Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions for themselves. Most of them focus on dieting or exercising. But what if we spent as much time making resolutions for our mental health? Would we be better people as a result?
This year, I’m testing out my theory that by focusing more on my mental health, my overall health will benefit too. I’ve created a list with all of my resolutions. Some are SMART goals, others are not. Some may actually appear to focus on my physical well-being, but that’s only because when I feel good physically, I feel better mentally. For example, if I exercise more and eat less processed foods, I tend to feel more energized and have a “can do” attitude.
I should also add that I do not have any diagnosed mental illnesses. Like most people, there are times when I get stressed or a little down, but I’ve never had to take any medication as a result. Depending on the state of your mental health, your list may look completely different from mine, and that’s totally okay. But feel free to steal whatever you think will help you from my list. We’re all in this together!
- Recognize when I need a mental health day.
- Actually take that mental health day.
- Learn my triggers for anxiety.
- Utilize mindfulness techniques – deep breathing, yoga, meditation – to help control my anxiety.
- Talk with my friends about my mental health struggles, even if it’s difficult.
- Talk to my friends about their mental health struggles, even if it’s difficult.
- Seek professional help if/when I need it.
- Internally name my emotions when I’m feeling them, so I can recognize and control them more effectively.
- Focus more on the good and less on the bad.
- Get eight hours of sleep each night. If I don’t sleep well, I get crabby.
- Exercise three times a week for at least 30 minutes.
- Eat more fruits and find healthier snack options. I normally feel pretty bleh mentally after eating a lot of processed foods.
- If I get in a brain fog at work or school, stand up and walk or stretch for a few minutes.
- Take a long walk (30 minutes or more) outside at least once a week. Being outside helps me be more centered.
- Control the controllables.
What are some of your resolutions? Share in the comments below!