New Year’s Goal: How to Practice Self-Care for Better Mental Health
Happy New Year! It’s a time of big resolutions and new beginnings. It's also the perfect opportunity to get better at taking care of our mental health. Let's talk about three ways to start on the right foot this year by prioritizing your mental health!
No. 1: Put Boundaries in Place
Boundaries help protect you from feeling taken advantage of or disrespected. Establishing limitations protects your mental health by giving you a sense of control over your life. Therefore, learning to say “no” is a valuable life skill. It helps you maintain self-worth by empowering you to make choices that align with your values. When we say “yes” to every request, we're more likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. By saying “no” mindfully with conviction and respect, you make time for the things that matter without overwhelming guilt and negativity.
When creating emotional boundaries, use your personal values as a guide. Recognize that these limits vary and can be flexible, depending on the situation and the people involved. Set aside social expectations and listen to yourself. Conserve your emotional energy to prevent resentment.
No. 2: Increase Self-Awareness
Increasing self-awareness means being more conscious of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. When you're more self-aware, you can catch early signs of stress or anxiety and address them before they become more significant problems.
One way to be more self-aware is to keep a journal. This can help you track your moods, symptoms and triggers. It can also be a place to reflect on your daily life. Journaling helps keep you in perspective as it boosts your self-identity and fosters self-growth.
No. 3: See a Counselor or Therapist
As you become more self-aware, you start to recognize issues that reduce your quality of life. It may be a problem that interferes with your life each day or something that causes so much shame or embarrassment that you make it a point to avoid others. These issues may have made you develop unhealthy habits or make life changes that have negatively impacted your personal and professional relationships.
Therapy can help with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, life transitions, family dynamics, parenting support and more. Spending time with a professional allows you to explore your feelings and unresolved experiences without judgment. Together, you can identify the obstacles, insecurities, and harmful habits keeping you from achieving optimal mental health.
No matter what steps you choose to take this year regarding your mental health, know that you're not alone. Millions of people struggle with the same issues, and support is available. At Communicare, we offer various services for adults and children who are having issues related to mental health or emotional concerns. Click here to learn more about practicing better self-care in the coming year.
If you or someone you know has a mental health or substance use emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room, or call 1-866-837-7521 to connect to Communicare’s mobile crisis team, 24 hours a weekday, seven days a week, 365 days a year.