As the new year rapidly approaches, many of us are gearing up to hit the reset button on various aspects of our lives. Whether it's committing to a new fitness routine, breaking free from negative habits, or setting ambitious career and travel goals, the new year signals a fresh start. Amidst all these resolutions, one aspect that often gets overlooked but is crucial for overall well-being is mental health.
According to the Cohen Veterans Network's 2018 America's Mental Health study, a staggering one in four Americans has had to make the difficult choice between seeking mental health treatment and covering daily necessities. While professional help is undoubtedly valuable, there are also effective and affordable ways to manage your mental health independently.
Let's explore some self-care strategies from the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) curriculum that can help you prioritize your mental health in the coming year.
1. Embrace Self-Acceptance
New Year's resolutions often revolve around transforming ourselves, whether physically or mentally. However, instead of fixating on changing who you are, consider using the new year as an opportunity to practice self-acceptance and self-love. Embrace your flaws and imperfections, understanding that they contribute to your uniqueness. This can have a profound impact on your mental well-being.
2. Move Your Body
Physical activity is not just beneficial for your body; it also has a significant positive impact on your mental health. Studies indicate that exercising for at least 30 minutes daily can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Whether it's going for a brisk walk, joining a fitness class, or engaging in a sport with friends and family, find a form of exercise that brings you joy and makes you feel good.
3. Cultivate Gratitude
Taking a stroll down the path of gratitude can be like adding a sprinkle of magic to your mental well-being. Studies hint that weaving gratitude exercises into your daily fabric can weave threads of thankfulness and positivity.
Picture this: a gratitude journal, your personal haven where you weave tales of gratitude each day. It's a subtle alchemy that transforms your gaze from the voids to the treasures in your life, crafting a lens of positivity.
4. Prioritize Yourself
In a society that often glorifies busyness and self-sacrifice, it's essential to remember that self-care isn't selfish. Taking time out for yourself is a vital component of maintaining good mental health.
Whether it's enjoying a relaxing bath, treating yourself to a movie, or spending quality time with loved ones, prioritize activities that help you unwind and recharge. By nurturing your well-being, you'll be better equipped to handle life's challenges.
5. Consider Mental Health First Aid
Delving into the realm of mental health knowledge is like giving yourself a toolkit for well-being. Imagine Mental Health First Aid courses as your guidebook, teaching you to decipher the language of common mental health challenges and substance use issues.
These courses not only unravel the mysteries but also hand you the keys to managing these hurdles through professional assistance and self-care. Enrolling in a Mental Health First Aid course can be your compass, navigating you toward valuable insights on tending to your mental health in the upcoming year.
As we venture into the unknowns of the new year, let's not sideline the significance of mental health. Blend these self-care strategies into your daily script, and voila! You're actively investing in your well-being without burning a hole in your pocket. Remember, the journey of mental health is continuous, and each positive stride you take becomes a building block for a healthier you.