Chances are you have a list of goals laid out for 2021 already. Many focus on fitness, finances, new hobbies, and relationships, but rarely is our mental health given the same attention.
A new study from the University of Cambridge suggests everyone should get their mental health checked as often as they have an annual physical. Unfortunately, most people fail to address mental health issues until they are drastically interfering with their lives.
So as you curate your list of New Years Resolutions, consider adding some of these realistic goals to benefit your mental health.
1. Schedule a Mental Health Check-Up
Most people don’t assign the same level of importance to a mental health checkup as they would some kind of physical checkup, yet your emotional well-being is just as important as your physical health, and by identifying early signs of such conditions as depression or anxiety, the most serious versions of these can usually be avoided. Early identification and treatment are especially helpful because later stages often trigger some kind of personal crisis, which then makes treatment much more involved. This discussion will consider some of the most important points about mental health that everyone should know.
2. Remove Negativity
Do not give energy or effort to people or things that suck the life out of you. It will not help you feel good about yourself and may even get you off track from reaching your goals. If you are confronted with negativity, avoid letting it take you down. Find a close friend to talk to or receive support to reset after the negative experience. Keeping negativity in your life can lead to more stress and put you at risk for developing poor mental health.
3. Don’t “Should” Yourself
Individuals often set rigid expectations about their life or beliefs that they “should” do things a certain way. When things don’t work as desired, this can lead to feeling inadequate or sad. Allow some room for flexibility in life and with your goals. It’s okay to set goals, but don’t “should” on yourself.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
Do not go into a major lifestyle change with overly ambitious or unrealistic goals. This will only increase the chances of you failing. Although failure with an initial goal does not mean that you can’t reset and get on track, it is better to create reasonable goals. Create goals that will set you up for success. One way to do so is by making small goals that can lead to a bigger outcome. For example, if you want to reduce your anger it may help to work on developing new coping skills for when you feel angry (as opposed to saying you will stop angry outbursts immediately or not feel angry).
5. Celebrate Yourself
As you embark on your journey of change, remember that it is important to reward yourself along the way. This will keep you encouraged and motivated throughout the process. If you’re working on healthy eating, one way to celebrate is to eat one of your favorite desserts or meals after reaching a goal. For some people, celebrating may involve spending time with friends, family, or important people in your life. Don’t forget the importance of self-care and alone time. It’s okay to use the time for yourself as a reward for working towards a goal.
If you need help with managing goals or expectations, reach out to us to schedule a meeting with a member of our team. Our staff members are specially trained to help you with modifying your behavior and can help identify signs of mental health challenges if your stress becoming difficult when making major life changes.