As we enter 2023, many people have committed to taking better care of themselves and achieving new goals. It’s common (and healthy!) for individuals to join a gym, eat better, reduce how much alcohol they consume, and more. But focusing on how to better your physical health isn’t the only resolution that’s worth your time and energy. It’s important to improve your mental health, too.
Based on research from UAB Medicine, just 8% of the individuals who set New Year’s resolutions manage to reach their goals. Luckily, to help bolster your mental health for 2023, it can be useful to start with smaller, more manageable steps that enable you to improve your mental health in the ways you most want. For some achievable goals that produce positive results, let’s take a closer look at 5 relatively easy changes you can adopt that will positively impact on your mental well-being in the new year.
Plan Track Your Goals
Sometimes we all feel overwhelmed by having too many things we need to do. But it’s also possible to manage these feelings with dedicated planning and tracking of your progress toward reaching your goals. To help start planning and tracking, you can put your goals onto paper by writing them down in a log (physical or digital is fine). Track how much time you need to do various tasks, then plan for what the day or week will look like. Many people will procrastinate about accomplishing something, but with a planner, you can more easily hold yourself accountable and also celebrate when you check things off and earn a sense of accomplishment. This sort of practice helps you make small changes that add up so you don’t just feel like you’re making abstract plans you can’t commit to.
Commit to Exercise
While there’s extensive research that shows how exercise is good for mental health, it’s still impressive to recognize just how much it can positively impact your state of mind. Studies on depression, anxiety, and exercise indicate that both the mental and physical benefits of exercise can help to boost one’s mood and reduce anxiety. But it’s also well known that getting exercise is hard for many individuals, especially those already suffering from the lack of motivation and energy that often come with depression. Often, an effective solution is to make getting more exercise more convenient for yourself. For instance, if joining a gym or buying a weight set is too taxing, you could just go for more walks or combine walking with bodyweight exercises at home.
Sleep for Longer Periods
Many people suffer from not getting enough sleep. Some individuals even consider not getting much sleep something to be proud of, but when you don’t sleep enough it’s easier to start feeling depressive symptoms. For instance, people with persistent anxiety often aren’t able to sleep well or for as long. The easiest way to improve your sleeping habits and get enough rest is to have consistent times when you go to bed and wake up. Essentially, this is better than trying to catch up on sleep with naps throughout the day because you train your body to enter a deeper and more restful state of rest. Many researchers agree that it’s best to strive for a consistent seven to eight hours a night to help you feel more energized
Limit Using Social Media
Social media has helped interconnect much of the world and can prove very helpful when keeping touch with friends and loved ones. But continually using it also has the potential to negatively impact your mental health. To kick off the New Year, you could try logging out of your social media accounts and seeing what the impact is like on your general mood, stress, and overall mental health. You may discover that you’re much happier without needing a constant view into other people’s lives online. In addition, without the incessant scrolling on your phone or tablet, you may find that you’re able to spend an increasing amount of quality time with your family and enjoy your leisure time more than ever.
Seek Out In-Person Activities
For a lot of people, starting a new year’s goals can feel overwhelming – the holidays have ended and the dark nights and cold weather can mean you just want to stay indoors where it’s familiar and warm. But just staying indoors can start to feel like isolation, which can have a negative impact on your mental health. To mitigate this, it’s important to look for reliable ways to get yourself involved with others in something you enjoy. For example, you could try joining some form of group or club, based on something you enjoy or something you’ve always wanted to try. For example, you could become part of a book club, join a hiking group, or try volunteering. Staying socially active with activities you have an interest in can help increase your confidence and boost your mental health and wellbeing.
If you’d like to learn more about mental health treatment solutions to start 2023 off right, feel free to explore our website to see if a treatment session could be right for you! If you’re interested in TMS therapy as a potential treatment to improve your mental health, contact us at the TMS Center of the Lehigh Valley today!