The time-honored tradition of creating resolutions as the new year approaches is a great reminder that we can always improve and grow. However, when it comes to mental health resolutions, the things we want to change often seem unconquerable. The following tips can help you when setting your resolutions this year.
Set Realistic Goals
When choosing your mental health resolutions for the new year, it’s crucial that you consider your current capabilities. Think about what you most want to see change in your life and where you would like to be a year from now. Don’t get hung up on limitations, but be reasonable as you try to push yourself. Try asking, “What can I do for my new year resolution?”
Work on looking for your strengths and reminding yourself what you are made of and how far you’ve already come. Ask your loved ones to write down things they like about you so you can look at them when you need reassurance. Practice being kind to yourself and learn to forgive yourself when things aren’t the way you thought they would be.
Start Where You Are
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, just start doing whatever works for you. If one of your resolutions is to exercise, go for a short walk every day, try a few minutes of yoga, or invest in some hand weights. The most important part is that you strive to be consistent - progress will follow.
As hard as it can be to make and keep plans, spending time with friends can boost your mood and improve your health dramatically, as well as help you when you’re dealing with stress. Plus, goals are easier to stick to when you have someone keeping you accountable.
Spirituality has also been shown to boost mental health, whether through religion, meditation, mindfulness, or spending time in nature. These are particularly beneficial when they involve being a part of a supportive community.
When depression or anxiety rear their ugly heads, try to combat the resistance with something fun. For example, “If I go for a walk and wash dishes in the morning, I can relax with a movie this afternoon.”
Speaking up can incorporate a lot of things, from saying no when you are overwhelmed to letting those around you know when you need help or explaining to them what you are going through. Most importantly, speaking up can mean reaching out to a mental health professional for guidance and support. The more you talk about your mental health, the easier it becomes to find healthy ways to manage it.