• Sunday, September 25, 2022

Column

Mental health resolutions

By: MITA MISTRY

AS WE begin another year, are you bursting with energy and ready to dive into 2022 or absolutely exhausted from 2021?

If you are struggling, shattered, or fantasising about that much-needed holiday, you are not alone.

Undoubtedly, the past 12 months have been utterly draining with many having to deal with isolation, grief and feeling lost to political, societal, and environmental uncertainty. In fact, a pandemic is a form of trauma on society that has left many mentally exhausted or reliving a past pain it may have triggered.

With that in mind, you might already be practising additional self-care measures, but if you haven’t had that opportunity, now is a good time to make psychological well-being a priority.

As well as the usual new year’s resolutions around finances, fitness, or aspirational goals, most of which are unrealistic or don’t last, and make us feel like we’ve failed, why not make some mental health resolutions? Step into the new year with a healthier mindset with resolutions that have long-lasting mental benefits.

A commitment to staying physically active daily has great psychological benefits. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that help us to regulate emotions. Being out in nature is especially therapeutic.

If the mental baggage is too heavy and weighing you down, seek professional support. Not only will it help to unpack any issues and make you feel lighter, but also have other health benefits. There is absolutely no shame in it and will remain completely confidential.

It sounds obvious but have fun and do what you love. Life is already serious, and it doesn’t help that social media is brimming with negativity. Spend less time doom-scrolling and make it a priority to recharge your emotional batteries daily by doing something that makes your heart sing. Perhaps watch a comedy, sing in front of the mirror, or dance around the kitchen. It’s ok (and essential) to be silly! Speak kindly not just to others, but also yourself.

Keep an eye on negative self-talk, which can lower self-esteem and affect your mental wellbeing. It’s ok to make mistakes. We all make them. What’s important is how you move forward from them.

Stay present, as best as you can. Our minds tend to drift into the future causing anxiety or dwelling on past mistakes making us feel hopelessly terrible. Remember to enjoy the gifts of today. Mindfulness is your best friend for living in the here and now. Perhaps, start a daily mindfulness practice.

Get good sleep. Seven to eight hours of good quality sleep is considered restorative for our mental and physical well-being. We all feel extra irritated with texts, emails, works or others when exhausted.

Start viewing life as an adventure instead of obstacles. Imagine feeling excited to jump out of bed in the morning. Do things that matter to you. Start filling your heart and mind with what nourishes it. Remember other people’s opinions don’t define you and don’t matter. Yes, life is bumpy but it’s a gift denied to many. If you’re lucky to have the chance to take better care of your mental health, then do it. Wishing you all a prosperous, happy and productive new year.
www.mitamistry.co.uk and Twitter: @MitaMistry

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