Updated: Feb 8
By Jacquie Peterson
Just like that, we’re back to square one on the calendar year. Can you believe that the earth has made its way around the sun 365 times already?
Ringing in the New Year on January 1 always seems to be a call for new beginnings. The possibilities are endless with a sense of abundant renewal sweeping through the air.
There’s definitely plenty of room for meaningful resolutions. Go-to resolutions usually include things like exercising more, losing weight, saving money or quitting smoking. All of these are great ideas worth pursuing to help you move toward living a healthy and balanced life.
However, this year you might consider adding one approach to support your health and well-being goals –that is strengthening your mental wellness. There are plenty of good reasons to work toward refining your mental wellness. For example, outcomes of strong mental health might look like:
regular quality sleep,
consistent eating habits,
enhanced work or school performance,
increased physical energy, and/or
deepened life satisfaction and joy (yes, it’s possible!).
With strong mental wellness on your side, it’ll be easier to pursue resolutions and goals you are seeking – and stick to them. This wave of New Year possibilities makes it a good time to reflect on what strengthening your mental wellness might look like for you.
Below, find three ways to help you get started:
1. Use mindfulness to recognize your challenges
The first step in moving toward strengthened mental wellness is to recognize your challenges. Practicing mindfulness is an approach you can use to detect and observe any thoughts, feelings and emotions you may be experiencing. It is a proven way to help reduce depression and anxiety.
To practice mindfulness, first take a few moments to become quiet, close your eyes and breathe. Once you become settled, notice your mind and body.
Do you have any physical sensations? Are thoughts racing through your mind? Are you undergoing any emotions? (Hint, hint: Experiences in your mind and body are all related.)
It’s ok if you are having any of these experiences. Simply take a breath and allow for your thoughts, feelings and emotions to move through you and begin again.
2. Find support
Your support system is an excellent base for strong mental wellness. It’s a good place to get help for your more difficult challenges.
It’s common to look for encouragement in those who are closest to us. Regular healthy connections with friends and family offer a sense of joy and decrease loneliness that may occur with depression.
But also, it’s important to seek professional care when you are feeling challenged by your mental health.
A long list of symptoms including sadness, worry, nervousness, pain, fatigue, withdrawal, irritation, and difficulty eating or sleeping, among others, may indicate depression or anxiety.
If any of these symptoms are interfering with your daily life, be sure to not only connect with a mental health professional but also with your regular doctor and/or holistic practitioner. Receiving integrated care supports you both on a mental and physical level.
3. Establish daily or weekly practices
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to building strong mental wellness. Because we’re individuals, it will be different for every person.
This is where creativity and fun may come in to help build practices that support your mental wellness. The possibilities are endless and worth discovering!
Some ideas you can try include the following:
Start small. Expand upon mindfulness to create a daily meditation practice five minutes a day.
Get up and get moving. Bring mindfulness into a daily 10-minute walk.
Try something new. Check out a local yoga class or try one online.
Each of these practices connects the mind and body. When you connect your mind and body, you are caring for yourself as a whole person.
When you are whole, your mental wellness will prevail and help with your intended resolutions and goals.