2017 was an interesting year to say to least. With the intense political climate and struggles of everyday adulting, being mentally strong is more imperative than ever. If we learned anything from 2017, we should take note that growth starts from within ourselves. Here are seven tips to help make your 2018 even better.
Practice Self-Care… Everyday
This one may sound obvious, but it’s easily overlooked. Self-Care doesn’t just mean you’re doing things to survive such as sleeping, working out, practicing good hygiene, etc. It means you should make an intentional effort to do something that is going to relax you and take your mind off your day. So go to your favorite restaurant, have some drinks with your friends, or stay at home and treat yourself to well-deserved alone time.
Dieting probably has the most negative connotations attached to it. Depriving yourself of food or your craving is not fun and can stress you out. Instead of resolving to try new diets each month, resolve to eat healthier. Try new methods of dieting without completely depriving yourself. One idea could be you only eating that one thing that you crave. If you want some Oreos, eat some Oreos. I’m not suggesting you eat the entire package, but scratching the itch won’t hurt. And sure it can take some pressure off from a long day.
Exercise… At Least Occasionally
Okay so this may contradict my last tip a little bit, but exercising can tremendously help your mental health. I’m not saying that you need to become a bodybuilder or a fitness expert, but taking advantage of a local gym to blow off some steam can help. Over the course of time, fat can accumulate in your brain from lack of exercise. That fat can block mental processes, which can slow you down and make you anxious. So yeah, exercising can remove that fat from your brain and have benefits for your mental health.
Set Work/Life Boundaries
I could write an entire blog about how to create boundaries, but I will only share methods that have worked for me. Because of our undying commitment to school and work we typically lose ourselves and forget to create strongly defined boundaries. I try my best to let my home (especially my bedroom) be a work-free zone. Consciously deciding not to bring work home takes a lot of work and dedication, but I guarantee it’s worth it. I also have my email and other work apps set so that I don’t receive notifications. This may sound odd at first, however, if you get in the habit of just checking the app for updates instead of the apps updating you, could be better for your mental health. Imagine no longer getting a notification when you’re at the movies or taking a nap. Finally, learn how to say no. There’s no need to do countless favors for a coworker or staying late just for the sake of being nice. Let your workplace know that you have a life outside of work and that you’re not solely dedicated to whatever the mission of your job may be.
Celebrate Your Wins
Be determined to let this year be filled with many blessings and success. One of the best feelings can be getting the right phone call, a better job opportunity or completing all of your work before the weekend. You should reward yourself for all of these accomplishments regardless of how big or small they may be. You deserve to always feel accomplished. Don’t reserve those celebrations for the major things. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself for surviving the week.
Recover From your Losses
Although this year will be filled with some major wins, be prepared to handle any unexpected L’s. Will Smith recently said, “Fail early, fail often, fail forward.” I think the best way to recover from a failure is to look at it as life lessons. Learn whatever you need to learn from that experience and figure out how you can move forward. Don’t let any L’s cripple you this year. Find a way to turn your L’s into wins!
Get a Full Mental Health Assessment
If you feel that you need more help, try getting a mental health assessment. An assessment may offer more suggestions such as seeking further treatment. I definitely recommend talking to someone or a professional if you think you need it. You can get a free mental health assessment here.
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