As much as I want to be a contrarian, I must admit the start of the year does give us a chance to recalibrate our lives through the age old New Year’s resolutions. There’s just something about ending – or starting? — the year with a bang, from fireworks to firecrackers and a whole lot of jumping. It is cathartic, in a way, and it can really put you in an introspective mood.
While coming up with a list of resolutions has always been a priority for me as a child, I grew more and more cynical about the whole concept of it as I grew older. Some of the things that I tell myself are: I could always start a good habit anytime during the year, and these self-imposed resolutions never work in the long run.
But what can you lose from simply listing down a list of new good habits to practice? Nothing. It can only lead to your improvement as a person, so long as you make the goals realistic, attainable, and measurable.
So to my dear Fancy Delight readers, I’m thrilled to share with you these 8 New Year’s resolutions for your mental health. Hopefully it inspires you to live the best version of you.
1. Sweat it out.
Instead of having people tell me to “not sweat it” – the opposite is true to have a healthy mind. Sweating it all out through exercising is more than beneficial, thanks to the happy hormones you get from getting your heart pumping and your muscles working.
I use an app to keep track of my weight and for a curated and stress-free workout. You can download Weight Loss Fitness app here. What’s cool is that they have a 21-day challenge support group on Facebook — a fun way to form a new habit!
2. Take notes from therapy.
One thing I noticed about myself is that when I go to psychotherapy sessions, I tend to absorb what my doctor tells me solely through listening. But I figured that jotting down her nuggets of wisdom and pieces of medical advice would be more enduring if written on paper. When I get stuck in a rut, or fall into a depressive spell, I could simply open my notes and reflect. A good way to get back on track — and assess my progress.
3. Write three things that I’m grateful for every day.
I’ve mentioned this in my talk before at the Belle de Jour launch, but I’m terrible at committing to it. It’s just so much easier to whine about all the things that went wrong during the day, especially if you’re wired to be negative all the time (guilty!). Forcing myself to come up with three things I’m thankful for on a daily basis will give a more meaningful perspective in my life, and will hopefully become second nature to me. Let’s do this!
4. Remind myself that I am what I eat.
And what I am is a healthy individual — or I’d like to think so. Cutting down on sugar, carbs, and processed food will help keep the post-antidepressant weight gain at bay. Drinking lots of water will help too, especially before meals to avoid overeating. Having a healthy body will give you a healthy mind.
A calorie counter or food journal like My Fitness Pal will ensure that you’re always in control.
6. Start a daily journal.
Keeping a diary is good for self-realization, aside from it being a creative outlet. I’ve just started my daily journal with a nifty wooden notebook my good friend gave me for my birthday.
My friend Belle Mapa, the queen of journals, has a blog on the art of bullet journaling. If bullet journaling is too intimidating for you, you can invest on a high quality notebook and a good ol’ pen, and just let your thoughts spill on paper. It’s highly therapeutic.
7. Get in touch with nature more often.
I am a city girl at heart, and I sometimes find more comfort in concrete jungles and air-conditioned malls than, say, hiking or biking. However, numerous studies show that being exposed to nature is good for one’s sanity. This 2018, I plan to have at least two outdoor trips per month. And I’m not just talking about Ortigas Park, Ayala Triangle, or Capitol Commons — no, that’s cheating — I’m talking about a trip to the beach, forest, lake, farm, or whatnot. Anything for me to reconnect with the beauty that life is.
8. Show up.
Whether it be a gruelling day at work, a social function laden with titas who question your lovelife and weight, a long-delayed Bumble date, or an errand you have been putting off for quite some time, it’s best just to show up. While I’m prone to sulking under the covers, I’ll make the extra effort to commit to seeing people and facing my responsibilities. It will be a conscious effort, no less. All part of #adulting, I guess.
Do you have other mental-health related New Year’s resolutions you’d like to share? Feel free to get in touch in my contact page or through the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.