Great topic! I agree that the Christmas/New Year season at the end of each year can be a little (or very) daunting, especially for people with mental illness. I found, not so much this year because I am doing better mental health wise now, but last Christmas, that seeing the celebrations accentuated my pain. I felt even more depressed and down seeing others around me laughing, eating, spending. For me, a warning sign for my depression is a bit of an existential crisis and questions about existence - what is it all, what's it for, what's it worth - and these questions came faster and faster when the year was ending and I watched as people engaged in seemingly trivial activities.
So yes, I 100% agree that it can be tough and annoying.
One thing I did this year to help with this was leaving my New Year's celebration early and coming to watch the fireworks on TV alone at home. This might sound lame - I left a dinner party - but it allowed me to reflect on my year and what I aspire for the year to come. I highly recommend this method. It helped me to a good start.
This is where New Year's resolutions come in. Personally, I LOVE new year's resolutions - but let me explain! If you're going to make New Year's resolutions, you have to do it right. A couple of years back, my resolutions were "write a book", "get 90% and up for all exams", "run for 30 mins each day" etc etc. But this put pressure on me. It made me feel the need to appeal to a certain idea of success sold to us by society, that idea that success is waking up in the morning and working out, getting jobs at high tier firms and so on. And this is bad, bad, bad for your mental health.
So I agree with blueskye. It's about having the right resolutions e.g. try my best, apply for more jobs. One of mine is believe in myself again. The other is to believe in my mental health recovery. Things like positive thinking, gratefulness, love, all those things make for better resolutions. They inspire you, rather than push you. In my opinion, I also stick to three resolutions only. Too much can be overwhelming.
So why do I love resolutions? They give me hope for a better year, and they remind me that there are some things I can control, that despite illness, misfortune etc, I can continue working on believing in myself for example.
Finally, I wanted to say THANK YOU for bringing up the existential crisis thing. Every year, at New Year's Eve, I'm left with a melancholy at the transience of life, what they call in Japanese "mono no aware" (look it up). It's good to know I'm not alone and other people feel this way. I guess it part of what makes us human, and the best we can do is continue to walk, to talk, to love each other and to try to leave a meaningful mark, no matter how small, in the lives of those who walk with us.