New Year’s Resolutions to Better Your Mental Health

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New Year’s resolutions often encourage us to pick out our insecurities and shame ourselves into changing them. Resolutions like “lose the weight” or “be more disciplined” can lead to more self-hate when as we make mistakes and can’t stick to with the unrealistic resolution. However, setting positive intentions for a new year can be a good thing. Instead of setting goals that will damage your self-esteem, try these resolutions to better your mental health in 2018. 

1. Try Meditation: 

Meditation can be an effective tool for everyone looking to better their mental health, not just those with mental illness. Meditation apps, like Headspace and Calm, have become increasingly popular. Their quick access and daily notifications make it easy to add meditation to your daily routine. However, there is such a wide variety of meditation types - these apps might not be for you. Personally, I never really got into them. My favorite guided meditation for anxiety and overthinking is called Leaves on a River. Do some exploring and find what works for you.

2. Make the call: 

Whether it’s starting therapy or going to talk to your doctor about medication, make the call! Do what you need most to take care of yourself. If you’re thinking “I know I should go to therapy, but…” or you’ve heard “you should talk to your doctor” a million times, make it your goal to do it this year. The anxiety and anticipation before making the call is the worst part. Once you make the call, the weight will immediately fly off your shoulders. Getting the help you need is the best thing you can do for yourself to make 2018 your year. 

3. Stop comparing:

We’re never going to be able to stop the comparison thoughts completely. Comparing ourselves to others is a habit ingrained in us from a young age. But, when you find you’ve fallen in the Instagram-comparison-hole wondering why your house isn’t as pretty or life isn’t as impressive compared to the people you follow - recognize what you’re doing and redirect. Say to yourself, “I don’t need to compare myself to others. I am enough just as I am,” and then turn your attention to a proactive activity like listing your gratitudes or doing a craft.

4. Set a bucket list goal:

Think of one thing you’ve always thought looked so cool and thought “I wish I could do that but…” because it’s outside of your comfort zone. Getting a little bit outside of your comfort zone can be an amazing way to grow (as long as you’re doing it because you want to). My bucket list goal for 2018 is to go on a hot air balloon ride. I’ve always wanted to do it but never thought I actually could, just because it’s a little crazy and outside of my comfort zone. What’s one thing you could do in 2018 that you’ve always wanted to do? Make it happen!

5. Create a “Self Care Space” or Container:

Dedicating a space in your home or a container filled with things to help you relax is a great way to improve your self-care. Often, we might feel the urge to relax or take care of ourselves, but we’re not even sure where to start. Having a planned activity, like coloring, knitting, reading, taking a bath, etc. makes it easier to get going. For example, I have a little basket of my favorite self-care activities next to my couch, so they are easy to access whenever I need them. 

Written by Hannah Maine