The start of a new year is always a time of reflection and looking forward. Many of us like to set goals and targets for the year ahead, and often they involve improving our health. We tend to associate better health with fitter bodies, but it’s essential to understand the importance of mental health. In this guide, we’ll explore some effective ways to manage and nourish your mental wellbeing.
Taking control of your schedule
A lack of time is one of the most common causes of stress and anxiety. If you feel like you are always rushing, you never have time to stand still or relax, you struggle to switch off, or you constantly feel like you’re under pressure to get through a to-do list, taking control of your schedule is critical. Start blocking out periods for rest and recovery, learn to say no and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Nobody is superhuman and we all need time to unwind and have fun. Make time in your diary for exercise, socializing, relaxation and indulging in hobbies and interests.
Recognizing that you might need help
Most of us wouldn’t think twice about contacting the doctor if we had a physical injury or we felt unwell, but the story is very different when people experience symptoms that affect their minds, rather than their bodies. Many will soldier on in silence and keep their thoughts, feelings and worries to themselves.
It can be challenging to talk about mental health, but it’s so important to talk about how you feel and to seek advice if you think you need help. It’s perfectly natural to feel anxious or sad from time to time, especially if you’re going through a tough time, but it’s not natural to experience symptoms that last for weeks or months. If you’re turning to drugs or alcohol to numb pain or get through the day, you feel like you can’t get up in the morning, you’re questioning whether you want to be around anymore, or you have no enthusiasm for things that normally make you feel happy or excited, it’s important to understand that help is available. There are many solutions, therapies and treatments that can make a difference, including rehab facility programs, talking therapies, counseling, group support and medication. Making the first call, scheduling an appointment or starting a conversation online is often the hardest step, but it will make you feel better.
Self-care is all about looking after your body and mind. Practising self-care can help to enhance happiness and wellbeing, reduce the risk of stress, anxiety and depression and improve your work-life balance. Tips to get started include doing daily exercise, establishing a sleep routine to make sure you get enough rest, making time for hobbies, spending time with people who make you feel good, eating well and being kind to yourself.
Many of us are starting 2022 with aspirations to improve our health. If you’re setting goals for the year ahead, it’s hugely beneficial to prioritize your mental wellbeing, as well as your physical health.