6 New Year's Resolutions for Better Mental Health
Even though it’s already the second week of January, it’s not too late to start thinking about (or rethinking) your New Year’s resolutions. Many people use the start of a new year as an opportunity to create newer and/or better versions of themselves (I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “new year, new me”), but having these resolutions don’t necessarily guarantee a positive effect in our lives. For instance, setting unrealistic resolutions may induce too much unnecessary pressure to stick to them. This is why it’s so important to set the right New Year’s resolutions. Ultimately, the goal of these resolutions should be to improve your mental health and general wellbeing – ask yourself the following three questions and if the answer is yes to all of them, then it’s probably a good resolution to have.
1. Is it challenging but achievable?
2. Will it help to make me a better person?
3. Will it have a positive impact on my life?
Below are some examples of New Year’s Resolutions for better mental health but remember that everyone is different, and resolutions are personal to each individual so choose the best ones for you.
6 New Year’s Resolutions
Make Time for You
Life is busy. Whether it’s work, school, or personal stuff, we have responsibilities and we’re all dealing with something in our day-to-day lives, so it can sometimes be difficult to find time for ourselves. That’s why it’s important to make time for you and make an active effort to practice self-care as regularly as possible. If this sounds like a completely new concept for you and you don’t even know where to begin, try asking yourself this: what can I do for my benefit and no one else’s? Something that would make me happy?
Then do it. This could be something like doing yoga for 10 minutes every day or going to a café once a week to read, or even just something as simple as going for a walk or listening to music every so often. Just make sure there’s time dedicated in your life to taking care of yourself.
Be Mindful of Time Spent on Social Media
It goes without saying that there are many benefits to social media – catching up on news on Twitter, chatting with friends and family on Facebook, browsing pretty pictures on Instagram, and watching funny videos on TikTok, to name a few. However, it’s important to know that social media can also negatively affect lives. Too much of anything is not good for us and given the addictive nature of social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of endlessly scrolling on social media platforms and spending an unproductive amount of time doing so. Social media can also have a negative effect on mental health as some of the content posted on these platforms set unrealistic standards for people that could lead to feelings of insecurity. So, even though social media is definitely great for many reasons, just be mindful of how you use it and how much time you spend on it.
Make an Active Effort to See Friends & Family
As we’ve already established, life is so busy that sometimes we don’t even have enough time for ourselves, never mind friends and family. So, if this sounds like you, one of your new year goals could be to make an active effort to spend time with friends and/or family. It doesn’t necessarily have to be every single day but spending quality time with them regularly could make both you and them happier at the same time. This can also be a good distraction and a great way to relax, as time spent with friends and family is an opportunity to not worry about life’s problems in the meanwhile.
Try Something New
One of the most common new year’s resolutions is to try something new, usually a hobby of some sort, and this is another one that could also improve your mental health. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but just keep putting off? Now’s your chance! Use the new year as your reason to pick up a new hobby or just try something new in your life. For example, why not try Veganuary? It doesn’t really matter that you didn’t start it at the beginning of January, you could still try it for the rest of the month – the point is that you’re trying something new. The goal is to essentially step a little bit out of your comfort zone and maybe discover something new to enjoy in your life.
Be Kinder to Yourself
Are you self-critical and find that you’re constantly putting yourself down? This is the New Year’s resolution for you. Be kinder to yourself! Try to be more mindful of the way you treat your own self and adopt a more positive mindset. Whenever you find yourself thinking of negative thoughts along the lines of “I’m not good enough” or “It’s all my fault”, try not to be so hard on yourself. Pretend you’re speaking to a family member or one of your closest friends and you hear them talking negatively about themselves, you’re likely to counter these comments with positivity and reassure them that everything’s ok. It’s time for you to apply this same attitude for yourself.
Don’t Worry about “New Year, new me”
New Year’s resolutions are a popular concept, and many people use this time to make changes in life to try and be a better person but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just because it’s a new year, doesn’t mean that it has to be a whole new you. Whether you have 1 resolution or 10 resolutions, make sure that they have (and will have) a positive impact on your life – your mental health should be your priority. Below are some quick tips on how to stick to your resolutions and although you should try your best to stick to them, just remember that if you don’t, it’s absolutely ok.
6 Tips for Sticking to Your Resolutions
1. Write them down. Make sure to make a note of them somewhere so that you can keep looking back at them.
2. Be specific. When choosing your resolutions, try to be as specific as possible so that you know exactly what your goals are.
3. Tell people about them. Talk about your New Year’s resolutions with family/friends/colleagues as this way, they can motivate you and keep you accountable.
4. Choose realistic, yet challenging ones. These are the resolutions that you can stick to but will still make an impact in your life.
5. Make a plan. Figure out exactly how you’re going to tackle your resolutions as this will help you achieve your goals easier.
6. Stay positive. When you’re doing well with your resolutions, reward yourself and be proud of yourself, and when you’re not doing so well with them, be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up about it.