5 New Years Resolutions for Mental Health
You’ve probably come across countless articles talking about new year’s resolutions, but did you know that around a third of resolutions have been given up on by the end of January?
Instead of hollow resolutions that ask for unachievable change, why not make little changes that create lasting, positive change for your mental health instead? In this blog, we explore a range of practical mental health tips for new year and beyond.
Positive mental health for January and beyond
January can seem like a drab, depressing month. Christmas is over and the brighter weather is still some time away, so it can seem like a positive idea to get fit, lose weight or take up a new hobby. However, the crash and sense of failure we feel when we can’t keep up with our new intentions can set us back even further.
Ultimately, your wellbeing is the most rewarding focus you can have, and small alterations to your life can create a powerful boost in your mental health.
New Year wellbeing: Practical Mental health tips for new year
So, how can you enter the new year with an intention of positive mental health and wellbeing? Here are some great ideas that will take little effort but make you feel a lot better:
Make time for quiet
It’s all too easy in our switched-on world to become addicted to our phones and tablets. Allow some downtime for your brain by creating an hour or two of quiet a day, away from devices. You could spend this time however you wish, but make sure it’s undisturbed by news alerts and social media pings.
During your digital downtime, silence your phone and be aware of what’s around you and be in the moment. Even doing household chores can become an opportunity for mindfulness- pay attention to the folding of the washing, or the bubbles in the sink while washing up.
Create opportunities for play
As adults we can tend to think that play is only for kids, but spending a little time being creative or letting go can make you feel much happier. For example, try painting a picture, but with no expectations of it being a masterpiece. Just play with the paint, try mixing colours or make patterns with the brush.
Have a go at baking a simple batch of biscuits or cakes, or try your hand at sewing or knitting. Play also includes being active, so try dancing around the kitchen to your favourite songs, or dancing along to a fun workout on YouTube. The sole intention of these ‘play’ activities is to have fun- so even if things don’t turn out perfect, just shrug it off and enjoy yourself.
Nature is healing, so make it a regular part of your life. Even taking a walk through a local beauty spot or park counts. Try visiting a local forest or wildlife reserve, and breathe in the peace and quiet, and notice the sounds of the birds and the breeze in the trees. If you have a pet, spend some time with them, as animals are proven to help mental health.
If you have outdoor space, try planting some flower bulbs or seeds, and nurture them until they grow. Gardening is a really nourishing activity for the soul.
Prepare a go-to plan for the hard times
We all have bad days, or periods when we feel low. Having a plan in place for those times can make a huge difference. One great mood-boost is a playlist of all your favourite happy songs. Even if you don’t feel like it, put the playlist on and chances are you’ll feel a bit better.
Many people find that having a self-soothe box is useful. To make one, simply use an old shoebox and fill it with items that bring you joy and comfort. You might choose to include photos of good times, a childhood soft toy, a stress ball, or perhaps some lavender oil to calm your nerves.
Breathe and calm
Aim to build in 15 minutes a day of undisturbed peace. How much you make of those 15 minutes is up to you- you could light a scented candle and play some soothing sounds, or simply sit and breathe slowly and deeply. If you are struggling to quieten your mind then don’t worry, this is normal. Some people find that a guided meditation is easier to follow- try our box breathing video.
Research has proven that meditation and deep breathing makes a major difference to your overall wellbeing, so be sure to give it your attention every day.
If you are looking for more mental health tips and support, explore what Spurgeons has available.