5 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Mental HealthPat Fontana
You are probably counting down the days until 2020 is over. This has been a challenging year for many people on multiple levels, and you may be one of those who are struggling with mental health issues as a result. Now you are ready to focus on a new year and new possibilities. Check out these five New Year’s resolutions to improve your mental health in 2021 and beyond.
Physical and Mental Health a Priority
Typical resolutions of years past are not as relevant in the midst of the pandemic. Most people in the US are now focused on renewing their physical and mental health in the new year, rather than on financial gains or career moves. Physical health continues to be the source of most resolutions, such as eating healthier, getting more exercise, and losing weight. Many of those resolutions related to physical health can also help improve your mental health.
Start with the Basics
Eating a healthy diet is a major part of reducing stress, improving your self-esteem, and reducing vitamin deficiencies, leading to better mental health. Set a plan, as part of your New Year’s resolutions to improve your mental health, to include more fruits and vegetables into your daily menu. Studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables experience lower levels of depression than those who don’t eat as many.
Planning a balance of vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins for your daily meals can improve your mental health as well as your physical health. It’s also been shown that eating leafy greens and vegetables in the broccoli family, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, can slow cognitive decline.
Determine to Focus on What You Can Control
It’s not easy to think positive, particularly given the year we’ve all been through. For the new year, though, resolve to focus on what you can control and let go of what you cannot. Depression and other mental health issues may have you thinking only about the negative in your life. Make a resolution for 2021 to control how you respond to potentially negative situations.
In fact, the very step of making a New Year’s resolution is a step toward taking back control of your thoughts. The physical act of writing your resolution on a piece of paper is making a behavior change for yourself. You are freeing your thoughts to go in the direction you choose, not the direction depression or mental health issues choose. You have control over your thoughts and actions. Resolve to maintain that control for improved mental health.
Just as eating healthier improves your physical and mental health, so does exercise. While it may seem as though exercising more is a typical New Year’s resolution that is not often kept, it is one of the most effective ways of reducing depression or anxiety as well as maintaining your cognitive functions.
Go for a walk or a run. Ride your bicycle. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and will stick with during the new year. Track your progress. Set a goal of walking a certain number of minutes or biking a specific distance each day. Remember that you are resolving to exercise to improve your physical and mental health, not necessarily to improve your appearance.
Reduce Screen Time
Spending too much time in front of a computer or other electronic device has been linked to poor sleep quality and to depression. Limiting your screen time can help improve your mental health, reducing anxiety over excessive exposure to social media sites and news feeds. Of course, given the current situation, you might have to be in a front of a computer for work, for example, or find it useful to virtually meet up with friends and family members. Resolve to spend a limited amount of time each day in front of the screen, and to spend that time in a more productive way.
Ask for Help
One of the most important New Year’s resolutions you can make to improve your mental health is to reach out for help. You may have been putting this off, either because you thought you could “snap out of it” on your own or because you were afraid of what others would think of you. In 2021, resolve that you will ask for help from a professional, who will work with you on specific steps that lead to improved mental health.
Contact R&A Therapeutic Partners for Help
At R&A Therapeutic Partners, we support you and your mental health needs, helping you find the path that works best for you in the new year and beyond. To keep you safe and healthy, we offer telehealth and online therapy options during COVID-19. We encourage you to contact the Miami therapeutic consultants Raymond Estefania and Ana Moreno to find out the services R&A Therapeutic Partners offers. Call us at 786-452-7352 to schedule your appointment.
At R&A Therapeutic Partners Raymond Estefania and Ana Moreno specialize in substance use and mental health disorder evaluations, treatment, intervention and therapeutic/educational consulting for clients throughout the greater South Florida area, as well as nationally and internationally. For more resources and information please visit Therapeutic-Partners.com or on Facebook.