Just as the end of a year lends itself towards a moment of contemplation and self-reflection, the start of a new year is the best time to recommit yourself to improved mental health and mental well-being. But how can you make sure that the commitment sticks this time? The key is to set mental health resolutions personalized just for you!
10 Examples of Mental Health Resolutions
One of the hardest parts of creating a set of new year’s resolutions is finding a way to make them work. Your first and most important step is choosing the right mental goals. Your goals need to be personal; they need to be tied to your interests and wants, and they need to be intrinsically rewarding.
Goals such as these:
1. Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Everything we do comes back to how well we’ve rested. Severe sleep debt is the worst debt of all, taxing your wits, your cognition, your mood, your strength, and your coordination.
Improving the quality and consistency of your sleep should be a priority moving forward – one that can have an immediate impact on how you feel, how you think, and how you perform.
2. Find Your Favorite Way to Move
Exercise is perhaps the most common health-related new year’s resolution and is a great goal to add to your mental health resolutions list. Physical activity can have a significant impact on your mental well-being, as well as your physical well-being. But most people drop their new gym memberships in the first month or quit their fitness commitments after waking up too late too many days in a row.
It’s not about torturing yourself. It’s about finding what works. Try different methods of exercise. Try different timeframes and schedules. Workout on the weekends or between shifts. Pick a flexible sport or activity or do seasonal activities. Let the outdoors be your gym, or set up everything you need at home.
3. Commit to Seeking Treatment
When you’re sick, and nothing seems to work, you go see a doctor. This is true for both body and mind. Professional treatment is still needlessly stigmatized in some circles, but there is no substitute for an individualized treatment plan, especially for debilitating conditions such as PTSD, OCD, ADHD, depression, and severe anxiety.
As part of your mental health resolutions, seek treatment for yourself or your loved ones. Consider a treatment plan at Amend Treatment.
4. Find A New Interest
A new hobby or interest gives you a chance to meet new people, expand your horizon, change your mindset, and give yourself yet another healthy outlet for emotional hurt and long-term stress.
5. Be Kinder to Yourself
Self-deprecation is a common form of negative thinking and one that far too many people willingly foster. We train ourselves to see ourselves in a negative light, which can color everything else in our lives. Make a conscious effort to quit being harsh on yourself. Accept healthy criticism from yourself as much as anyone else, but quit being insulting or demeaning towards your thoughts and actions.
6. Spend More Time Outside
The great outdoors has much to offer us, from sunshine to bountiful and beautiful vistas. In addition to often being pleasant to look at, research shows us that being outside – in nature – is also good for the mind.
This year, make one of your mental health resolutions to be focused on embracing the outdoors. Go outside more and enjoy all that nature has to offer.
7. Log Off More Often
Too much social media might not kill you, but it can certainly make you sick – or exacerbate existing illnesses. Consider formulating a plan to take more time off this year from everywhere.
8. Learn Healthier Recipes
Diet and mental health are deeply intertwined, but it can be difficult to get into the habit of cooking often, let alone cooking healthy if you aren’t already a leisurely cook. Take this year to start learning a few simple, delicious, and nutritious recipes that work for both your budget and your palate.
9. Connect With Your Loved Ones More Often
Support is crucial for good mental health. When setting up a support system, start with your friends and family – and cultivate those relationships. We can sometimes take those around us for granted until it’s too late. Endeavor to spend more time with your loved ones this year and forge new bonds with other people.
10. Practice Mindfulness
The benefits of mindfulness can range from increased productivity and presence of mind to improved mood and emotional control.
But like any other skill, it must be practiced and cultivated. Find mindfulness activities and exercises to seamlessly integrate into your day-to-day, or work with a therapist to begin utilizing mindfulness in your process.
How to Set Mental Health Resolutions That You Can Keep
Identifying mental health resolutions that interest you – and that motivates you – is important. But it’s not everything. A few crucial goal-setting tips might help you better keep your resolutions this year:
- Hold yourself accountable through a friend. Tell someone what you aim to do and check in with them regularly to keep them updated on your progress. Making a habit of checking in weekly can set the expectation that you will keep up your progress as time goes on. Ask them to do the same for their goals.
- Set smaller time-based goals. Instead of setting a goal for the entirety of the year, focus on milestones that are achievable within the first few weeks or months of the year.
- Take your time to do the research. If you want to get into a new habit or sport, you don’t need to dive headfirst into the topic on day one. Set the goal in the first week of creating an actionable plan, such as listing the equipment you might need, finding places to learn or practice, and contacting groups that help beginners get started.
- If your goal is to stop doing something, find something to replace it with. If you want to cut down on screen time, for example, be sure to have a list of activities to choose from during that period – and make sure at least some of them are things you really like doing.
- If your goal is to start doing something, start small. Set weekly instead of daily quotas. Be flexible and give yourself room to have days where you flounder or give up.
- If you do give up, always get right back on track! If you quit exercising in March but pick it back up in April, there’s really no harm or foul. It’s normal to struggle with new habits and disciplines. If you stop, for whatever reason, remember that it’s perfectly fine to start again.
Create Your Own Mental Health Resolutions Today
Change is difficult and often inconsistent. But you don’t need perfection to make progress.
So what are some mental health resolutions you plan on creating and achieving? No matter what you set out to do, embrace that the process can be rough and rocky at times, and try to enjoy each day as it comes rather than getting anxious about the bigger picture!
For more information about mental health treatment in Malibu, contact Amend Treatment.