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  • Writer's pictureIndia Banis

New Year's Resolutions for Better Mental Health

After a busy holiday season and yet another year gone by, the new year can be the best time to get a fresh start by setting new goals for the year ahead.

Usually, our resolutions are typically goal-orientated, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, something just as important that we often overlook is setting resolutions that are focused on improving our well-being. These are just as important because not only will they boost your mood and mental health but their effects are long-term and will help you to achieve your other goals more efficiently!

Here are some simple suggestions for 2023 resolutions to boost your mental health and improve your general well-being.

1. Take care of yourself physically

Your physical well-being is a pillar of an improved and stable mental health. Setting goals to improve your physical well-being will improve your psychological health as well! Use the following suggestions as ideas for new resolutions.

  • Get regular exercise

Exercising at regular intervals will not only make you feel more accomplished, it will also release “endorphins”, the happy chemical, which is excellent for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Start small. You do not need to aim to go to the gym for 2 hours every day. Simply getting some light exercise such as a short walk every morning is enough to bring forward noticeable results.

  • Eat a healthy diet

Eating healthier foods will provide obvious health benefits. But in addition, a nutrient-rich diet has been proven to reduce mood swings, depressive symptoms and enhance focus.

You could try to achieve this by setting a goal to cook something new and nutritious each week for example!

  • Get enough sleep

Even though this is often overlooked, getting a good amount of sleep is paramount to achieving a good mental health. This improves mood, focus and alertness the next day and has also been linked to reduced stress levels. Don’t forget to stop your screen time at least 30 minutes before going to bed and preferably one hour; this has been shown to greatly improve your sleep and therefore how you start the next day.

2. Cut back on drinking

During the festive period, it is very tempting to overindulge in alcohol. However, this can be harmful to your mental well-being, especially if you are already suffering from a mental health condition.

An overconsumption of alcohol can lead to addiction, and significant rises in anxiety and stressful symptoms the next day.

Being a depressor, it can also cause low mood at the time of consumption.

Use the new year as an excuse to cut down on your consumption for a better mental and physical well-being!

3. Get out and meet new people

Going out and meeting new people is never easy, especially during the winter months when it is more tempting to stay inside.

However, making it a goal to get out of your comfort zone and make new connections can help you to get out there!

There are an infinite number of ways to do this, but the best way is doing something that you enjoy in the process. This could be joining a new club or starting a new activity for instance.

Making new friends or finding a new hobby can be a positive and fun distraction from work and the “January blues”. It can also boost your confidence and mood, leading to a happier and more exciting year ahead!

4. Catch up with family

In everyday life, work and friends can make it easy to forget to appreciate or spend time with family members.

Make it your goal to spend time with them regularly. This can be meeting them in person but scheduling a regular FaceTime call is fine too.

There are countless benefits to doing this. It is important to remember that your family members will always be a strong support system when times get tough, and even in happy periods, will continue to improve your mood and mental health.

5. Set a reading goal

In busy times, it can be tempting to avoid reading for more “easy” distractions such as social media or Netflix.

But remember that if you make it a habit to pick up a book instead, you can benefit from better self-development, new skills and a more positive outlook on life, all of which can improve your mental health in the long-term.

6. Get help

Seek out support when you need it. If you are struggling with symptoms of mental illness, seeking out professional help is often the best and most efficient option to resolve your issues. Consider seeing a therapist. Additional tools such as GenMind™ will allow you to assess your day-to-day symptoms, allowing your healthcare provider to evaluate your situation ensuring a continuum of care and create a more efficient and personalized treatment plan for you.

We hope that you enjoy your holidays and wish you a happy and healthy new year ahead!

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