Your Mental Health New Years Resolutions
It is almost the start of the new year, and you may be thinking about what improvements you want to make. Before you do the same — lose 10 pounds, eat healthier, get organized — resolutions, maybe you could focus on your mental health. A happy you is a healthier you; it will help everything else fall into place.
The Year of You
If you need some help coming up with a good resolution for your mental health, here are a few you might consider:
Take action for your mental health
First and foremost, nothing will change if you don’t try to do something about it. If you feel you could benefit from counseling—everyone can if they are willing— then take the step and make an appointment. You don’t have to learn healthy skills to deal with life struggles alone.
Be kind to yourself
Sometimes we are so mean to ourselves. We say things to ourselves and don’t think they matter, but they do. Telling yourself you are “stupid,” “fat,” or a “bad” friend or parent is hurting you. Try practicing positive self-talk. A little “you are individually unique” or “you are capable” can go a long way.
Set healthy boundaries
We tend to let the people in our lives have too much control. Put your foot down. Don’t let your kids, spouse, parent, or boss run the show. Define your limits at work and home and stick to them. Talk to them calmly and directly rather than inwardly complaining about how someone is making you do something. Let this be the year where you are in control of you.
This is another popular resolution but is very good for your mental well-being. Exercise allows you to burn off negative feelings, regain focus and clarity in the face of stressors, and release all the happy hormones in your body.
Resist negative thinking
Instead of saying “you can’t,” tell yourself “you can.” Instead of focusing on how complex a project is, be thankful that you have the opportunity to take part. Make the effort to recognize all the good in your life rather than the bad. Taking a glass-half-full approach to life will increase your happiness and lead to a calmer self.
Meditation can occur anytime, anywhere, and doesn’t have to take up more than a few minutes daily. It can be a huge help in reducing anxiety and depression and is great in moments of feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It can be as simple as putting your other thoughts to the side and repeating over and over, “I am ok,” while taking deep breaths.
Monitor social media use
Research shows too much time on social media can contribute to feelings of depression. Try to limit your use of social media platforms. When you need to pick up your phone, close your eyes and meditate instead. The results will be much better.
Spend at least a half-hour outside a day
During the winter months, this is hard, but sunlight is so good for your brain. It is a significant mood enhancer; if you add a walk or play a sport, you will also be helping to release all the feel-good hormones.
Make 2024 the year for you. Help yourself to be happier; you might find that those around you will be happier, too!
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