Mental Health New Year’s Resolutions You Need On Your List For 2023

BY ELIZABETH AYOOLA

It’s hard to believe we’ve already reached the end of 2022 and are about to leap into the new year. If you’re in reflective mode, you may be thinking about what went well this year, what didn’t go so well, and what you hope to achieve in 2023. 

Before you pull out the wine and kickstart your vision board party, think about your mental health this year. Killing it at work is great and thriving in love is too. However, these wins can feel insignificant if your mental health is bad. For this reason, consider adding mental health goals to your New Year’s Resolutions for 2023. When your mental health is thriving, accomplishing non-mental health goals may become much easier. 

Approaching Resolutions In 2023 

New Year’s resolutions can go from exciting to dreadful in weeks. This can happen when the resolutions are too lofty, inflexible, or aren’t personal to you. 

It’s important you be intentional about your goals, says Jamila Jones, therapist, and owner of Reclaiming Minds Therapy in Chicago, Illinois. 

“Be intentional about the life you want to create for yourself [and] about the life you desire,” she says.”

You also want to remember that mental health goals are more about a lifestyle or mindset shift than checking off a box from your daily task list. 

Before setting your mental health goals for 2023, think about how you felt throughout 2022. Jones recommends asking yourself the following questions.

  • What areas felt good this year? 
  • What were your wins? 
  • How do you want to build upon that? 
  • What didn’t work? 
  • How can you approach that area differently? 

Jones says you should be honest and gentle with yourself when answering these questions.  

“Your resolutions don’t have to be perfect or monumental, just something authentically important to you. No comparing your goals to the goals of those around you. These goals are yours and yours only,” she says. 

You are in the best position to set goals relating to your mental health as you know what you need more and less next year. Here are a few suggestions you could add to your list. 

Feel Your Feelings 

How do you sit with yourself in a world where there are hundreds of social media platforms, the average daily use of social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes and 29 minutes, and there are over 80 apps on the average smartphone? Including work, chores, friends, family, kids if you have them, socializing and everything else competing for your attention. It can be challenging to be still and be with your feelings, but this is crucial to a healthy mental state, says Dr. Shanita Brown, therapist, and owner of Transformative Counseling and Consulting in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

“Emotions and feelings are messengers; they help you learn about yourself and others,” she tells ESSENCE. “Masking or hiding feelings is essentially hiding your authentic self and potentially damaging your mental health.” 

Suppose you aren’t familiar with what it means to sit with your feelings. In that case, it’s about being present when you’re feeling emotions versus avoiding them by distracting yourself or ‘positive thinking’ them away. When you don’t sit with your feelings, they may begin to express themselves in unhealthy ways, such as outbursts, harmful behaviors, or toxic habits. 

Suppose you aren’t familiar with what it means to sit with your feelings. In that case, it’s about being present when you’re feeling emotions versus avoiding them by distracting yourself or ‘positive thinking’ them away. When you don’t sit with your feelings, they may begin to express themselves in unhealthy ways, such as outbursts, harmful behaviors, or toxic habits. 

If you follow The Nap Ministry on Instagram, you’ve probably gotten the memo by now that rest is not a reward. Tricia Hersey is living by example and is currently resting off the grid. Find ways to prioritize rest by dedicating time to exist peacefully in the mornings or before bed. Americans work an average of 34.4 hours a week as of 2022, and 35.2% of U.S. adults get under seven hours of sleep a night. As you probably gather, many of us are overworked and under-rested. 

Rest can look like taking a nap, reading a book, staring out the window, meditating, washing your body more slowly in the shower, or listening to your favorite song 50 times. The point is to choose a rest practice that embodies your needs and remember that rest is your birthright and not something you need to earn. While you’re at it, you should read a copy of Rest is Resistance if you haven’t already.

Pick Up a Physical Activity 

Weight loss, gain, or developing six-packs are sexy goals, but they aren’t the only reasons to stay active. Your physical health can affect your mental health and vice versa, so it’s a win-win when you care for both, says Brown. She tells ESSENCE that people should pay attention to their bodies and what they are telling them. 

Reference:

https://www.essence.com/lifestyle/mental-health-new-years-resolutions-you-need-on-your-list-for-2023/

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