A new start
It is believed by a lot of people that once the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve a fresh start is given to us and a blank canvas awaits - a daunting prospect for many of us. We all cheer, “Happy New Year!” to those that we love, but if you think about it, we are also saying it to ourselves. A New Year brings with it a chance to start again, so it’s important we think about how we can prepare for this new start.
My wake-up call
This is how I plan to prioritise my mental health more in the New Year. Personally, a few years ago I had the biggest wake-up call in terms of looking after my mental health. Before then, prioritising my mental health wasn’t even a thought that entered my head. Nonetheless, since then I've been able to work on myself. I’ve eventually found myself in a place where I can focus on being mentally healthy, as I’ve realised just how important it is.
I think it’s best to not set the ‘standard’ New Year’s resolutions, or at least approach them in a better way. We’re all guilty of writing down our overly ambitious resolutions, such as losing weight, or being the most organised we’ve ever been. I am sure that most people reading this have set ambitious resolutions like this before, or are thinking of making some for the year ahead.
The problem with these kind of resolutions is that they can be way too pressurising, way too daunting, and too difficult to achieve. It seems ridiculous that even before the New Year has started, we’ve already put all of this pressure on ourselves to reach goals that frankly, we forget about in February.
Relieve the pressure
So, how can we have a mentally healthy year without setting any resolutions? It sounds simple, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Pressure can be stressful, and in turn affect our mental health. I would suggest setting goals, but goals that can be put in practice every day and will help to work towards your happiness.
In order to do this, I suggest you think about what makes you the most stressed. For me, it’s being uncertain. This is very unfortunate because in life we are never truly certain all of the time – however, there are ways I can avoid being stressed about this. The first thing I do is realise that some things are just not in my control. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about them because there’s nothing I can do to change it. Instead, I just focus on what I can do, and I focus my effort in making it work for me and in a way that will make me calm.
My top tips
So, my tips for a mentally healthy year would be: don’t set unrealistic resolutions. Set goals that will help you stay calm and goals that are memorable. It’s not going to be easy, but by entering the New Year with no pressure on your shoulders and knowing that each day you are going to try and have your best interests at heart will kick start your mentally healthy year.
Of course, there will be ups and downs, but the downs are what help to improve our mental health the most. We are only human, we all make mistakes, but we need to learn from them and use them to help us in our quest for long term peace. You are not alone and this year, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Where to get help
If you are struggling with your mental health now or during the holidays, have a look at our find help page for guidance and advice on how to get help.