New Years resolutions for mental health
It’s the new year and you’re resolved to make healthy changes in your life. Good for you!
You may plan to take better care of your body – quitting smoking, cutting out junk food – but make your mental health important too. Plan to make changes that will make you happier as well as healthier.
Go easy on yourself and don’t try to change too much too fast. You’re most likely to succeed if you set attainable goals and take small steps. Set daily or weekly goals. Try to change one behavior at a time. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall short.
Here are steps you can take to maintain mental wellness all year round.
Ten tips for a happier, healthier new year
- Be good to yourself.
Plan each day to treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Think about the things you like about yourself.
- Ask for help.
Enlist support from a loved one. Join a support group or work with a therapist.
- Fend off depression
Make a list of activities that make you feel better and use it when you’re feeling bad.
- Manage your mood
Use a mood chart to track moods, behavior, meds, lifestyle, stressors and make changes as needed.
- Tame the tension.
Drop your shoulders, which improves the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, making you feel more relaxed and clear-headed.
- Pick your friends
For a good mood, surround yourself with supportive people and avoid those who bring you down.
- Learn to control your anger
Breathe deeply. Then slowly repeat to yourself a calming word or phrase such as ‘take it easy.’
- Get moving to boost your health, lift your mood
Exercise, even walking, boosts your emotional immune system, helps you lose weight and increases your endurance and energy.
- Eat for mental health
Fill your plate with a little less than 2/3 carbs (fruits and complex carbs like beans, whole grains and vegetables) and a little more than 1/3 protein (meat, chicken, fish, tofu.) Reduce sweets and highly processed foods.
- Snooze for a good mood
Too little sleep leads to poor concentration, irritability, anxiety, depression and low energy.