Smiling woman in white top holding sparklers to celebrate New Year’s Day.

It’s New Year’s Day, and you can’t wait to start fresh and check off more stuff on your updated bucket list. Maybe it’s saving enough money or getting your . But as the confetti settles, this surge of optimism wanes and gives way to a sense of disillusionment. Psychologist calls it the Blue Monday effect – a sudden dip in mood, which happens every third Monday of January.

In this gloominess, it’s easy to lose sight of your aspirations. But just like any skill, optimism is something you have to practice daily. Here are a few strategies to help keep that fire burning beyond New Year’s Day.

Look at the Bright Side

Self-reflection, a popular New Year’s Day ritual, can be empowering if done thoughtfully. However, the to mull over past mistakes (thanks, evolution), which makes it difficult to see the silver lining.

To counteract this negativity bias, accept that you can’t change what happened and can only control how you respond. Psychologist and author suggests shifting your energy from fixating on stumbling blocks to seeking solutions. “If you can’t imagine a best case, you don’t make things better. The greatest antidote to fear is grounded hope.”

Writing in a gratitude diary can also help you get rid of tunnel vision. You can record your personal and work achievements or mundane things you find uplifting. It trains your optimism muscles and helps , according to a 2019 study.

Cut Off Toxicity

Often, people that no longer serve their well-being and growth. Take stock of your closest connections. Can they give you support during tough times, or do they drain you emotionally?

Contemplate whether your confidants align with your values and goals. Although it may be challenging, distancing yourself from energy vampires who consistently drag you down with their never-ending drama is necessary to . Now is your turn to take the phrase “no bad vibes” more seriously.

Show Empathy

Being nice to others should be included in your New Year’s resolutions. According to the , helping others can boost optimism and make you more hopeful of your own circumstances. Plus, it feels nice knowing you’ve put a smile on someone’s face.

Who says you have to wait for Christmas to spread kindness? Every day is an opportunity to put compassion into action. Lend a shoulder to cry on. Send flowers . Plant a tree. Donate your clothes to a local charity. Big or small, these gestures can brighten a person’s mood and might inspire them to pay it forward.

Calm the Voice of Doubts in Your Head

Nietzsche famously said, “The worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself.” She's the sharp-tongued inner critic who sees every misstep but overlooks your wins and strengths. The trick to quiet her? Prove her wrong with logic.

Whenever you get sucked into a whirlpool of pessimism, argue your way out on paper. Jot down your worries and challenge each one with evidence. Keep at it until you can’t think of a single reason why those negative thoughts hold weight. It might feel awkward at first, but this practice will help clear the cloud of self-doubt and improve your . It’s like freeing two birds with one key!

Be Your Best Hype Woman

Treat yourself with the same kindness you would offer a friend. Just finished a deadline? Get a bouquet and put it in your bedroom. Did you break your personal record at the gym? Enjoy breakfast in bed. Celebrating your victories doesn’t have to mean popping champagne on New Year’s Day or a shopping spree at the mall. Simple pleasures like a relaxing bath are enough to give you that feel-good buzz.

Add Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash to your bath essentials. Made with NutriumMoisture™ technology, it nourishes up to 20 layers deep within the epidermis for visibly soft and hydrated skin. You can also use Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash, which combines Dove’s signature mild cleansers and NutriumMoisture™ technology with exfoliating beads. It washes away dead skin cells and restores the skin’s natural moisture levels.

Starting this New Year’s Day, wake up every morning with one purpose in mind: to live in the moment. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when you feel like drowning. Because optimism isn’t about living in a bubble of happiness all the time. It means giving yourself grace to slip and fall, knowing there are better days ahead.