If you’re going through a mental health or a recovery journey, you understand the importance of a fresh start. Taking the time to identify that you want to change and create better, healthier habits is an integral part of bettering ourselves as human beings. And while a fresh start can happen at just about any time, there’s no time like the new year to start new. While many people focus on physical goals, mental health goals are just as (if not more) important.
Whether you’re tackling mental health resolutions or addiction resolutions, here are some suggestions for resolutions to better your mental health into the new year.
10 Ultimate Mental Health Goals
1. Prioritize Self-Care
Now that you’re focusing on your mental health, you can take the time to practice better self-care. As we go through our daily routines of work and responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to take time for ourselves. However, prioritizing self-care can help you be a happier person.
Some suggestions include:
- Taking time to relax and spend time alone
- Finding what makes you happy
- Using only positive words when talking about yourself
You can make sure you stick to this goal by scheduling self-care time right into your calendar. Choose a timeslot, like Wednesday evenings, in which self-care is your priority and all you do for that night.
2. Avoid All Substances (Drugs & Alcohol)
Avoiding all substances is especially important if you’re tackling some addiction goals. Whether you’re dealing with a drug or an alcohol addiction, it can be extremely beneficial to avoid all substances. For one, you may have a more addictive personality, which means you might replace one addictive substance with another. And secondly, your sense of judgment is skewed when you’re under the influence, so you might fall into a relapse if you indulge in substances.
Even if you’re not battling addiction, drugs and alcohol can have harmful effects on your mental health. Alcohol is linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression, self-harm and psychosis. Similarly, drug use can also have negative consequences on your mental health. Compared with the general population, people who use drugs are almost twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders.
If possible, avoid drugs and alcohol entirely. If you must indulge in alcohol, do so infrequently and in small amounts. Tell your friends you’re avoiding substances so they can be aware of your choice and respect your decision.
3. Start Exercising
A regular exercise routine should be one of your top priorities when it comes to mental health recovery goals. People who engage in regular exercise are happier, more motivated and more confident. Additionally, exercise can relieve some of the side effects of anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD and trauma and even ADHD.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean running a half-marathon, either. You can increase your activity slowly and at your own pace. Start by going for walks twice a day and then continuously increase the intensity of your workouts. In no time at all, you’ll feel the benefits of working out, and you might keep this positive habit around long term!
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Our bodies and minds need proper nutrition to function at optimal levels. A healthy diet has many benefits, including giving us the energy to handle our entire day, think clearly and feel content.
Try to eat as many whole foods as you can, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Challenge yourself by trying to make healthy versions of your favorite dishes so you get the best of both worlds.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is crucial to our well-being. While we sleep, our bodies and minds rest, rebuild and recharge. Try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every single night. Additionally, make sure it’s a restful, deep sleep, not one that’s full of tossing and turning.
Some tips to help you get better sleep include:
- Going to bed at the same time every night, including weekends
- Purchasing blackout curtains
- Avoiding technology one hour before bedtime
- Removing all distractions from the bedroom
6. Try New Things
Have you ever noticed that when you try something new and like it, you feel instantly happy? Our minds want to be challenged. You’re a smart individual, and you’re capable of acquiring new skills and hobbies. Keep your mind active by trying new things. This is especially great if you’re on an addiction commitment because you’ll refocus your energy and spirit into new hobbies. This can help distract you from temptations.
- Taking a course
- Cooking a new dish
- Trying a new form of exercise
- Exploring a new part of your town or city
- Learning a new language
- Reading a book on a topic you know nothing about
7. Consider Taking a Break From Social Media
While social media can feel like it helps us stay connected to our friends and loved ones, it also has a dark side. Social media breeds desire and jealousy. As everyone shares only the best moments of their lives, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone’s lives are better than yours.
If possible, take a break from social media. Your break can be just for a day or a week, or longer. Delete the apps from your phone and closely monitor how you feel. You might notice that you have more time in your day and feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.
8. Invest in Your Relationships
Consider the people in your life who matter most to you. This can be friends, family members and other loved ones. These people have likely been there for you during the good and bad times. Now, it’s time for you to reinvest in these relationships.
Make a conscious effort to spend time with those who matter to you. And if possible, try to make an in-person effort, not just texting or calling people. Not only will this effort make the other person feel good but you’ll also feel a sense of happiness when you interact with your favorite people.
9. Journal, Meditate, Yoga, Breathing Techniques
Whether you’ve ever tried it before or not, consider picking up a stress management technique. This tip is essential for your mental health goals, because there will always be times when you feel stressed. By having stress management techniques in your back pocket, you’ll be able to handle any stress that comes your way.
There are various forms of stress management, so find the one that suits you best. Some suggestions include journaling, mediation, yoga practice or simply breathing training. Try to make an effort to practice these techniques 3-4 times a week, preferably in the mornings or right before bed.
10. Seek Professional Help
Mental health improvement and addiction recovery are both lifelong journeys. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help. A mental health professional can give you the tools you need to accomplish your mental health goals. They can help you understand the root of any existing issues, identify your triggers and build out personal coping strategies.
Seeking professional help is like getting an insurance policy that you’ll stay on track with your goals. You have someone in your corner to help you get through whatever life throws your way!
Most importantly, remember to have attainable goals that won’t devastate you if you fail. Your progress may take time, and there may be bumps along the way. The important thing is that you’re trying to better yourself.
If you’re struggling with addiction recovery or mental health problems, the professionals at FHE can help. We have a wide variety of programs that specialize in mental health and addiction solutions. Contact us today for a consultation on what we can do for you by calling (833) 596-3502.