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The end of December is challenging for a lot of people, as cases of depression rise drastically. And it's just as bad in January, when you're hit by New Year's Resolutions... Let me explain.
First off, yeah, people do get depressed more easily during Christmas and New Year. I was surprised too when I read an article about it, but experienced it myself just a few days later, so I can definitely testify that it's a real thing. Why? Well in my case it was caused by two elements. Christmas was the first to hit, with a huge family meeting and tons of people asking me what I'm doing with my life now, and the following unconcealed expressions that clearly said "ouch, really? I pity you". It wasn't that fun. And then there was New Year's Eve.
The problem is not really New Year's Eve or how we celebrate it, but the tradition of New Year's Resolutions. #NewYearNewMe, right? Obviously I don't mean to kill your whole vibe and if you believe your resolutions will work, or know it for a fact, don't take this the wrong way. I am NOT saying that New Year's Resolutions are bad or don't work. I'm only saying that they are not a necessity and that they can be dangerous for some of us.
In fact, the real problem is not even resolutions themselves, but the social pressure that comes with them. It seems that we are all supposed to try and get our lives together in January, that we have to start working, or stop smoking, or procrastinate less instantly starting from January 1st. This can be seen on social media, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook but also on the ol' TV and even chats with your family! The main consequence of this is a form of pressure that might make you actually start doing something you wanted to do, or should have started doing long ago, like working out, for example... But that's not all. It also has an more perverse underlying effect: it makes you start the year with a well-being level below zero and the idea that your 2018 was not good enough. You need improvement. You need an update.
And you know what? Maybe you do. Maybe I do. Maybe everybody does. But changing yourself is a lot more work than just taking a decision at the beginning of the year. It takes time. It's an everyday mission, which by definition, makes the idea of starting at ONE single given moment completely irrelevant. You gotta start at some point, right. But it doesn't HAVE to be at the time peer pressure wants you to. It HAS to be when YOU feel ready to do it.
Because as I said, winter is challenging enough for you not to add a new responsibility to it. It is physically exhausting, we get sick more easily, our bodies change, we gain a little weight... And this is all purely natural. It's NORMAL. So why should we start to undertake a life-changing quest EXACTLY at the hardest time possible? Like, seriously. Why?
If you believe that this HAS to be done on January 1st, you clearly don't understand how this all works. You have a chance to change your life completely every time you wake up, every day. 365 times a year. Every hour, every minute. So sorry for repeating it but WHY THE FORK do you want to do it exactly at this moment? It just doesn't make sense. Even if you don't feel like Winter is that hard for you, it doesn't mean you have to do it exactly on January 1st. I mean you CAN, but you don't HAVE to do it at this time.
This is why I don't like New Year's Resolutions. They are a form of institutionalized forced personal growth process and I truly hate that concept as it sounds like a huge oxymoron to me. How can you get into "personal growth" forced by someone else? It is not personal if it comes from someone else, and how can you grow under pressure? If someone walked towards you angrily and went "BE HAPPY! NOW!" What would you do? A fake smile and then walk away as fast as possible. That's what you'd do. And that's what New Year's Resolutions are for most of us.
We start working out, stop smoking for a while, drink more water, sleep more... And then we get back to our old selves because it wasn't the right moment for us to do it. The year passes and we get to the next 31st of december, and try again. We keep the same list of stuff we want to improve, fail, and try again. This is what I call Re-solutions: solutions to our little problems that we do and re-do and re-re-do...
Eventually, we might get disappointed and not even try anymore, completely killing any chance to increase our well-being and self-confidence. This is the exact opposite of what self-improvement and personal development should be.disappointed
Again, don't get me wrong, resolutions are great. And personal development too. That's kinda what this podcast is about, right? But anything that makes people feel forced to do something is inherently bad for their well-being, which is why I find this tradition quite dubious, ironic and inefficient.
There are better times to start, and as you can probably guess it by now, I'm not going to tell you when it is. It's entierly up to you to decide when you are ready and when the conditions are right. I will however say that Spring, according to my personal experience and logic, seems like a more gentle season that should enable you to succeed a bit more easily. At least you won't have to fight against the cold. the right mom it's up to you to decide when it is . Just don't forget that any second is a new chance for you to do it. Don't wait too much cause you don't want to waste them either but... Still, don't worry. Hopefully you have a few hundreds of millions of them in stock.