Mental health has been an ongoing topic for as long as we can remember, and light seems to be shedding on the subject more and more each day. It’s no surprise to hear that the year 2020 has taken a serious toll on people’s mental health.
Research shows that mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, have risen dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 is now coming to an end, which means it’s time to set New Year mental health resolutions and make 2021 a good year! Keep on reading to find out the kinds of mental health strategies you can apply in your life in order to improve mental health!
Make Exercising Part of Your Daily Routine
Exercising more has been a New Year resolution for many. Yet, sticking to a New Year resolution is not easy, especially if it involves working out more.
However, exercise is strongly associated with the improvement of mental health. Reports show that in cases of mild to moderate depression and anxiety, exercising regularly can be just as effective as taking anti-depressants. Exercise makes your brain produce endorphins, which we all know as the happy hormone.
It improves the quality of your sleep, boosts your energy, improves your memory, and helps you get in a better mood. Not to mention, it is a fantastic and effective way to channel and release stress.
Reduce Screen Time
Being on lockdown might have forced you into adapting your lifestyle into more of a virtual one. Some have had to work from home, requiring them to sit in front of a screen for hours, and others have become addicted to social media, video games or have been watching television non-stop.
As much as you might enjoy spending your downtime online, reducing your screen time by an hour can benefit you and your mental health in various ways. It can improve your sleep, reduce your headaches, and it can give you the chance to spend your time on some of your other hobbies. Read your favorite book, paint a picture, or go for a walk next time instead of picking up your device.
Learn to Value Yourself
Even though it can be tough to do so, make it a resolution to value yourself more. Avoid making harsh comments about yourself and make time for your favorite hobbies. Treat yourself to the things you love and make it a goal to dedicate plenty of time to yourself.
Include Daily Meditation
The whole idea behind meditation is to help you acknowledge your negative feelings and let them go instead of suppressing them or ignoring them. It also enables you to sharpen your focus and teach you to embrace your feelings without judging or criticizing yourself.
Meditation doesn’t require much of your time. You can dedicate merely a few minutes each day, and the more you meditate, the faster you’ll begin to notice the benefits. If you’re unaware of where to begin, here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Once you find a comfortable chair to sit in, place your feet on the floor
- Get into a comfortable posture and align your back
- Close your eyes slowly and shift your focus to your breath
- Observe and notice the way you’re breathing and how your body reacts when you inhale and exhale
- If your mind begins to wander, which is normal, acknowledge it and slowly bring your focus back to your breathing
- If anxious or negative feelings come up, don’t suppress them but rather, take notice of them without judging yourself and bring your focus again on your breath
- After a few minutes, open your eyes and simply observe your surroundings
Anytime during the day will work. You could try right at the start of the day or even during your break at work.
Get More Sleep
Insomnia is not uncommon among those who are struggling with depression or anxiety. Getting sleep can be a challenge, and without enough sleep, depression and anxiety symptoms tend to worsen. Making small adjustments to your day-to-day routine can help you improve your sleep.
For example, avoiding your device 30 minutes before bed, having an early dinner, and even following a simple skincare evening routine can improve your sleep. Another tip you could follow is by doing some quick stretches every evening. This will relax your muscles and help ease any tension.
Surround Yourself With Good Friends
Your time is too rare to spend on people who don’t value you or appreciate you. Perhaps it may be time to cut off people you consider toxic and make room for those who genuinely love you. You need a good support system and healthy relationships in order to improve your mental health.
Giving of yourself to others helps shift your focus away from any negative thoughts you’re feeling. The sense of accomplishment and joy will help you combat overwhelming thoughts. Try volunteering at a shelter or making time for someone in need, such as an elderly person.
Even small gestures, such as helping someone take out their trash or donating clothes to the needy, are a way of giving of yourself.
Stick to Your Mental Health Resolutions
As you create your mental health resolutions list, remain determined, and stick to it. Contacting a mental health care professional is a great way to get you started. Even though there’s a strange stigma behind the idea of seeking professional help, it is the healthiest thing you can do, and it’s the most important mental health strategy to follow.
You are not alone, and our team is ready to hear your concerns and help set you on a journey to recovery. Contact us today and schedule an appointment! We’ll happily inform you of our services and provide the one that is just right for you.