While the month of January marks the beginning of a new year, it has also turned into a month of setting high expectations and lofty resolutions for individuals. While goals are great to have, and promote both professional and personal growth, they often weigh heavily on our mental wellness. As we fully settle into the new year, it is important to check in with yourself, see how these “resolutions” may have affected you over the past few months, and ways to prioritize your mental wellness.
Take a Break
One of the best ways to prioritize your mental wellness is to avoid burnout as best as possible. In order to do so, it is important to take breaks- and often. Whether that be a break from a project you’ve committed yourself to, a relationship that is no longer mutually beneficial, or a goal you’ve been tirelessly working to cross off your resolutions list, taking time to step back will allow you to approach any task with a clearer mindset and accomplish more.
Another common issue linked with burnout is setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Often the effects of not reaching your unrealistic goals include disappointment and frustration. Taking a step back (or to the side) and thinking about what is realistic increases the likelihood of getting done what you are wanting to. Setting realistic goals leads to higher satisfaction and will support you in feeling good about yourself and proud of your accomplishments.
Do What You Love
Carving out time on a daily basis for yourself is crucial in truly prioritizing your mental wellness. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to begin, start the moment you wake up in the morning. Set an alarm just a few minutes earlier in order to dedicate time to do something you enjoy or start your day out well. You might choose to wake up and do a mindfulness exercise, play a game on your phone, journal, or practice yoga. What you choose does not have to be goal oriented. It is more important to focus on actually enjoying yourself than measuring your progress when it comes to your mental wellness.
We often hear people’s goals consist of “read more” or “eat healthier,” but often these become more like chores as opposed to activities we actually enjoy doing and look forward to. By focusing more on what you love and less on what you need to accomplish, you’ll find more fulfillment in these activities. Perhaps you can just change the language a bit and replace these goals with “read for 10 minutes a day” and “eat one vegetable a day”, making them easier to measure and strive for.
Talk to Someone
Unlike some of the goals you may have written down in January, prioritizing mental wellness isn’t one you can cross off as easily. Making your mental health a daily priority takes time and a commitment to YOU. The first step of course is making a conscious commitment to making it a consistent part of your life. Talking to a friend or family member about your plan is another great way to get started. You can even have them be an accountability partner who you can check in with and encourage one another. Our team of healthcare professionals is also available to help guide you through this ongoing process. By starting the conversation regarding your own mental wellness and wellbeing, you’re setting yourself up for a great year ahead, no matter what day it may be.