You may call us a little eager, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolution. Think back to the last three years and what you promised yourself you would do more of. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred we focus on improving our physical health. But what if this year you focus on your mental wellbeing? What if your new resolution is to find ways to improve your mind and thoughts, or find a way to better manage stress and your mental health.
Emotional wellbeing is a priority everyone shares or at least one we should share. Just look at the stats. 25% of people will suffer from some sort of mental health issue at some point in their life. Twenty-five percent. One in four. The odds are too high to ignore this part of our happiness and wellbeing.
Making your mind the priority next year isn’t just reserved for those that are battling depression, bipolar, cyclothymia, anxiety and everything else that falls within this bell curve. That’s because emotional wellbeing also affects day to day life such as stress, decisions, social events, how we connect with others, the kind of confidence we uphold.
So, if you find your head is subtly nodding as you read this, then here are our top tips on how to make your mental health the absolute priority going into 2018:
Value Yourself More
You are the only you there is, ever has been, or ever will be. That makes you incredibly special and remarkable. You are the only you, and that is something you need to start placing a whole lot of value in. That means treating yourself with kindness and respect, avoiding any sort of self-deprecation, making time for your hobbies and passions and allowing yourself to do those projects you keep making notes about. Learn to remember how precious and valuable you truly are and treat yourself accordingly.
It All Starts With Fitness
It is incredible what happens in the mind once we start moving our body. Keep your eye out for Mahara, a sportswear brand that is set to champion the whole idea that “fitness is the leading domino that can have an effect on the rest of your life”, something its brand ambassadors Sophie Grace Holmes, Sophie Dear, and Flora Beverley embody. I grew up with the phrase, move a muscle change a thought. Meaning once I become active, I gain mental clarity, release stress, and release endorphins (the happy hormones). Remember to eat a balanced diet, staying hydrating, get active, and get plenty of sleep! These all help with mental health.
What was a neo-fad that people a) laughed at, b) dismissed as too spiritual or c) found too intimidating to try has been praised for its plethora of positive health benefits. The best thing about meditation, however, is the wide scope it covers. From Sahaja meditation for stress to yoga that teaches how to sooth the mind as well as the body, there are many ways to meditate. Some can require a huge time investment, others can be done in the five minutes between you waking up and having your coffee, allowing you to wake up in the most positive way imaginable. Ultimately meditation helps you breathe, become present, and remember gratitude. By becoming present, not living in the past or future, a lot of anxiety and stress slips away.
Find A Therapist
When you are looking to bounce back from injury, you’re often referred to a physical therapist. So why not seek out a psychotherapist to help your mind recover, or to keep mental health problems at bay. We read an interesting article the other day, well, it was more of an interview, in which Robert Pattinson spoke of therapy, saying he had no idea how people were meant to do life without a therapist. There is just something so magical about talking. Talking about your problems, giving a voice to the noise in your head, allowing a new perspective into the frame, and releasing the pressure on yourself. So, if you make one investment in yourself in the latter parts of this year or the early days of next, make sure it is a therapist.
Surround Yourself With Good Peeps
The people we hang out with have such a huge influence on who we are. They affect our mood, our emotions, our happiness, our self-worth and confidence, our ambition and confidence, whether that be friends or family. That is why it is so important that you surround yourself with good people, people that will help you to be a better you, people that will shoulder your failures and celebrate your successes. It could be you have this already amazing support team and hanging out with them more often is this answer. However, it could be that you need more supporters in your life. Seek out like-minded people by joining new clubs, new activities or joining a support club.
Stress Can Be Dealt With
Stress is real and so is the struggle. That is just how life goes. But instead of just letting it wreak havoc on your mental wellbeing, learn what your best coping mechanism is. Learn what best alleviates your stress. It could be ten minutes of Tai Chi, it could be a walk on the river bank, it could be turning your phone off while you play with your dog or kids. A great way to relieve stress is putting pen to paper and writing your thoughts down. Maybe you need a little fun and stress relief, YouTube and watching your favorite comedian perform your favourite stand up is the answer. Yes, life can be stressful, but it can also be fun and a lot of the time that is a choice we can make. You’ll be amazed at how much sway this has over both your mental and physical health.
No More Routines
Okay, so that may be nigh on impossible. You still have to be at work at the same time and that means getting up the same time to catch the train. However, there are certain things that we can do to change up the monotony of day to day life. It could be that you change your jogging route, or drive somewhere new once a week, or get off your bus one stop early and walk the last part, print off your favourite photos and hang them on the wall or treat yourself to something new each week. Monotony can really affect our mental health. By trying something new each week and changing out the routine can bring in elements of surprise and happiness.