As 2017 comes to a close and a new year knocks at the door, we find ourselves evaluating events as well as our own personal achievements over the last twelve months. The majority of individuals jot down lists of exciting new endeavors. These goals span from learning a new hobby or skill to cutting out toxic habits like smoking cigarettes and gaining healthy ones, including the most common New Year’s resolution of getting in tip-top physical shape.
A beneficial resolution we recommend is learning to manage your mental health, effectively. Stress from the holidays can really leave you with a whirlwind of unprocessed thoughts and emotions. Read on to find out how you can proactively manage and strengthen your mental health to help your mind better serve you.
Resolutions to Strengthen Your Mental Health
- Increase Self-Awareness - Knowing your attributes, your strengths and weaknesses, can help you to build confidence and leadership skills in everyday situations. Asking a trusted friend or coworker for feedback, taking a proven personality test and journaling your goals and thoughts are a few ideas for where to start. Overall, self-awareness brings clarity, authenticity, and comfort to your life.
- Practice Compassion - Sympathy, empathy and mindful action are a trifecta that will help you to have thoughtful and purposeful interactions within relationships. This concept includes relationships with work associates, friends, and family members in addition to strengthening and building on the relationship and interactions you have with yourself. Taking time to assess and care about how others are feeling allows for a deeper overall understanding to be achieved and builds trust as well as allies.
- Establish Weekly/Monthly Goals - Whether you use a planner, an app on your phone, a calendar or a notebook you keep in your back pocket, writing down your goals will help you to achieve them. Goals are like the milestones of your life, which help to track your growth and progression; fulfilling them makes you feel good. Make sure you set reasonable and achievable goals to work toward, and break them down into steps, if you need to, with clear deadlines.
- Meditate/Reflect Often - Meditation positively affects your brain, heart, immune system, relationships, sleep cycle and overall wellbeing. Concentrated thought or self-reflection can help you release inner worries and fears that are no longer serving you. Reflecting on the events and emotions experienced throughout your day can help you to process them out of your mind space, allowing new positive thought patterns to form. Mindful meditation allows you to focus on an intention or goal, and center your attention, allowing you to become grounded and stable. Whenever your mind wanders from your intention, simply bring your attention back and let your concerns and external stressors drift away.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet and Sleep Cycle - The physical energy you use throughout the day comes from the food and drink you put into your body, and the same goes for mental energy. Between snacks, meals and stops at Starbucks, you take in a good amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals and calories in general, so you want to make sure you’re getting the right kinds of nutrients to help fuel positive thought. Sleep is another big energy provider, so think twice before you pull an all-nighter. Truth is, you will get more done and have extended energy with a good night’s sleep.
All of this being said, the beginning of a brand-new year is prime time to focus not only on the perfect body but on healthy lifestyle choices to cater to and help develop sound mental health. The body is only as strong as the individual inside, and you deserve to have a handle on the existence you experience. Remember, a strong, intention-filled and stable mind plays a large part in successfully reaping the rewards of the resolutions you set for the coming year. Click here to visit our blog for more tips and tools on mental health management.