At the start of a new year, many people create a list of resolutions or intentions. These can vary from making travel plans, to learning new skills, to going to the gym. However, often when we make these lists, we set lofty goals that can become overwhelming as the months pass. The key to building new habits is not to manage a set of unwieldy expectations, but to start with small, intentional, and tangible shifts that lead to even larger transformations.
This year, Therapeutic Solutions and our team of Chico mental health professionals encourages you to set intentions that place your mental, physical, and emotional health front and center. When wellness is a priority, we are better able to cope with difficult circumstances in our lives. Developing habits that promote wellness has benefits that will last for years to come, which is why we are offering a handful of tips to support your mental health in the new year.
5 Ways to Prioritize Wellness In The New Year
- Step Back from Stimulation: Make a commitment to putting down your phone, taking breaks from social media, and allowing yourself to feel and take in the world around you. Being present has a range of mental and emotional health benefits, but it is easy to be overstimulated by technology, media, and advertising. This stimulation can become unhealthy if you do not build in mindful moments to your daily routine. Think about ways to unplug throughout the week, even if it is just for an hour per day.
- Schedule Therapy Like a Business Meeting: If you are currently attending therapy sessions or planning to schedule your first one, prioritize making it to your appointments. Treat your mental health appointments like you would your most important business meetings. Add them to your physical or digital calendar and remind yourself that attending therapy is an investment in your long-term wellness. The simple act of honoring your commitment to yourself is an act of self-love and self-care, which is already a step toward improved mental health.
- Build in Opportunities to Move Your Body: Whether it is getting outside for a walk, doing yoga or hitting the gym, some amount of physical activity should be a part of your mental health regimen. Exercise boosts feel-good chemicals in your brain, increases brain function and helps to release tension. However, physical health is one new year goal that many set and struggle to honor. Start small and consider how to build in movement to existing routines. Have a walking meeting with a colleague. Pack gym clothes in your car. Stretch on your breaks. Join a gym that’s near your home or workplace. Most of all, invest in a physical activity that you can find enjoyment in, so exercise does not just feel like a chore.
- Nurture Meaningful Relationships: Friends and family who support you and encourage you to grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally are key to your mental health. Make a list of all the people who have made a positive impact on your life and reach out to them in the new year. Tell the people who matter to you why you are grateful for them. Small acts of connection and kindness have lasting impacts on the bonds in our lives and help us feel a sense of belonging.
- Find Your Purpose: A sense of purpose keeps us connected to our values and helps guide us forward, but many of us struggle to find a path that feels fully aligned with our goals. This year, try committing to breaking your routine and doing something new. This can include volunteering at an animal shelter or soup kitchen, joining a club or organization, or taking a class you’ve never taken. Discovering your purpose and being excited about your contributions to the world will take you outside of yourself and help you see the bigger picture.
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If you are struggling with mental health and wellbeing, and you don’t know where to start, let our team help. We are prepared to work with you to gain balance in your life and have a variety of treatment options for your mental health care needs. Our professional and caring Chico and Yuba City mental health professionals can help you determine the best course of treatment to help you move forward. Let us help you find happiness and clarity, so that you can live your best life this year and in years to come.