As we begin to settle into 2024, many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. The start of a New Year signals a time for change, reflection and a sense of ‘starting afresh’. This year, you can seize the new year’s spirit of renewal and make mental health your top priority!
A healthy mind will increase your self-esteem, attract positivity, and help you break those persistent bad habits. Don’t make the mistake of only writing ‘improve mental health’ on your New Year’s resolution list. To ensure success, you need to have a plan.
6 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health
Make a clear plan
Rather than attempting to overhaul several areas of your life, focus on one area at a time to maximize your chances of success. Checklists and timelines can help you track everything.
Set achievable health goals by making small, practical changes, like swapping out a meal or ingredient for a healthier option, rather than trying to quit all unhealthy foods at once.
Sleep is often the first thing to go. Poor sleep, especially over a period of a few weeks, leads to poor functioning: it impacts your immune system, ability to concentrate and your mood – all things that make you even more stressed out. It’s a vicious circle.
Prioritize “Me Time”
Taking some much needed “me time” isn’t selfish; taking care of yourself is one of the best mental wellness gifts you can receive. Do some yoga, take a walk, relax in the bathtub, or simply take some time to catch up on some reading. Your mental health will thank you for it.
Get Some Exercise
Exercise is an excellent way to destress. Focus on simply moving your body. Take the stairs or park your car further away from your destination to get some more steps in!
Enjoy Time with Friends and Family
Nurturing relationships with friends and family is crucial for a fulfilling life. Research shows that interacting with people we’re close to boosts our mood and makes us feel more connected. A strong support systems transforms challenges into manageable tasks and reassures you that you’re not alone.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Write down at least five things you’re grateful for and then reflect on why those things are important to you. It might be difficult at first, but the more you do it the easier it will become. You’ll find yourself feeling happier and more optimistic about life.
In a recent Forbes health survey, 50% of the respondents between the ages of 18 and 25 and 49% of those between 26 and 41 cited mental health as a top priority. Among respondents overall, 45% said improving their mental health was one of their top priorities.
Mental health is centered around the social and psychological aspects of our lives. Human beings are filled with complex thoughts and emotions — we are not preprogrammed to simply perform daily tasks. Our ability to think, feel, and navigate various experiences is tied to our mental state.
Good mental health gives us the resilience to process life’s challenges and helps us make wise decisions about the future. As you step into the new year, it’s essential to give your mental health the attention it deserves to ensure a balanced approach to your well-being.