According to statistics, every January 40% of Americans set goals and resolutions with hopes that this will finally be the year of change. Most resolutions include losing weight, saving or budgeting money, changing your diet or exercising more. What is missing from the list? Goals focused on prioritizing your mental health.
Here are seven achievable New Years Resolutions that will hopefully encourage you to put your mental health first in 2020. Remember any seemingly small positive changes are success and worth celebrating; and anytime you revert back to what you have done that is no longer considered failure – it is your norm, your baseline, what your brain does when it does what is easiest.
1. Let yourself feel without judgment.
You feel what you feel. You cannot control how you feel. Likely, you have tried to change how your feel without success. You have permission to feel any feeling that comes and you have permission to still choose your next decision.
2. Schedule yourself a mental health check up.
Just like physical health, mental health sometimes requires a medical professional. I recommend having monthly check-ins with a therapist.
3. Begin setting boundaries.
You will experience significant happiness when you define where you end and someone else begins. You are allowed to express your needs and not have your rights infringed upon by others.
4. Prioritize your sleep.
Sleep and mood are directly connected. Sleep deprivation can be a trigger for those with mental illness. If you have difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep, talk to your doctor about sleep medications or participating in a sleep study.
5. Evaluate your time on social media.
At the same time, evaluate your mood before, during, and after engaging in social media. Set the best limitations for yourself and reevaluate where it sits within your value system.
6. Take time for a hobby.
Hobbies can be a great outlet for energy release and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of our body’s stress response. Hobbies may also connect you with others therefore boosting your social support system.
7. Accept your body.
Consciously change the language you use to focus more on health instead of weight and beauty. Fight the instinct to compare yourself to others. Reconnect with your body by accepting every part without adding a shame narrative, which may cause you to feel unworthy and undesirable.