Embrace the New Year with contentment and minimal stress

PhDr. Lucie Skalíková, Head of Psychology at Canadian Medical, provides guidance on maintaining a balanced approach to year-end festivities.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.12.2023 13:00:00 (updated on 26.01.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

This text was supplied by Canadian Medical. Read more about our sponsored content policies here.

As the year draws to a close, it is only natural for us to reflect on the past 12 months and contemplate what lies ahead in the coming year. The arrival of the new year often inspires resolutions, guiding us in formulating goals and plans for the future. Many of us aspire to enhance our lifestyles, acquire new skills, or prioritize our relationships with family and friends.

However, this time of year is also marked by stress, intensified by the hectic pre-Christmas period, where we juggle gift shopping, holiday meal preparations, and planning gatherings with loved ones. PhDr. Lucie Skalíková, Head of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Logopaedics at Canadian Medical, guides us on maintaining a balanced approach to ensure enjoyment during the year-end festivities while preserving peace and contentment.

People often perceive the end of the year and the start of the new year as a highly stressful period. Could you offer some tips on navigating this time with peace of mind?

You are correct in noting that for some, the end of the year can be stressful. This stress may stem from increased work demands, the need to complete tasks and meet deadlines, or heightened social expectations within family, friends, and professional circles. To manage this hectic period, it is essential to create a plan encompassing year-end and new-year tasks. Break down tasks into smaller goals, identify immediate priorities for the coming days, and outline long-term objectives.

Perfection is not necessary; embracing your imperfections can be liberating. Involve your family; the responsibility for navigating the Christmas holidays does not rest solely on your shoulders.

Remember that your loved ones value being together more than having the most extravagant decorations. Communicate your expectations to others instead of assuming they can read your mind. Take time to reflect on and appreciate your successes throughout the year and acknowledge the progress you've made. Successes do not happen automatically; your efforts make them a reality. Don't forget to relax and focus on activities and people you love, perhaps neglected during the year.

Especially leading up to Christmas, individuals may feel pressured by media and social networks to accomplish everything perfectly. Have you noticed an increase in clients seeking assistance during this period?

We consistently experience a strong demand for the services of psychologists and psychiatrists. The end of the year is indeed a stress-intensive period, not only in terms of performance but also in relationships. While increased demand often becomes apparent in January, when the holiday rush subsides, some clients feel the pressure to create the perfect atmosphere for Christmas. The Christmas season frequently becomes a topic in therapy, as both old memories and current expectations surface.

How should we approach New Year's resolutions? Is it advisable to make them, and do you recommend creating a list to check off items?

New Year's resolutions prompt us to reflect on areas where we are dissatisfied and wish to make changes. They motivate us to actively pursue change and inspire resilience. However, setting overly ambitious and vague goals increases the risk of not achieving them. Be specific and phrase goals positively, breaking them into manageable tasks. Think of them as ascending camps, leading to the summit. Tracking completed tasks and successes shows progress, preventing discouragement when things seem stagnant. Consider finding a partner to join your efforts, providing mutual support and encouragement. Recognize that goals can evolve; life is dynamic. New Year's resolutions are a personal choice, not an obligation.

The term "well-being" is becoming increasingly prevalent. Can you clarify what it entails?

Wellbeing refers to a state of contentment, psychological equilibrium, and overall satisfaction with life. It encompasses the physical, psychological, and social aspects of our lives. Achieving well-being involves being in good physical condition, maintaining healthy eating and sleeping habits, psychological resilience, and fostering positive relationships with oneself and others. I live in an environment I consider healthy, engage in meaningful activities, and have sufficient resources for living.

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