New Year’s resolutions often include some theme of getting fit, working out more, eating better, or generally just being more active. We all rush into these goals with gusto and excitement and that’s good, though often we tend to forget our mental health goals.
When we seek to improve ourselves, seeking to improve mental health should be a top priority. Luckily, most of the physical changes we try to make can benefit and support mental health.
As you begin a new year, here are a few ways to help you improve mental health and gain more confidence in yourself.
1. Be Active
As it is with almost any resolution, being active is on the top of this list as well. Research shows that exercise can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety and help improve overall mental health. Even walking once or twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes counts! You don’t have to go all out with this goal. Take small steps at first and work your way up to more intense workouts.
2. Start With One
As stated above, you don’t need to go to extremes when making changes. When you’re looking to improve mental health, change one behavior at a time. If there is a habit you’ve formed that’s causing you anxiety or contributing to poor mental health, focus on changing it. This will help you feel less overwhelmed.
3. Don’t Ignore The Emotions Inside
Just because you ignore the fact you’re sad doesn’t mean it will go away. This is especially true with seasonal affective disorder. From depression to anger, seek out the root of the problem. It could stem from work, family, friends, or even the media you view. Don’t ignore the problem; instead, try to fix it.
4. Overcome Mental Obstacles
No matter what your mental health goals are this year, chances are you may stumble. It’s human nature. It’s normal. You must learn to forgive yourself if you falter. If you make a mistake, don’t replay it over and over in your mind. Learning forgiveness of yourself is essential to incorporate into your mental health goals.
5. Take Time to Celebrate
Even if you conquer a small goal, celebrate it! People who struggle with their mental health can find strength in beating a smaller goal. Try to enjoy the moment. Don’t think about the next step or goal, don’t focus on all the future issues you want to work on. Instead, take a moment to appreciate the little things.
6. Learn a Hobby
Mental health goals can be difficult to focus on and sometimes can cause some stress. Instead of putting all your focus into one goal, it can help to put your attention elsewhere, like developing a new hobby.
A hobby that improves your happiness and helps you learn a new skill can improve your mental health and help you feel more accomplished. This could be gardening, cooking, exercising, woodworking, and even board or video games.
7. Get Help When You Need It
It’s human nature to act a bit stubborn, and when it comes to mental health support, things are no different. Struggling through depression, anxiety or other mental illness isn’t uncommon. In fact, one in five Americans endures a mental health challenge. You’re not alone. Too often, people go untreated because they feel less, or feel judged, for having a mental illness. There are people trained to help with these issues, so don’t be afraid to seek out help.
Vista Del Mar Hospital has staff trained to assist anyone with mental illnesses. From adults to adolescents and military personnel, we want you to be your best self. Trying to find ways to improve mental health can be scary and confusing. Please, don’t wait any longer if you need help. Contact us today and get on the path to a free and happier you.