Mental Health: Your New Year's Resolution
Tips for a Happy, Positive New Year
Your New Year’s resolutions might include starting a fitness program, waking up earlier, or eating healthier. Of course, these are all great lifestyle aspirations, but what about your mental health?
Improving your mental well-being is a resolution that anyone can get behind, and being mindful of your mental health can benefit anyone and everyone, no matter who you are. Here are five ideas to help you get a positive start on 2017.
1. Think about your accomplishments from the past year
A New Year can feel like starting at zero, but that’s also a pretty overwhelming way to think about things. So, start the New Year off positively by making a list of last year’s accomplishments, no matter how big or how small they seem.
You’ll feel good about yourself and what you’ve done and will be prepared to carry that momentum through January and beyond
2. Try something new
There’s no better time to dive into a new activity. You could try that new fitness class you’ve been eyeing, go skydiving, change up your nightly walking route… whatever gets you excited.
And, if you tackle something frightening with success (like skydiving or that fitness class), you’ll feel good about your accomplishment.
3. Actively express gratitude
Expressing gratitude has been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on your mental well-being, and it’s incredibly easy to do.
You can wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “I feel grateful for … “ or write in a gratitude journal.
You could also tell your friends and family how grateful you are for their presence in your life. Handwritten notes, phone calls, in-person chats, and even a quick text message are all great mediums for expressing gratitude.
Then, try ending your day by completing the sentence, “Today I accomplished … “ Let yourself feel grateful for those accomplishments, too.
4. Send snail mail to your loved ones
Who doesn’t love receiving an old-fashioned letter in the mail? At the start of 2017, make a commitment to send handwritten notes to the people you care about. You’ll feel good writing the letters, and they’ll enjoy receiving them.
You can write about a memorable time together, tell them how they’ve positively impacted your life, or simply say “Hi!”.
Caring for your relationships is important, and this is one thoughtful way to do that. What are some other ways you could surprise the people in your life?
5. Stop “shoulding” yourself
When we tell ourselves we should do something, especially when we don’t want to or it doesn’t serve our needs, we’re left feeling unhappy and unsatisfied.
That’s because these statements are often socially sanctioned and based on unrealistic expectations of ourselves. You now have permission to stop “shoulding” in 2017. Give it a try and see how it transforms your daily routines and happiness.