The new year holds hope and promise for those with goals to achieve. However, no matter the amount of New Year’s resolutions made, most want to accomplish one important thing this coming year: maintaining good mental health. The holidays keep everyone in a stressful frenzy, leaving them frazzled for the following year. However, there are ways you can maintain good health.
Here are five helpful ways to maintain mental stability.
1. Staying physically healthy
There is a reason the expression is “happy and healthy.” It can be difficult to keep a positive attitude when you are feeling physically uncomfortable. “A regular exercise routine can boost one’s mood, increase concentration and even help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression,” according to the researchers at the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, Going to the gym, taking a walk or even climbing the stairs will allow the opportunity to strengthen your muscles and clear your mind.
In addition to exercise, keep your body happy by eating healthy. Eat enough fruits, vegetables and protein. Always stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
2. Getting good sleep
Based on the research of multiple psychology studies, people who suffer from mental health conditions have worsening symptoms due to lack of sleep. “Sleep problems can cause anxiety, and anxiety can disrupt your sleep,” said Kathleen Smith, a counselor with a Ph.D. in psychology. “And just like anxiety, sleep problems can impact how you function emotionally, mentally, and physically.”
It is best to turn off any blue-light exposure before bed and get your full recommended 8 hours of sleep in order to wake up without feeling groggy.
3. Meditation and relaxation
Believe it or not, simply taking a moment of silence to relax and check in with yourself can be beneficial for your overall health. Practicing breathing exercises or even doing a relaxing activity, such as journaling or reading, can improve your mental state.
Many doctors and healthcare professionals also recommend utilizing wellness programs and apps you can get on your phone to help guide you through the process of inner peace.
Popular meditation and mental health apps you could try would include: Calm, Healthy Minds Program, Breeze, and the most promising app of 2023, Headspace.
Spending time with friends, family and even pets can give you a boost of serotonin. Socializing allows you to feel connected to others, which improves your mental stability. Even a simple “hello” to a stranger will give you a positive feeling.
However, it is important to focus on the quality of your relationships and not the quantity. Being with those people who make you happy, who you can relate to and who give you the support you need can make all the difference.
5. Focusing on yourself
Most importantly, don’t kick yourself when you’re already down. It’s easy to feel worse about yourself when you already feel bad. Be kind to yourself! The fact that you are reading this article suggests that you are ready to embrace new habits and become a better version of yourself.
Taking the time to check in with yourself — to see how you feel and what goals you need to set — will ultimately help you determine the life you want to live. Acknowledge those mistakes that you have made, take the time to compliment yourself and use the suggested strategies to lower your stress levels. Please know that you are not alone.