New Year New You: 10 ways to start the new year by taking care of your mental health and responding better to stress
Resilience is a muscle, so let’s build it.
Now that 2022 is here, you might be thinking about your resolutions for this new year. Along with your resolutions, consider focusing on creating goals. Goals are more specific efforts involving planning and taking action to ensure that we can make positive changes for the new year and beyond. While many people may think about goals focused on their careers or their finances, it is also good to make mental health goals. Health and emotional goals have the potential to make a significant improvement on all areas of our lives.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal connections, and physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions. Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
Stress is unavoidable. We all feel stress at different times and in different ways in daily life. Much of this stress is caused, or is perceived to be caused, by external factors, thus making us feel helpless. This is why it is critical to learn and develop new ways to minimize the negative impacts of how we experience stress and its psychological and physiological impact in our lives. Developing these tools and techniques is a part of achieving psychological resilience.
To succeed in meeting goals, you need to identify your “Why”. What is the real reason behind your goals? Your goals should be personal to you and your unique needs; not just something that sounds good. They need to be rooted in your values and reflect what you truly want for yourself, especially when it comes to taking care of your own mental health.
10 ways to use good mental health goals to build resilience for 2022
1. Ditch those diet trends and eat nutritious balanced meals: Take care of and be kind to your body. Focus on health basics and your bio-individuality.
2. Move more often: Movement is a form of self-care and has significant impact on mental health.
3. Sleep enough and well: Good-quality sleep is restorative, refreshing and essential.
4. Make time for mindfulness and get out in nature: As we remove the chaotic noises of society and replace them with sounds of nature, we become calmer — it’s great for your vitamin D levels too.
5. Meditate and breathe: Whether it’s through yoga or meditative breathing, it is one way of calming body’s stress response.
6. Connect with friends, family and community: Strong social relationships are associated with stronger mental and physical health.
7. Do a digital detox: Mental self-care includes stepping away from your phone, whether it’s just for an hour or an entire day.
8. Set boundaries establish when to say “yes” and when to say “no”: If you’re feeling stressed because of a full plate, it’s okay to turn things down.
9. Journal and write gratitudes: Gratitude is a healthy journaling practice because it helps you focus on the positives, not linger on the negatives.
10. Keep things organized: Piles of stuff around are a reminder that you have things that need work, and that’s just another reminder to add to your list of stressors.
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Healthy goals look different for everyone, and the actions you need to take today to achieve your goals might be different than those tomorrow. What matters is that you’re taking care of yourself, advocating for your health and finding what works for you and makes you feel good.
For more information about wellness and the “Eat. Play. Balance.™ ” approach to health, please contact Kathy Hoss or visit http://kathyhoss.com
About the author: Kathy Hoss Consulting is a health and wellness coaching business. Kathy is a consultant, influencer, speaker, advocate that helps corporations & individuals with nutrition and lifestyle choices to improve their performance (Lives). She is a graduate of Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from UCLA.