Our mental health is determined by multiple factors that can be on a social, economic, and
individual basis. It is our state of wellbeing that impacts other areas in our lives, like our ability
to build relationships, and our ability to work and create. As an aspect of health, for many years
mental health has been neglected and even looked down upon. With new generations breaking
the stigma surrounding mental health, people have become more and more aware of the
importance of taking care of our mental health. In the midst of all the changes that we wish to
make for the next year, looking after our mental health and wellbeing should be one of them.
Here are 5 changes that you can make in 2023 to take care of your mental health:
1- Write it all down
Journaling has many benefits for our mental health since it’s an efficient outlet to pinpoint
negative thoughts and replace them with positive self-talk instead. It’s also a good way to
identify triggers and track progress. Journaling helps people write down their fears, problems,
thoughts, and concerns which serves as a form of stress-relief.
2- Identify triggers and distance yourself from them
Reflect on how you can preserve your mental health and about the factors that tend to deteriorate
it. Is it a specific group of people in your life that don’t benefit or build your character? Is it
harmful coping mechanisms that actually hurt you more than help you? Is it social media that
makes you spiral into a cycle of comparison? Whatever your triggers are, start thinking of ways
to create a barrier between yourself and those things. Distance yourself from people that block
your growth, slowly quit unhealthy coping mechanisms, or consider a break from social media if
you need to.
3- Look after your physical health
Taking care of your physical health will ultimately impact your mental health. Make sure that
you’re consuming your daily intake of water and the appropriate calorie intake your body needs
to function. Research shows that getting 8 hours of sleep, eating nutritious food, and moving our
bodies for 30 minutes a day positively impacts our physical health which ultimately impacts our
physical health. You can adopt new habits like waking up earlier, switching to healthier
alternatives, quitting junk or fast food, or increasing your daily steps through subtle ways like
parking your car farther than your destination.
4- Start saying yes to new hobbies
Find a hobby that you can invest in. There are hobbies that can help your physical health like a
sport, and there are hobbies that can increase your skill and knowledge like learning an
instrument or a new language. These hobbies can be a source of joy and also a method to
increase fulfillment and self-esteem. Not only will you build your character and grow, but there
are also many social hobbies that can help you increase your connections and expand your social
5- Let it out
As the stigma around mental health is starting to shatter, it’s important to know that it is normal
and healthy to seek professional help if we need to. Not just seeking professional help, but
reaching out to loved ones for support if you need to speak to someone. We are relational beings
who were created to live in unity with others. Putting pressure on yourself to work through
things on your own can do you more harm than good, whereas having someone to lift you up in
times of need can make your mental health significantly better.
- What are some of the things that negatively impacted my mental health last year?
- What changes can I make this year to protect my peace?
- What are small habits that I can start that can positively impact my physical health?