With the New Year upon us it only seems natural to make a list of resolu- tions. But when lofty goals become set-ups for let-downs, it can lead to anxiety...
With the New Year upon us it only seems natural to make a list of resolu- tions. But when lofty goals become set-ups for let-downs, it can lead to anxiety and self-doubt. So why set one to improve your mental health? Mental health impacts all aspects of life. From professional to personal life, having a strong mental wellbeing can make all the difference in day-to-day activities.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your mental health:
- Practice self-compassion and love
- This begins with not saying anything to yourself that you would not say to a friend. Commit to looking in the mirror every morning and saying, “I am enough” or “I am loved.”
- Practice being in the moment
- Resentment lives in the past, anxiety in the future. Peace is in the present. Practice it by creating a mantra of “I am here” and “I am present.”
- Practice balance when using social media
- Limit time for specific sites and hold yourself accountable. Be aware of the tendency to practice self-harm with social media, or cyber cutting by looking at things that we know will cause us pain. For example, looking up our lost love or high school nemesis with the seemingly “perfect” life will only fuel our feelings of sadness and loss. Balanced social media also means purging those “friends” who do not bring you joy.
- Practice limiting your phone time
- Being in the moment and limiting social media will get you off to a run- ning start with this resolution. Commit to communication other than texting and emails – use your voice and writing abilities. Also, leave your phone in your bag or pocket when eating a meal, exercising or driving.
- Practice creating a positive circle of trust around you
- If someone in your life brings drama, chaos or feelings of low self-worth, move them out of your circle of trust. When you identify who is a part of your inner circle, let them know how much you treasure that they are a part of your life with a hand-written note and by spending more time with them (yes, this can be animals as well).
- Practice gratitude
- Commit to adding items to your gratitude list every morning before you start your day. Read them upon retiring for the evening. If a day isn’t going well, reread your list and remember your blessings. Frequent review of this list may cause you to rethink your circle of trust.
Know that things take time and focus on each step individually. You just might be surprised to discover that these mental health resolutions can make it easier for you to keep the other resolutions you choose to make throughout the year.