How to Set New Year’s Resolutions That Have a Positive Effect on Mental Health
Research has found that only 40% of Americans are making New Year’s resolutions, with half succeeding within a six month period. As you can imagine, 40% of people had positive goals and aspirations they were looking forward to in the new year.
Yet, only half were successful for one simple reason: expectations. It’s only natural for us to want the best out of our lives and to aim for the highest possible achievements. Yet, when we naturally fall short of those goals, we may find ourselves resentful and feeling more depressed than before.
Setting realistic New Year’s resolutions is critical for 2022 (and all the years to follow). Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss a number of self-care techniques should be considered when planning out this year’s resolution.
1.) Be Kind to Yourself
One of the most difficult aspects of New Year’s resolutions is the change we expect from ourselves. There’s no denying change isn’t easy. It’s likely we’re going to fail at times and, in such moments, we may not be the kindest to ourselves.
It’s important for us to understand change takes time and effort. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way. Don’t be afraid of forgiving yourself and allowing your feelings to process. The fact that you’re giving it your best effort is what truly matters.
2.) Take Time for Self-Care
In order to make a worthwhile change, it’s likely we need to adjust many of our smaller habits. For example, if you’re looking to lose weight in the new year, it’s likely you’re going to have to exercise regularly and eat a healthier diet.
In order to accomplish the long-term goal (losing weight), it’s in your interest to set smaller objectives to meet this goal. For example, a smaller objective may mean not eating out as much as you do or doing 20 sit ups after you wake up.
These smaller acts ensure you’re taking the time to care for yourself. You’re allowing your brain and body to ease into an alternative routine rather than throwing yourself at it. Throughout these changes, it can help to write a list of self-care activities you’d like to implement.
3.) Limit Screen & Social Media Time
Recent research has found too much screen time can lead to negative impacts on your sleep, relationships, and mood. In fact, in some instances, too much time spent behind a screen may lead to mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.
In order to make the right changes, it can help to be aware of how much time you’re spending behind the screen. Whether you do this manually or download a time-tracking application, you should also consider the appropriate amount of time you’d like to spend online and make adjustments, if necessary.
Furthermore, you should consider whether or not social media is having a positive impact on you. Studies show many people struggle with mental health due to social media.
With this in mind, there’s a chance it may be preventing you from reaching your long-term goals. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may be discouraged by seeing so many people at the weight you desire.
4.) Ensure Sleep is a Priority
Getting the right amount of sleep is extremely important for our mental health. In fact, studies show 65% to 90% of people struggling with major depression also experience sleep difficulties.
Has sleep ever prevented you from attaining your goals? Do you find yourself waking up too late in the day to be motivated?
In such cases, it can be worth making adjustments to your sleep schedule. Whether it’s going to bed a little earlier every night or waking up a bit earlier in the morning. Keep in mind like any other change, it’s going to take time for your brain and body to adjust to a new sleep schedule.
Furthermore, if you plan to make changes to your sleep, it’s extremely important to ensure you’re getting at least 7 hours every night. With this said, it may be worth using a health supplement, like melatonin or cannabidiol (CBD), to assist in promoting better sleep.
5.) Learn About Mental Health and How it May Affect You
If you struggle with a mental health condition and are looking to make improvements with it, one of the best things you can do is understand it. There’s a lot of information online concerning mental health and further sources for support.
It may be in your best interest to speak to a medical professional. According to research, there are currently 1.5 million young adults who aren’t receiving the proper treatment for their condition. In such cases, an illness has the opportunity to worsen and lead to problems further down the road.
If you’re looking to make positive changes in your life, it’s essential to identify your mental health and develop the proper solutions.
New Year’s resolutions aren’t easy. Especially when we set expectations for ourselves beyond reach.
If you’re looking to make changes this upcoming year, we highly recommend starting small. To take the steps you know you can achieve and from there, build off on your goals.