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  • kat17021

The New Year and Winter Blues

Updated: Feb 6

Welcome to 2024! I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year and managed to spend it in whatever way felt right for you.


A new year can feel like a blank slate, a new beginning, a fresh start that brings opportunities and potential for change and personal growth. This of course can feel exciting but it can also feel overwhelming and a little bit daunting.


It is no secret that many people struggle with their mental health during the winter months. You might be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder but there is also something about the cold, dark nights and the often terrible weather that can make you feel a bit miserable.

January in particular can be a difficult month, with returning to work, bills fluttering in left, right and center and the house feeling very bare after you've packed up all your Christmas decorations.


Often around this time of year, there is also a lot of talk about New Year's resolutions and change and of becoming the best version of yourself. This usually involves eating better and hitting the gym, organising your life, angling for that longed for promotion and setting yourself all sorts of goals throughout the year.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of that, however it can feel a lot like pressure and that in turn might make you feel more anxious and overwhelmed.


More often than not when we set ourselves a lot of goals, we don't always think about how achievable they are. Similarly with making changes - can we actually sustain the changes we want to make long term?

For example, your New Year's resolution might be hitting the gym three times per week but if you also work full time, have a family or other caring responsibilities and are usually completely shattered when you get home, how likely are you really to stick to that change?

At this point I could tell you about how to set achievable, manageable goals but my guess is you already have an awareness and some idea about this.

Instead I want to talk to you about coming at the new year from a more gentle, calming and self compassionate place.


What if you took a step back and some time to reflect on what is going on for you.

Where are you at right now?

What's going on in your life?

How are you feeling?


We've just been through what is for most people an intensely busy period, Christmas, so rather than throwing yourself into the busyness of New Year's resolutions and goals and changes, it might be nice to take a breath and to reflect on what your needs, hopes and wishes are for this new year. You don't have to change everything all at once.


What might you need more of this year?

For example it might be that you feel the need to connect more with your friends and family or you might feel that you need a bit more time for yourself this year.

How might you be able to meet those needs?

For example you might want to make sure that you meet your friends for coffee at least once a month.

You might wish to reflect on what you're hoping for this year and this does not just have to include things you wish to achieve or accomplish, it could be a sense or a feeling.

For example you might hope for feeling less anxious or lonely. Or you might have identified a need to work on improving your self esteem or sense of self worth.


Perhaps it might also be worth for you to consider your own expectations of yourself and others. Expectations can be another source of pressure and stress because similarly to goals and changes we set or want to make, they are not always realistic or achievable.

For example, you might have a vision of how you should ideally be or you might have high standards or expectations of yourself that you might not be able to meet.

I want to remind you that you are already enough, the way you are. You are a worthy human being and you don't have to do anything extra or achieve numerous things to be worthwhile.


Don't be too hard on yourself. It is absolutely okay to go at your own pace. For the sake of your own self care, I would go as far as saying, going at your own pace is essential.

Speaking of self care, if you are finding that you are struggling with your mental health, one thing that might be helpful is to take your self care back to basics.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed and daunted by any number of self care activities, simply focus on maintaining your physical hygiene, making sure that you eat and stay hydrated and wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. If you feel up to it, you might wish to engage in an activity that you find soothing or comforting but don't put pressure on yourself.


Most importantly give yourself the time you need. We live in a world where a lot of things are instantaneous or immediately available and fast changing, so we often apply that to ourselves and our lives and think that we too must change instantaneously or make progress immediately. But it doesn't work that way.

Healing and personal growth take time and that is okay.

Try to be patient with yourself.


My wish for you is a great year that's filled with kindness, compassion and finding what works for you.



sun over a lake with trees


P.S.: To help you beat the Winter Blues, I'm offering a 10% discount on all session fees until the 19th of February 2024. To find out more, check out my website or email me at kat.unverricht@gmail.com


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