New Year's resolutions are easily made but another thing altogether to keep, with many of our best-laid plans falling apart within the first month or two.
And while most of these resolutions are certainly admirable, such as getting physically healthier or ahead financially, all too often we forget about the mental health improvements that would make our lives–and certainly the year ahead–infinitely better.
Whether it's regarding yourself with more positivity, distancing yourself from toxic individuals, or simply going after that long overdue dream, 2020 is the perfect year to put your wellbeing first.
Here are 6 of the best mental health goes you could make for the new year, which will no doubt carry you much further.
Thinking And Speaking Positively About Yourself
It's said that actions speak louder than words, but our thoughts precede them both; how we think largely determines a number of outcomes in our lives.
This means if you're constantly thinking and speaking negatively about yourself, chances are your actions are inadvertently encouraging others to think similarly about you–and treat you accordingly.
Everyone experiences periods of low self esteem, but it's important to remind yourself of the positives as well. Start the day with some simple mantras spoken out loud, such as “I am proud of how far I've come,” “I can do anything I set my mind to,” or “I am brave, I am safe, I am supported.”
By training your mind to reflect more positively, in no time at all the quality of your life will no doubt follow suit.
Limiting Your Time With Toxic Individuals
There are some people, like coworkers and family members, we simply can't avoid. We can, however, limit our interactions with them, as well as how we react in the moment.
Toxic acquaintances and close relations can take a deep and harmful toll on your mental and emotional health. If you find yourself suffering at the hands of an energy vampire, you are well within your right to distance yourself.
Make a goal in 2020 to surround yourself with caring individuals who, rather than drain you of energy and confidence, instill in you a sense of support.
Strengthening Your Relationships
Just as 2020 can be the year of eliminating toxic people, so too can it be the year for repairing tenuous relationships as well as strengthening the more stable ones.
If there is a friend or family member you haven't spoken to in awhile or you feel you've fallen out of favor with, why not extend the proverbial olive branch? Similarly, you can also check in with your more established relationships and work on keeping them going strong.
People may come and go throughout your life, but maintaining those bonds with lasting friends and beloved family members is what ultimately gives it meaning and value.
Making Time For Self Care
You've probably been hearing a lot about the importance of self care in recent years. From treating one's self to lavish luxuries to taking some personal time each day, everyone seems to have a different idea about what constitutes authentic self care. And the good news is, they're all correct!
Self care simply means doing things for yourself that make you feel good, and instill a sense of calm and restored balance. Whether that means curling up with a book, enjoying a day of spa pampering, or taking an hour for mediation is entirely up to you.
Self care is all about reclaiming some of your time and investing it in your own wellbeing.
It's easy to fall into a predictable rhythm when it comes to daily life, most of which can't be avoided. We all (or at least most of us) have to rise and go about our responsibilities before returning to the comfort of our homes in the evening; we may make time for a casual hobby here or there, but are there bigger, more significant goals being put off?
You may be thinking “life is challenging enough, why would I want to add to that?”, and while you wouldn't be wrong exactly, this is a different kind of challenge.
Is there a long-held dream you've been harboring, a big project you've been putting off, or personal goal you've been meaning to get around to but just never found the time for?
Perhaps you've been wanting to learn a foreign language, write a book, or take up a meaningful pastime; maybe you've been yearning for a change of career or scenery.
Regardless, why not make 2020 the year you took that big but rewarding risk?
It's hard to admit when you've reached a point of needing help in your life, personal or professional. As humans we like to think we can manage it all but the truth is quite the opposite, and there's nothing wrong with reaching out during times of duress.
Perhaps you're inundated at work and could use more assistance, or require better or more longterm childcare; maybe you want to ask a partner or friend for a bit more emotional support.
Final Thoughts & Considerations
There's no limit to the ways our communities and loved ones contribute to our overall health and wellbeing. This also extends to getting professional help such as mental health care when you find yourself grappling with depression, anxiety, and other conditions.
Seeking the help of a therapist, either in person or through online counselling, could very well be the most significant–and lasting–life change you make in 2020.