It’s the season for New Year’s Resolutions again. While there’s nothing wrong with having a plan to improve your life and future, New Year’s Resolutions have a tendency to make us feel disappointed when we fall short of our goals. Beyond that, the dawning of a New Year makes us feel pressured to conform to idealized standards – to be thin, to quit smoking, to strive to really “have it all.” The pressure to be what society demands, instead of who you actually are, can be every bit as harmful as those abandoned resolutions that act as a symptom of it. 

Committing to prioritizing your mental health is a resolution that will be helpful this year and every year. Here are a few ways you can start today!

It’s All About Perspective.

Instead of waiting to be happy when you’re thinner, have more money, etc., work on cultivating mindfulness and living in the present moment. Focus on your current surroundings and the positive aspects of current challenges to help you see value even in moments that may be frustrating. Some ways to implement this include writing down a gratitude list, using an app like Simple Habit or Shift to try some guided meditations, and deep breathing exercises.

The Power of Self-Care

Taking the steps to put your self-care on your to-do list can be challenging. Try to commit to one act of self-care every day and then take steps towards making larger acts of self-care on a weekly or monthly basis. Self-care can be anything! Some good places to start are taking a relaxing shower, going out for a peaceful walk, turning off screens to focus on something or someone that makes you happy, or cooking a nutritious meal for yourself. You’ll be surprised how much it improves your life to truly take care of yourself.

Therapy

The best way to spark change is to understand the reasoning behind your current perspective, and there are few ways to do that that are more effective than therapy. Therapy can help you navigate the emotions that lead to the unhealthy habits that we try to remedy every January, and process the events that caused them. Instead of focusing on changing those unhealthy habits on a surface level, resolve to get help understanding them. Better Help is the world’s largest online counseling service that provides completely flexible scheduling and allows you to communicate comfortably, whether that be by messaging, video, or by phone. It is also relatively affordable!

This year, make time to really take care of your mental health, and the progress you make will serve you well regardless of the circumstances. Commit to helping yourself feel and become healthier, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too.

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