2020 was a hard year for everybody. The pandemic and civil unrest took a huge toll on everybody’s mental health. Mental health should always be a priority, but in 2021 we should be focused on mental health, as well as physical health. We need to start the process of healing after the turbulent year 2020 was. Here is how we can prioritize our mental health goals for 2021.
First, you have to go into the new year knowing you will prioritize your mental health. Just setting this goal is a big step. Admittedly, your problems will not magically go away. What we can do is learn how to manage our inner struggles healthily. Our overall well-being should be a priority.
A big first step in prioritizing your mental health is establishing boundaries. This can be between friends, family, partners, anyone really. Knowing where you draw the line is important. Learn how to say NO to someone. Accepting responsibilities that you cannot handle at the moment is going to pile up at the end of the day. You gotta know what you can handle and what you can’t handle.
Setting boundaries isn’t just about responsibilities though. Know how to set boundaries with the relationships you have. This means letting people know if you’re uncomfortable with something they do and just being honest about how you feel about them.
Engaging in self-care is a must. I know everyone says self-care, but it is super important. If you’re stuck in a cycle of work, school, and sleep, you WILL crash eventually. Practice whatever self-care means to you. Whether that’s taking a nice bubble bath with a glass of wine in hand or binge-watching your favorite anime on Netflix, make sure you’re finding peace of mind.
Self-care means taking care of yourself, so make sure you eat healthy, stay active, and keep your mind active as well. Practice meditation and mindfulness as much as you can.
Make sure you have a good support system. You don’t want to hang around people who are detrimental to your goals and your mental health. Don’t be around people who make you feel bad. Be around people who support you and cheer you on every step of the way. Those who are there for you even on your bad days, when you can’t seem to get out of bed. You do not have to bear your bad mental health days on your own. Remind yourself that you are not a burden and that you deserve a good support system. Find people you trust and are comfortable around.
Finally, If you need to, don’t be afraid to get professional help. Therapy is not a bad word. It helps a lot. While therapy won’t cure everything, it will help you healthily deal with your emotions. Therapists are there to help you and navigate your mental health journey.
Overall, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. After the hectic year, 2020 was for all of us, we could use a breather.