With 2021 coming to a close, it’s the perfect time to take some personal inventory. Do you have aspects of your life that would like to improve in 2022? Our compassionate mental health professionals support clients in self reflection and making goals for improving quality of life. Perhaps we can even help you come up with actionable New Year’s resolutions for your mental health. Here are some tips.
New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mental Health
Start with the Positive
Did you perform well at your job? Did you learn a new skill? Did you make new friends or re-connect with family members?
When trying to come up with New Year’s resolutions for your mental health, ask yourself this first: what went well this year? Many individuals become so wrapped up in the negative without considering the positive.
One approach used at GBCC Counseling Centers is to use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to transform unhealthy or faulty thought patterns into positive ones. Learning to celebrate victories instead of constantly focusing on the negatives is a good example. Whether you joined a book club with an old friend or you learned how to cook, acknowledge those wins.
Do You Take Enough Time for Yourself?
During individual counseling sessions, one of the primary concerns clients express is that they’re always busy and don’t have enough down time. While working allows us to take care of our families and afford necessities, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your well-being.
Whether it’s finding a new hobby, learning a new skill, or simply getting more sleep, self-care can’t go ignored.
Make Realistic Goals
To be clear, you should keep an optimistic attitude as often as possible. With that being said, try to set attainable goals. Remember: it’s progress, not perfection. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, most people don’t become millionaires overnight.
It also helps to think in stages and set reasonable milestones along the way. For instance, let’s say you want to become more physically active and choose healthy meals each day. It’s easier to think of changing one small behavior and slowing building over time as opposed to stressing yourself out about making lots of large changes all at once. Perhaps you should think of adding 10 minutes of activity a couple days per week or choosing one healthy food at a meal instead of focusing on the total goal.
Practice Positive Affirmations
In the game of life, you are your most important cheerleader. Whether on a piece of paper, in your head, or in front of a mirror, practicing positive affirmations is one of the best things you can do to improve your self-esteem. Some common affirmations include:
- “I’m worth it.”
- “I’m going to have a great day.”
- “I am in control of my choices.”
- “I believe in myself.”
Acknowledge that You’re a Work in Progress
As you come up with New Year’s resolutions for your mental health, understand that you might not accomplish all of your goals by the end of 2022. What matters most is that you practice self kindness every single day by recognizing that your best does not mean perfection.
Additionally, it can be tempting to compare yourself to those around you. Comparing yourself to peers could be a recipe for disaster. Instead of trying to keep up with the Jones’, focus on keeping yourself aligned with your personal life values.
The mental health professionals at GBCC Counseling Centers can help you explore healthy New Year’s resolutions for your mental health, and help you work toward them. In addition to individual therapy sessions, we also offer various telehealth group therapy sessions three days a week. To schedule an appointment, call 410.760.9079.