Preparing Your Mental Health for a New Year
Here it comes – a new year. Many of us are happy that 2021 is only around the corner. In fact, we’ve probably been counting down the days to the big night we get to say goodbye to 2020 forever! 2021 brings us much hope; vaccines are on the horizon, life should be getting back to some normality, and most importantly we can look back on 2020 and say ‘I got through that!’
But some things will remain the same too; Covid-19 is still here and not ready to go as soon as the clock strikes 12, many businesses are barely surviving, and our mental health might not be 100% just yet. If you want to make sure 2021 isn’t as detrimental to our health and happiness as 2020 was, then you need to prepare your mental health for the new year.
For many of us, we try to boost our mood through new year’s resolutions and promises to complete all the things we put off in the previous year. For others, it can be something as simple as planning a new routine and thinking about the little things. Please keep reading to learn more about how you can prepare your mental health for 2021 so that you can push through the tough times unscathed and welcome the good moments with open arms.
You Don’t Have to Change
One of the most important things we have to remember as we enter any new year is that our new year’s resolutions don’t have to demand change from us. Often, people think that they have to change things about themselves to improve or ‘feel better’. In fact, this change can often make our mental health worse as we lose parts of us which are integral to what makes us…us!
This year, we should focus on making new year’s resolutions which prepare our mental health rather than ones which change us. Think about setting a new routine where you focus on activities that make us happier like getting out the house for a walk, working out or meeting with friends and family (online or in-person based on laws at the time).
You can also make a resolution around introducing tactics to protect your mental health such as journaling, going to therapy, self-reflection and meditating. You don’t have to start trying to implement every mental health tip and trick you’ve seen on the internet into your life, but instead, pick one or two you can see yourself sticking to in the coming year.
Think About the Little Things
You don’t need to overhaul your life to have a significant impact on your mental health. There’s no need for resolutions that demand taking on too much. Instead, you can think about the little things and how these can do the most for your mental health and happiness.
Setting a reading goal is a great place to start the new year. Websites like Goodreads allow you to set yourself a reading challenge to meet a certain number of books by the end of 2021. It also reminds you of how many books you need to read per month to keep on track. Reading is a great way to unwind and relax and shut yourself out from unwanted thoughts for half an hour to a full day. No matter if your love is fantasy fiction, biographies or self-help books, this is an ideal resolution for many people.
Even a short walk or exercise for ten minutes a day can hugely improve your mood. Exercise has been shown to release hormones called endorphins, also known as ‘happy hormones’. While you might not look at exercise as something fun to do, it’s something that will boost your mood for the rest of the day. And, if you make it a regular activity, it can have long-lasting, positive effects on your mental health!
Seek Support You Deserve
Sometimes, the best new year’s resolution is to seek the support you deserve. Our mental health is a complex creation that not all of us can control and comprehend on our own. Everything from experiences as a child to the way our day is going can affect the way we think and feel. Sometimes, memories and experiences can be buried so deep in our subconscious that we may not even know what exactly is controlling such a massive part of our lives – our happiness.
Therapy is the best place to seek mental health support from experts who have the knowledge and experience to help. With compassion, understanding and dedication, therapists are the best people to support anybody no matter the journey they are on. Therapists are empathetic and non-judgemental, showing you that there is no shame in asking for support. Having someone to talk to and gain advice from can help you boost your mental health in the long-term and not just at the moment.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can support your mental health journey. We should all look to 2021 as a year for improving our mental health and also celebrate making it through the hardships of 2020. For those of us who require more support, therapy is an excellent place for this reflection to take place, as well as support and advice for boosting our mental health.