2020 has been a difficult year for many people. But don’t let that defeat you! You may not know what’s in store for 2021, but you can do your best to make it a good year for your mental health.
This year, make a New Year’s resolution that prioritizes healing, mindfulness, and self-care. Try out one of these resolutions!
1. Meditate Regularly
Meditation has mental health benefits. It can help you manage stress, cope with negative thoughts and emotions, and learn to be in the present moment. Meditation can help people living with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. It can also help individuals without a mental illness, too.
2. Stay Active
Exercising is a great way to stay healthy, and as a bonus, it’s beneficial to your mental health, too! It can increase endorphins, helping you improve your mood. It can also help reduce anxiety.
Experts suggest exercising for 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week can help individuals with anxiety or depression reduce their symptoms. If you don’t have a lot of time to exercise, don’t fret! Do what you can. Every little bit helps.
The internet has a large breadth of resources for people looking to stay active at home. Find free exercise videos that you can do in your living room. Yoga or gentle chair exercises can be a great way to exercise while also practicing mindfulness. Or, make it a priority to take a walk outside whenever the weather permits.
3. See a Therapist
Have you been wondering how therapy could improve your life? The new year is a great time to find out! Therapy is all about talking through your thoughts, feelings, and emotions with a mental health professional, who can help you develop coping strategies to better manage your symptoms or conflicts in your life. If you’re interested in starting therapy, talk with your healthcare provider, or read up on other ways to find a therapist.
4. Take Time for Yourself
Taking time away from the stress of life is essential. Make a resolution this year to listen to your needs and take time out of your day to relax. Taking breaks can make a difference in your productivity, but also in your mental health.
Remember to also take time for the things you enjoy! Hobbies can help us feel refreshed, renewed, and fulfilled. Consider making a resolution to practice your hobby at least once a week, or once a day.
5. Schedule Time to Talk to Friends and Family
Since healthy social interactions are tied to better mental health, consider making an effort to connect with family and friends over phone call or video chat on a regular basis. Isolation can be hard on mental health. Make it a priority to reach out to the people you care about regularly.
6. Get into a Good Sleep Routine
Getting good sleep is beneficial to your mental health. Try setting a goal for how many hours you want to sleep every night. Give yourself a bedtime and wake up time that fits with that, and stick with it!
7. Go Easy on Yourself!
Negative internal dialogue can be harmful. Sometimes your biggest critic is yourself. If you had a difficult year in 2020, remember that it’s not your fault.
And, don’t fret if you don’t tend to stick with New Year’s resolutions. Go easy on yourself in the new year! You deserve it. It’s been a wild 2020.
Sleep and Mental Health, Harvard Medical School.
Social Relationships and Health, US National Library of Medicine.
Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress, Mayo Clinic.
Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms, Mayo Clinic.