Can we make 2023 a more relaxing year?

Image: Mehmet Hilmi Marcin, iStock

2023 is fast approaching.

This is the time of year where people make resolutions; eat healthy, get fit, etc, etc. How about we… relax? Focus on overall wellbeing?

The last few years have been rough to say the least

Covid threw the world a massive curveball. In Australia, we were in and out of lockdown. People were out of work. Socialising was put on hold.

People were (and still are) worried about children. They were often isolated. Their education was suffering. Earlier this year, primary school teachers encouraged children to play card games to regain their social skills.

2020, 2021 and 2022 have been a rollercoaster. A mess. Yet, people have been expected to bounce back. Back to work. Back to socialising. Back to where we were before.

But have we been able to go back to normal? No. Not healthily anyway.

There’s no Christmas spirit

It’s less than two weeks until Christmas. And nobody is in the mood. The atmosphere is underwhelming. Why?

A woman on Facebook (who I’m not friends with), posted an interesting piece earlier this month.

Quoting psychologist Naomi Holdt, she wrote that no one entered 2022 on a “full tank”.

People entered 2022 tired, traumatised and… lost. We were expected to just bounce back. But we weren’t given time to process. Process grief, trauma and fear.

She also points out that many people are probably using busyness as a mask; to mask the pain and fear, as well as “catch up” on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, people around the world are having a hard time. They just can’t bounce back. Some people are still battling with their mind.

Financial stress is hitting people worldwide

A major source of stress for people worldwide is cost of living. Earlier this month, I wrote that many people in Australia, US and the UK have been forced to make steep sacrifices over Christmas, including going without gifts.

Inflation is only getting worse. And it’s predicted they’ll only get worse in 2023.

I know, it’s a lot of doom and gloom. It’s so uncertain. So what can we do?

Tips to for mental wellness in 2023

Black man with head tilted back slightly and eyes closed, doing breathing exercises
Image: electravk, iStock

Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Practice relaxation and meditation techniques. This is all stuff we all have heard a hundred times before. Maybe in 2023, we can start practicing it. shares these tips to maintain mental wellness in 2023:

  • Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Practice relaxation techniques, including meditation.
  • Simplify your life. Evaluate your schedules and don’t be afraid to to cut back. Likewise, don’t be afraid to get rid of any posessions that no longer serve you. Learn to delegate tasks. You don’t have to do everything on your own!
  • Practice gratitude daily
  • Identify your purpose. Find your passion and joy.
  • Keep in contact with friends and family
  • Accept reality
  • Avoid perfectionism (I have to keep reminding myself of this one!)
  • Be playful
  • Maintain your environment. Keep it clean from clutter and dirt.

Make 2023 the year of mental health

On the 1st of January 2023, I think we should just breathe. Just relax. We should prioritise mental health in 2023.

Personally, my aim is to get work, at least part – time. It’s going to be a long road, I still want to maintain my mental health in the meantime. With the love and support from those around me, I think I’ll be able to do that.

I hope the same for anyone who reads this. Make 2023 the year to breathe, to reach out and to honour your needs. Get help if you need it.

What are your goals or hopes for 2023? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


People are worried about Christmas costs

Six Christmas gifts wrapped in red, green, white and good wrapping paper and with ribbon bows
Image: Liliboas, iStock

‘Tis the season… to be extra frugal. And, unfortunately, worry about finances.

According to Herald Sun, recent research revealed that some people are planning to go without gifts this Christmas, due to financial strain.

40% of survey respondents told online market researchers, Toluna, that they are stressing about not having enough money for gifts. 19% of couples plan to forego gifts altogether.

Young adults under thirty- four have been hardest hit financially, with 75% of young adults saying they’ve changed plans due to cost pressures.

Even workplace Secret Santa is causing stress.

Toluna director, Sej Patel isn’t surprised that people are stressed about Christmas.

…it’s not a surprise that Aussies are also feeling the pinch this Christmas.

Our research shows that despite being under financial strain, the social pressures and expectations around gift- giving are making this a particularly difficult time of year, with some saying it is dampening their Christmas spirit

Sej Patel as told to the Herald Sun, 1 December 2022

Cost of living also a worry in Britain and the U.S.

Australians aren’t the only ones worrying about costt of Christmas.

Prices of essentials have skyrocketed in the UK.

Experts predict that inflation will remain at 11% for the rest of the year. According to British Retail Consortium, the cost of fresh food increased by 14.3% in November.

To ease financial stress, UK’s government has offered Brits a one- off paymebt of £650 (A$1154). That may help a little bit in the moment.

Regardless of what governments have done, people are struggling. Recent events around the world has turned everything on its head, including at the ‘most joyful time of year’.

Not surprisingly, cost of living has hit the U.S, too. According to the Ameican Psychological Association, almost 90% of U.S adults says inflation is causing stress.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 90% of people are literally losing sleep because of financial stress.

This is catastrophic on people’s health. Lack of sleep causes a number of health problems including:

  • Loss of short and long term memory
  • Troubles with concentration
  • Increase risk of accidents
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure
  • Higher risk of heart disease

Tips on easing stress of Christmas spending

Young woman at laptop with credit card online shopping
Image: Geber86, iStock

So, what can you do to combat financial stress this Christmas?

Lisa Rapaport wrote some tips on Everyday Health. These include:

  • Don’t avoid financial reality. Deal with debts, expenses, etc with eyes wide open. Ignorance isn’t going to make it go away.
  • Set financial boundaries. Only buy gifts and other festivity items that you can afford. It’s a good idea to plan in advance and write a list of what to buy.
  • Focus on experiences, rather than gifts. Make the gift exchange into an event. Do a potluck or a family meal that will create lasting memories.
  • If you are in real dire need, turn to the local food banks in your area. Don’t feel ashamed if you need to turn to these services. The last couple of years have been a rollercoaster for everybody. Try and allow yourself and your family to enjoy Christmas. If you need extra support, get it.

Whatever you do for Christmas, try and make it as enjoyable as possible. Preferably without a massive debt following you into 2023.

Have you adjusted your plans this Christmas? Leave any thoughts in the comments below.