As the new year begins, it’s a great time to think about how you can keep your mental health in check. Setting realistic resolutions that focus on your well-being is a great way to kick off the year on a positive note and set yourself up for success. With some mindful self-care, you can make sure the new year is off to an amazing start! Below is a list of helpful New Year’s resolutions to improve your mental health.
8 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Mental Health:
1. Learn from the Past
The end of the year brings the need for introspection. You think through your choices, actions, failures, limitations, and strengths. Use this reflective period to guide you into making practical resolutions.
- Spend less time judging and criticizing your thought and actions.
- Accept the outcome of events and resolve to work on weaknesses and improve on strengths.
- Be kind to yourself when assessing areas where you fell short.
- Counter negative thoughts about the uncertainties of the future, past failures, and present doubts with rational thoughts.
Nobody knows what the future holds. All you have is a chance to live better, make the right choices, build your inner self and thrive. Use the opportunity to build mental resilience by using your past years’ experiences, the good, bad, and ugly, to forge a fate for yourself.
2. Learn to Regulate Your Thoughts and Emotions
Learn to manage your thoughts and emotions. Reacting impulsively to your feelings leads to premature judgments and costly consequences. Your emotions are pointers. They expose your subconscious, biases, and preferences. However, emotions are conditional.
You attach meaning to your emotions based on your interpretation, experiences, and nurture (conditioning). It is the reason feelings are subjective. Learn the art of applying logic to your emotions to make objective decisions.
The same thing applies to your thoughts. You eventually become your thoughts because they influence behavior and feed on your beliefs. Rationalize your thoughts. Sift through the thoughts crossing your mind to establish facts, fallacies, and lies.
You can also develop a healthy mindset by:
- Avoiding thought and emotion suppression because it results in a rebound effect which causes regurgitation and rumination.
- Acknowledging your thoughts and emotions every time they get expressed.
- Delaying to act over a thought or emotion when you have not processed them rationally.
- Learning to pause your thinking when your mind takes a negative tangent.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is one vital practice to include in your new year’s mental health resolution. It will help your mind flourish by impacting your attitude toward life. Mindfulness helps you appreciate the most mundane aspects of living.
Mindfulness teaches you to be grateful for sights, sounds and smells. You learn to appreciate relationships by being present in the moment. Notice life’s little delights that are rewarding for your mental state. Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine
- Instead of rushing through meals, notice yourself chewing, feel the food texture, savor the flavors, and appreciate the meal.
- Engage wholeheartedly in conversations, listen to the other person talk, notice their reaction and inclinations, show empathy, be gracious in your response, and avoid judging or dismissing their sentiments.
- Live in the moment. Feel the emotions and thoughts, appreciating your body’s abilities.
4. Have a Healthy Diet
Eat healthy meals. Your mind’s health depends on your food’s nutrients. For instance, B vitamins are co-factors in energy-generating reactions. Nerves use this energy to transmit signals in the brain. Lack of these vitamins can interfere with nerve transduction in pathways that regulate mood leading to mood disorders.
Below are a few other tips to consider:
- Have a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins in every meal.
- Hydrate – water is a medium where all bodily reactions occur. It is also essential for balancing the pH of your internal environment.
- Avoid eating comfort foods – fried foods and refined carbohydrates activate the part of the brain responsible for reward. They alter this pathway making it sugar-dependent, leading to food addiction.
5. Exercise Regularly
You can improve your mental health through a workout routine. When you exercise, your body releases feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins, which sustain positive moods. The brain chemicals also activate the reward pathway, which causes pleasure, induces calmness, enhances motivation, and leads to satisfaction. Exercising also improves your physique, which can encourage a positive self-perception.
You can cultivate a healthy mindset by taking care of yourself. Self-care is not a vain lifestyle or an excuse to splurge your hard-earned cash on indulgences. It is about being intentional about your mental health.
- Include alone time in your schedule and focus on yourself.
- Learn to take a break from life and its demands to heal, rest, and recharge.
- Prioritize your sleep – you need to sleep for eight hours daily.
- Avoid people-pleasing – It only triggers anxiety and depression.
- Exercise self-kindness when you criticize your behavior, thoughts, and feelings.
7. Cultivate Beneficial Friendships
The company you keep influences your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Therefore, be mindful of who you let into your life. Surround yourself with people who build you up, challenge you to be a better person, and encourage and support you.
8. Seek Professional Help
A certified mental health professional can empower your quest for mental health. They have the resources, experience, and expertise needed to build a healthy mindset. At My Psychiatrist, our board-certified psychiatrists and clinicians are leaders in their field and treat a wide range of mental health conditions.
We offer expert treatment for depression, substance abuse, TMS and other treatment options. Find a provider to schedule an appointment at one of our four outpatient clinic locations or schedule a virtual consultation from the comfort of your home.