Oftentimes, we make resolutions at New Year’s which look towards our physical health. But have you ever stopped to consider the benefits of making resolutions geared towards your mental health?
New Year’s resolutions to benefit your mental health
While there are plenty of New Year’s resolution ideas to be had, we want to take time to really focus on the ones that will benefit your mental health. Mental health is just as crucial to focus on as physical health, as the two go hand-in-hand with how you function every day. Just as we suffer the consequences if we let our physical health go, we suffer when we neglect our mental health.
So this year, maybe consider making attainable resolutions that not only impact your physical health, but benefit your mental state, too.
And don’t worry – we did the hard work and selected some resolution ideas for you. All you have to do is implement it in your life and watch as you benefit in unexpected ways.
This two-for-one resolution impacts both mental and physical health, but may feel more achievable than a certain amount of weight to be lost. Perhaps you resolve to get 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether it’s taking a walk on your lunch breaks, getting up and doing yoga before work or attending a fitness class after your shift.
No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy. Exercise should not be a punishment, but a way to increase the health of your body and brain. Therefore, make sure you are exercising in a way that is both enjoyable and effective.
Reflection, prayer or meditation
This includes journaling, spending time in nature, going for a long hike or spending time in a garden. You might find peace in creating art; maybe drinking coffee on your porch while watching the sunset helps you reset; perhaps you have a prayer book you like to spend time reading.
No matter how you do it, consider the benefits of connecting with a higher power and reflecting on your daily life, your routines, choices, successes and failures – the more time you spend in reflection and gratitude, the greater your sense of self-awareness will grow.
Invest in a new hobby
Maybe you want to learn to cook; perhaps you miss playing an instrument. Does your bookshelf need some new content? Do you have a room in your house that needs redone? What about that garden you always wanted to plant, that coffee table you hope to re-stain or that craft you wanted to try your hand at.
Taking time to pursue a hobby is incredibly beneficial for your mental health. Plus it’s fun. And we could all use a little more wholesome fun in our lives, couldn’t we?
Create a routine for yourself
Determine what needs to be revamped in your life and craft a routine to help you do so. Perhaps you really want to implement exercise, but feel like you just don’t have the time. Sit down and take a look at your daily habits to see what might need to be revisited.
For example, do you spend long periods of time online scrolling through social media? Maybe if you limited that time to 15 minutes during your lunch break, you would have the time in the morning or after work to get to the gym. Or, if you’re creating a bedtime routine that eliminates screen time 30 to 60 minutes before bed, you might notice your improved sleep quality gives you the energy to get up earlier to go on a walk first thing.
Routines can be challenging to implement initially, but remember that the longer you stick to it, the more it will become just that – routine. And, of course, give yourself some grace to work out the kinks as you go, but do your best to keep yourself accountable to the steps needed to accomplish your goals.
We could dedicate a whole article to the topic of sleep alone, but that just goes to show how important good quality sleep is for your mental health. If you make any resolutions this year, dedicate it to improving sleep.
There are a number of ways you can do this including:
- Turning off screens thirty minutes to one hour before bed
- Implementing a bedtime routine, like skin care, reading/journaling, peaceful music, prepping lunch for tomorrow, etc. to indicate to your body it’s time to start winding down
- Set a sleep/wake time to ensure you’re getting at minimum seven hours of sleep each night and keep yourself accountable to winding down and rising each night and morning, respectively
- Minimize the amount of caffeine, sugar and alcohol you intake before bed
- Try breathing exercises before sleep to help shut down the mind
If you prioritize sleep, you will quickly notice the overall benefits it has on all aspects of your life.
Additional mental health support in the New Year
Contact us at Silvermist Recovery if you or a loved one is in need of additional care and support during the New Year (or at any time), by contacting us at 724-268-4858 or online to learn more.