the kind of person who delights in creating a spreadsheet on Jan. 1 to plot out the coming year, slow your roll. You can still plan small things to look forward to, said Bethany Teachman, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia. Because many of her family’s usual plans for the season have been upended — like everyone else’s — each person gets to choose an activity. For example: At the request of her older daughter, a fan of “The Great British Baking Show,” the family decided to “get a ton of baking ingredients and make something really complicated that will fall apart,” Dr. Teachman said. Plan “anything that is going to give you sparks of joy” as frequently as you can during the coming months, she said.

Luján Joven comienza el 2020 con renovadas propuestas gratuitas en talleres y capacitaciones – El Portal Federal con Espíritu Cuyano

How to Manage Your New-Year Expectations

Define what matters.

With months to go until restrictions ease, the pandemic may seem like a never-ending punishment. While staying home and avoiding travel is not even remotely like actual prison time, there is one thing you can learn from inmates who adapt best to long sentences: They define (or redefine) what matters, said Mitch Abrams, a psychologist who oversees mental health services for New Jersey state prisons.

Dr. Abrams often asks his patients a series of questions, like what and who is important to you? What would you want your legacy to be? And what are you willing to do to make your reality as best you can under these circumstances? And this one: “We are social beings. Circumstances sometimes make it more challenging to build, foster and nurture relationships. How can you nurture your relationship with yourself, so that you can then do the same for your relationships with others?”

Dr. Abrams said working in prisons for 21 years has taught him two things. The first is that human beings are incredibly resilient and adaptable; the second is that happiness comes from within. “The more you are able to appreciate what you have, the better off you’ll be,” he said. “I don’t necessarily mean material things. It could be your sanity, it could be your health.”

Stay in the moment.

Endurance sports psychology tells us that the body is capable of far more than the brain believes. (If someone had told you in March how long the pandemic would last, would you have thought you could handle it?) So focus on the moment, not the big picture.