Exercise more. Eat healthier. Quit smoking. Around this time every year, we pull out a piece of paper and jot down some ideas about how we want to improve our life. Most New Year’s resolutions revolve around how you can take better care of yourself. However, your physical health isn’t the only part of your life you should consider. The new year is a perfect opportunity to take stock of your inner life and examine how you can improve your mental and emotional health.
With that in mind, here are five mental health goals you should consider adding to your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Change takes time. Instead of making huge, lofty goals and setting yourself up for disappointment, take baby steps. Unrealistic expectations put you at high risk of getting hurt and feeling depressed or disappointed in yourself.
2. Be Kind to Yourself
It’s sometimes easier to be kind to others rather than yourself. Maybe you beat yourself up over the smallest mistakes. Perhaps you’ve made a habit of negative self-talk, focusing on every little defect when you look in the mirror. This year, put negativity away and be kind to yourself. Be your own cheerleader. Find things that you appreciate about yourself. Make a habit of recognizing what makes you worthwhile and valuable.
3. Make a Full Night’s Sleep a Priority
It’s incredible what seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep can do for your mental health. Getting enough rest relieves anxiety, improves your mood and is associated with many health benefits. This year, try to have a consistent bedtime. Attempt to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and avoid naps or sleeping in on weekends.
4. Get Out and Get Moving
There’s an undeniable link between physical activity and emotional health. Even if you don’t have a regular exercise routine, you should incorporate some level of physical fitness into your life. Exercise is an incredible antidepressant. It also improves your motivation and energy. You might choose to go for a daily walk, hike through a local state park or stroll through a botanical garden. Take time to enjoy moving in the great outdoors.
5. Make Time for Healthy Relationships
Humans are built for community — especially friendship. Good friends make life more enjoyable. They help us through tough times, and they’re there to celebrate the good moments. Friendship ignites the part of the brain that makes us feel good. Isolation, on the other hand, can lead to depression and decreased quality of life. Be sure to make time for friendship, laughter and time spent together this year.
Embrace Better Mental Health at Taylor Counseling Group
This year, take a few steps toward better emotional and mental health. You’ll find that these relatively easy resolutions can have a huge impact on your overall outlook and well-being. If you would like to learn more techniques for better mental health, we invite you to reach out to Taylor Counseling Group. Our professional counselors can help you develop goals and learn strategies specific to your unique needs.
Don’t wait for the new year to begin changing your life for the better. Schedule your appointment today.