New Years Resolutions for Better Mental Health

New Life

The New Year is almost here! It’s a time for new beginnings, leaving bad habits behind and setting goals. At times people hesitate to set resolutions because they have a hard time keeping them, or feel like they are setting themselves up for failure. This year, we challenge you to set some resolutions that improve your wellbeing and mental health – simple things that will bring you joy and peace of mind.

Here are a few of our favorite suggestions from Metro News.

  1. Meditate: Try the Headspace app to get started. You might feel a bit silly at first, but meditation really can work wonders – even if it’s just to give you a few minutes of true calm.
  2. Schedule in some quality alone time: Spend some time alone doing something that makes you genuinely happy and relaxed – whatever that may be. Do it at least once a week, and make sure to actually schedule it in your planner with a set time and day. Why? So you’ll actually commit to some me time.
  3. Write down something good that happened: It can be something tiny, like ‘excellent doughnut at lunchtime’ or big, like ‘got offered my dream job’. Putting a positive slant on your day will help you feel more positive overall. Plus, at the end of the year you get to look back at 365 days of great things that have happened.
  4. Open up to the people you care about: They need to know what’s going on so they can step in and help when necessary. Plus, talking about whatever you’re going through helps you deal with it. And on that note, make sure you spend time with those people. Loneliness helps no one. Try to stay social and get out of your own head for a bit. Surround yourself with kind, supportive people.
  5. Learn self-help techniques for times of stress: There is no substitute for professional help, but it’s incredibly helpful to have some techniques that work for you when you’re having a challenging time.
  6. Get more sleep: There is not a person in the world who’s their best self on too little sleep. Try getting into bed 10 minutes earlier each night for a few weeks. Eventually you’ll be getting an extra hour of sleep and feeling the benefits.
  7. Stop the comparisons: As Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’ And it’s true. Make a conscious effort to stop comparing yourself to others. You’re doing your thing, they’re doing theirs. Every time you find yourself spotting the difference, pause, stop, and tell yourself one cool thing about what they’re doing that inspires you, and one cool thing that you’re doing.  It’ll help you get into the mindset of ‘hey, we can both be amazing!’
  8. Do something physical at least once a week: Yes, it can feel impossible to get out of bed when you’re in a serious down period (and if you’ve reached that point, we recommend talking to a professional). But for usual day-to-day happiness, a little bit of exercise is magical. All those fit people weren’t lying about the power of endorphins – they’ll flood your system and make you feel more optimistic.
  9. Try something new: Don’t get too stuck in routines. Make 2017 the year you try at least one thing that scares (and excites) you a little bit, whether it’s finally doing that pottery class or just speaking up in meetings. You’ll feel really accomplished, and might find you actually like that thing that terrified you last year.
  10. Get help if you need it: Maybe it’s medication, maybe it’s therapy, maybe it’s just talking to your family and telling them you need some support. Whatever it is you need, you don’t need to feel embarrassed or ashamed about asking for it. It’s okay. You deserve to feel good, and happy, and fulfilled. If you need a little help doing that, commit to getting it. It might be scary at first, but the benefits are endless.

We wish you a happy and healthy New Year! If you feel like your teen or young adult child needs help starting the New Year off in a healthy place, call Tamara Ancona, MA, LPC, at (678) 297-0708 for an evaluation, and to discuss treatment options that will work for them.

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