Self Care for Optimal Mental Health


2022 Resolutions

New Year

As we move into 2022, many people are making New Year’s resolutions: new goals to start off the year by improving something about themselves. After the stress and anxiety of the last few years, many people are resolving to prioritize their mental health in the year to come.

  1. Give your feeling a name

Finding and naming the exact way you’re feeling can give you a sense of understanding, it’s an important first step into improving mental health.

  1. Find meaning in everyday activities

One deceptively simple way to help feel more fulfilled or happy is to do everyday activities with purpose. Simple household activities can be done to give a sense of accomplishment, such as washing the dishes or cleaning a room. Another option is to set a timer for an activity such as an exercise of mindfulness technique.

  1. Try meditating

Meditation is an example of a mindfulness technique you can use to reduce anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions.

  1. Allow yourself to grieve small losses

The past year has brought a non-stop barrage of things to grieve. Often it feels like things such as missed time with family or cancelled events aren’t as serious compared to what other people have gone through. However, any loss such as those needs to be acknowledged too, and acknowledging it allows the coping process to start.

  1. Take a Sad Day if needed

Just like taking a sick day for your physical health, start to take “sad days” for your mental health. Your brain and body need a break eventually and taking a sick day to preserve your mental health is just as important as it is for your physical health.

  1. Write down what’s bothering you

Underlying and unaddressed thoughts and feelings can cause bad sleep. Chronic bad sleep can lead to reduced memory and attention span, a weakened immune system, and an increased risk of depression. Journaling your thoughts and feelings each night before you sleep and throwing away what you write down. By doing this you calm your mind leading to a more restful sleep.

  1. Count sheep

If you’re having difficulty sleeping, research has found that doing mental exercises can induce boredom and sleep. Counting sheep is the most common example, but other examples include thinking about a complicated electrical wiring scheme or naming the 50 states in alphabetical order. Using meditative apps may also help. In addition to this, reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption can improve sleep.

  1. If possible, give back

Showing kindness and generosity to others has been shown to improve feelings of loneliness. Volunteering can also help to broaden social networks. Set small goals to give back and work up over time.

  1. Give yourself a break

Practicing self-compassion is essential for improving your mental health. Shaming yourself for weight gain or exercising less in the past year is counterproductive. Instead, start by asking yourself, “What do I need right now?”

Adapted from: How to Improve your mental health in 2022
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