Guide to a Healthier Mind in 2019

The first month of 2019 has come to a close, and it’s around this time that people begin asking: Have you been keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions? This concept of making a list of resolutions to better ourselves as the new year dawns upon us isn’t new, and most of us have most likely heard the usual resolutions people are sure to include in their lists: going to the gym, waking up earlier, eating less junk food, etc. While taking care of yourself physically and ensuring you live a healthier life is always a good goal to set for yourself, I’ve noticed that people sometimes tend to forget the importance of improving our mental health as well. Maintaining our psyches healthy is just as important as keeping our bodies healthy, and we should start acting as such. For the sake of our health, I propose we all add one or more of these resolutions to our list.

 

1. Meditation

Yes, you’ve probably heard this one before since it’s a very popular way of improving your mental health. There’s a reason for that: it establishes the importance of finding a home within your own body and mind, of grounding yourself within the world around you and finding peace in silence. Take a moment out of your day; it can be five minutes or half an hour. Sit by yourself in silence, close your eyes, and breathe. This is the moment of the day where you don’t think about responsibilities, obligations or worries about tomorrow. This moment carries the freedom of to simply allowing yourself to be. This goes along with the next resolution.

 

2. Time for yourself

We all need time by ourselves. Alone time is extremely important, not only for relaxation but for finding self-worth and self-value. Pick up a hobby like drawing or knitting (or whatever tickles your fancy). Take time out of the day to read or buy one of those adult coloring books. Who knows? You might find yourself developing new skills and passions during your alone time!

 

3. Hang out with friends

Alone time is essential, yes, but so is making time to spend with friends! Having a good, supportive group of friends can improve your mood and your mental health. The perspectives of others can also help you to find happiness and peace when you’re not able to. It can also help you to get out of your head! In my experience, my friends have always been the ones I can count on to be there for me whenever I need someone to talk to or whether I need support. Always remember to offer them support as well: it feels wonderful.

 

4. Positive mindset

In the age of self-deprecating humor (there is no evidence to back this up— just take my word for it), it’s important to hype yourself up every once in a while. Give yourself pep talks before a big test or in the mirror when you wake up. It might seem silly, but it can help! Whenever you head into something with a negative mindset (“This won’t work out,” “Today’s gonna be horrible,” “I’m not good enough,”) make sure to recognize your emotions, analyze why you’re feeling that way, and work towards creating a more positive mindset through positive self-reinforcement. It’s not about shaming your negative emotions. It’s about recognizing, acknowledging, accepting, and moving forward.

 

5. See a therapist

Sometimes, reaching a healthier mindset isn’t something we can do on our own. In those cases, the best thing we can do is reach out to a professional for help. It can be a daunting task to face, especially with the stigma that’s placed around going to see therapists, but it’s important to know that you should never feel ashamed for wanting or needing to go talk to a therapist. Acknowledging that you need help is one of the most mature and self-loving steps you can take.

This year, let’s prioritize loving ourselves and working towards a better state of mind!

 

 

 

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