5 Resolutions for your Mental Health

It’s that time of year.

New Year Resolutions.

When people vow to lay off the sweets and hit the gym, to read more and watch TV less, and to go on spending fasts and get out of debt.

If you’re anything like me, New Year resolutions are fun, and goal setting and planning is an activity you enjoy on the regular.

I’m sure you all have quite the list of goals already, but I’d like to suggest adding just one resolution for your mental health in 2019 –so here are some ideas.

One: Journal

If you already journal but aren’t consistent, make a goal to journal once a week. Or if you’re up for it, daily. If you don’t journal at all, start one. Journaling has many proven benefits for your mental health, including managing anxiety, helping you cope with depression, and reducing stress. When you journal you can sort through thoughts and emotions, track your symptoms, and practice gratitude.

Two: Move your body

No, this doesn’t have to be “exercise,” not in the strictest sense of the word anyway. But getting your body moving releases those happy endorphins in the moment and improves your health (physical and emotional) over time. Choose to do something you enjoy –if you choose something you dislike, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Schedule little “dance parties” twice a week. Work in your garden. Take a karate class. Whatever sounds interesting and fun for you –do it! It doesn’t have to take up much of your time. Even short 10 minute sessions will bring benefits.

Three: Schedule time for your hobby

Too often adults push aside their personal hobbies in favor of app scrolling, Netflix binging, and social media. You might think you don’t have time for your hobbies, but if you simply replaced a couple days a week of TV with your hobby instead, you’d be surprised how much that time adds up! Binge watching TV can actually have the same negative impacts on you emotionally as a substance abuse –replacing some of your TV time with a hobby you enjoy will boost your self worth and minimize your screen time.

Four: Let go of toxic relationships

There’s no time like the New Year to give you the motivation to distance yourself from toxic people. As difficult as it is to cut someone out of your life, if they make you miserable, it’s worth it. This isn’t to say ghost anyone who bothers you –if you did that you’d end up very lonely. Do some googling about toxic people if you’re unsure if someone in your life is toxic. If they’re truly damaging your dignity and emotional well-being, it’s time to cut them loose.

Five: See a therapist

I’ve heard every excuse in the book. “I’m not bad enough to need therapy.” “I’ve tried it before, it didn’t work.” “I don’t believe in psychology. It’s a soft science.” “My last therapist made things worse.” “I went to one or two sessions and it didn’t help.”

If you went to a nutritionist for diabetes, and didn’t like them, would you just throw your hands up and say, “well I tried, guess nutritionists aren’t for me,” or would you try another nutritionist?

If you were getting cancer treatment, and after the first session your cancer wasn’t gone yet, would you say, “what? This treatment hasn’t worked yet? What’s the point?” or would you keep going for your treatments because it takes time to work?

If you had a bad cold, and after a long time and some over the counter remedies it wouldn’t go away, would you ignore it, or see the doctor?

Our society doesn’t take mental health seriously enough. If you’d see a doctor for your body, why wouldn’t you see one for your mind? It’s just as important.

So if you have any of the excuses above, maybe your resolution in 2019 could be to find a solution –find a therapist that works for you, and try it for more than just a couple sessions.

Whether you’re diagnosed with a mental illness or just searching for fuller living, I hope you create healthy habits for your mind in 2019. Happy New Year!

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