With 2017 on the horizon, many of us are thinking about what we’d like to do and achieve in the new year, but what can New Year’s resolutions do for our mental health?
Often it can be tempting, especially if you suffer from a mental health difficulty, to take New Year’s as a chance to try and make a huge change that you think will fix everything. Changes are good, but ‘all or nothing’ thinking is not. Often people try to make a massive change, but if it fails, they can be totally disheartened and feel like a failure. It can often feel tempting to try and fix everything in your life in one go, but it’s better to focus on something that you know you can achieve.
So how about this new year, make a resolution to set reflective, self-caring, realistic goals? Here are a few ideas from the Heads Up Durham team!
- Integrate ten minutes of mindfulness meditation into your day
Mindfulness is really easy to include in your daily routine and can be extremely helpful for mental health! Even just ten minutes a day can make a big difference.
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress, like going for a walk, getting a coffee with a friend or whatever you find constructive and peaceful!
- Designate an hour a day to do something for yourself! An hour of reading, colouring, doing your nails or writing.
- Develop healthy daily routines. Routines can help us to feel more in control and purposeful.
- Avoid trying to make sweeping life changes overnight! You don’t have to achieve x, y and z to be happy.
- Stop apologising for who you are, how you feel and what you need.
- Be mindful of your emotional and physical health, and know that it’s okay to look after yourself! Realising when you need to take a break, when you really need to speak to your family or when you need to reach out to your friends for support.
- Treat yourself how you’d treat a child. When you’re thinking about how to look after your own mental health in 2017, imagine the child version of you and treat yourself with gentleness and compassion.