The new year means new goals, aspirations, and resolutions. For some, it can feel like a clean slate. A new year serves as an opportunity to fight for dreams that were pushed to the backburner or an opportunity to create new dreams. Apart from dreams, however, new year’s resolutions can be as simple as taking crucial steps toward a healthier lifestyle. If you are someone who deals with a mental illness (i.e., anxiety, depression, addiction), the new year is a good time to start fresh. In 2019, consider one, or all, of these New Year Resolutions to improve your mental health.
Exercising has proven to reduce stress. For anyone who deals with anxiety and depression, exercise can help you manage it more successfully.
Reduce electronics use
On top of being a way to lose track of time, social media and electronic use (phone, tablet, etc.) are linked to higher levels of loneliness and envy. The comparison game is not a healthy one to play.
Healthier eating habits
Eating healthier will improve overall health. Not only will you see instant improvements in sleeping patterns and mood but you may also see physical results. If you are someone who finds themselves feeling lethargic or unhappy with their current eating habits, try replacing one over-processed food meal a day with something a little healthier.
Get more sleep
Most mental health issues are affected by lack of or poor sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to a number of health problems, with the mind as no exception. By trying to sleep earlier and for more hours each night, you are reducing stress, which means you are less susceptible to feeling unwell.
Invest in positive relationships
Surrounding yourself with friends and family who serve as a positive influence can improve your mental health. These individuals should be encouraging, loving, and invested in your mental health, as much as you are.
End negative relationships
The key to a happier and healthier lifestyle is cutting ties with people who are not supportive or who are destructive. Do you have people in your life that continue to cross your boundaries? Have you set boundaries with others? People like this are not invested in your well-being but rather, are hindering your overall health.
Mindfulness is defined as “staying in the present.” The key to mindfulness is not being focused towards the past and the future but staying in the here and now. By learning to stay present, which takes practice, you can help reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you feel on a daily basis.
Start meditation or “quiet time”
In addition to mindfulness, practicing meditation has proven to aid in the reduction of stress. By being present, silent and aware of your mind and emotions, you are able to stay better in-tune with your body and what it needs. If meditation seems too daunting, simply stopping and taking deep breaths for 30 seconds to five minutes can improve your mental health.
If you are unsure of how to adopt any of these practices, there are trained professionals who can help you walk through the practices that are best suited for you as an individual. If you have not met with a counselor before, consider making that change in 2019. Do it for yourself.
Advantage Mental Health Center has providers who are can speak with you about your specific needs and concerns. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.