These days, many people want to improve their mental health. Stresses brought on by the pandemic, lockdowns, job losses, worker shortages and supply chain delays can easily pile on top of more everyday sources of tension.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and cranky – and determined to do something about it – here are five ways to support your new year’s mental health resolutions.
- Make consistent, restful sleep a priority. No matter how motivated you are on January 1st, chances are good that you won’t keep your new year’s resolution longer than March. When you’re tired, you’re not as resilient. You may be less likely to practice good self care. Being well rested can help increase your ability to stick with your new goals until they become a habit. Tips: Experts advise training your body by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Taking Suntheanine 30 minutes before bedtime can help put your brain in a calm, relaxed state so that you can fall asleep faster. Find more better sleep tips here.
- Set realistic limits on social media. There are many ways that social media can negatively affect your mental wellness. Remember that what you see online is only a small portion of others’ reality so stop comparing your life with theirs. Likewise, just the act of reading upsetting posts can destroy your good mood. Tips: Leave your phone in another room for a specific number of hours of the day. Insist on phone-free family meals. Check in with family and friends only between certain hours.
- Spend more time around people who make you feel good about yourself. Treasure people who make you smile and laugh, and feel accepted for who you are. Connecting with these people can help you stay in balance emotionally. Tips: Consider who in your life makes you feel most at peace, and actively look for ways to spend more time with them. Limit your time around people who may be pulling you down.
- Get more fresh air. Spend time in nature, especially a heavily wooded environment. Just doing this for 15 minutes at a time – that seems to be the sweet spot – has been shown to lower stress and increase happiness. Tips: Eat lunch outside. Take a walk after your evening meal.
- Declutter. Clutter is associated with anxiety. A chaotic desk or bursting closet may cause you to feel stressed and less able to focus. A messy home may also cause you to isolate yourself, when you may instead need to be socializing more. Tips: Finish your tasks and projects so nothing is left laying around to complete later. Store unused items in boxes. If you still don’t need them in three months, sell or donate them.
Give yourself permission to celebrate even minor improvements, because they are moving you closer to your goals.