Happy New Year!
There is always a focus on improving one’s health when a new year arrives and for most people it usually involves changing their diet and increasing their exercise. Yet sometimes people forget that mental health is a big part of any wellness journey.
What are some ways to boost mental health in the new year?
Check out the following tips for boosting mental wellbeing this year and beyond. Remember, small steps can lead to big changes.
Tip # 1: Make Sleep a Priority
Easier said than done, right? Everybody is different, but we can all agree that when a healthy sleep schedule is established, then it can help us feel energized and reduce irritability and we are able to concentrate better. Try going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, avoiding screen time, excessive lights and consuming alcohol or caffeine near bedtime. Try reading a book or listening to some white noise. Check out some of these helpful ways to establish a relaxing bedtime.
Tip # 2: Practice Self-Care
Finding time for self-care can be difficult with busy work and life schedules. With the start of the new year, why not take advantage and make an attainable new year’s resolution of including some time for yourself. Make a list of things that YOU would like to do: things that bring you joy, make you happy and make you feel good about yourself. Perhaps its reading a stack of books you acquired last year, learning to sew your pet a new vest, or maybe its incorporating more fitness in your life (hello endorphins!). Whatever it is,
make find more time for it and I promise you will be reaping the mental rewards in no time.
Tip # 3: In Good Company
While self-care can be good me time, you can effectively spread the happiness and good feels to others by spending time with those you care about. It’s so easy to lose touch when life happens but taking some time to give an old friend a call or meet over some coffee at the local coffee shop can definitely improve one’s mental health. Connecting with those who are so important to us can improve our moods and make us feel good. It can also bring more positivity into our lives that we really need in these trying times.
Tip # 4: Try a Different Approach
I am a creature of habit: I wake up at the same time every morning (5:00 AM), take the same route to work, and do the same things all the time. It makes me feel secure and I find comfort in my routine. However, a new year can be the perfect opportunity to get out of our comfort zones and create new habits and routines. Perhaps instead of taking the same route to work, I can try and find a scenic route and if I lived closer to work, I could try riding a bike there. I could start adding a run in the mornings once the sun starts rising earlier and make a new friend along the way. While our routines can be reassuring, it can prevent us from engaging in new things, which can prevent us from other opportunities to grow.
Tip # 5: Get Outside Regularly
The winter months can be especially lonesome and can be so difficult for so many. Being outside can improve overall health and wellness. The outdoors provides many opportunities to be physically active and can increase mental health and stress reduction. Aim for at least 15-20 minutes of time outdoors, even if it means a brisk walk to the park or a few laps around the block (whenever possible, of course). Changing the scenery, hearing different sounds, inhaling some fresh air, feeling the cool breeze can all increase mental health.
Tip # 6: I CAN DO IT!
An affirmation is a positive statement that you can use to banish negative thoughts and achieve a goal. They work by reprogramming the subconscious mind and encouraging us to believe certain things about ourselves. Write them down in a journal, on sticky notes or wherever you will be able to see them to remind yourself of self-love, positivity, or just confidence. One of my favorite affirmations is this:
I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.
You truly have so many talents, many you might already know and many that are there waiting to be found! Tap into your creative side, help others, make time for yourself, prioritize your mental and physical health, write some goals and pair them with action steps and you will find that you have the power to make a difference in your life and around you.