The beginning of a New Year is always an opportunity to think about ourselves, recognize our past mistakes and set some goals for the next year. When we think about our mental health, this process is even more important. Here are some tips that will help you set your goals:
- Think about your body.
Physical and mental health are so strongly dependent upon one another. So the first thing you want to do is to take care of your body. Sleep well, eat healthy and cut anything in excess that came with the festive period (alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc.).
That’s part of the point above, but it is so important that it needs to be addressed separately. Regardless of your physical condition, you should be able to find an exercise (of any type) that you can do. And do it!
- Keep the social button on
Coming out of Christmas and New Year festivities can be lonely and depressive. This doesn’t need to be the case though. Get out there and start or continue and activity that you like, join a club or your local volunteering team. There will always be a reason why not to stay at home!
- Manage your stress
You need to remember and apply all the stress-relief strategies that you have been using up to now. Finding new ones will also be no harm. Include music in your life and time with loved ones and cut loose anything that weighs you down.
- Be realistic
Your goals need to be reasonable and realistic. There is no point in setting big targets that you will never reach. Break a goal down to smaller ones (smaller steps), if it is something big and you still want to achieve it.
- Measure your goals
Your goals need to be measurable. This will give you a clear indication of where you are. Measure your goals on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and you are one step forward in achieving them.
- Self-care is important
You need to check in with yourself every now and then, see how you feel and why. It will calm you down and (re)put things into perspective. This can last as little as two minutes, or as long as you need it to.
- Don’t punish yourself, and ask for help.
If you have a set-back, don’t panic! It happens to all of us. Instead of punishing yourself for this, use your self-care time to refocus, or ask for help from a loved one or a professional.
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