The start of a new year is often a time for reflection, goal setting, and making resolutions for the year ahead. One of the most popular resolutions is to improve one’s physical health, but, this year, why not focus on your mental health, too? Both often go hand-in-hand. From eating better and exercising regularly to exploring relaxation techniques and talking to a therapist, there are plenty of ways to make this goal achievable. Let’s take a look at some of the most practical tips to help you achieve your goals.
The Importance of Staying Physically and Mentally Healthy
Oftentimes, having poor mental health will take its toll physically and vice versa. When our bodies don’t feel well, we don’t feel well mentally. Doing routine physical exercise will improve your sleep, your blood flow, your stamina, and so much more. Not only that, but oftentimes diminished mental health can lead to apathy towards physical illnesses. When you don’t consistently treat illnesses of both the brain and body, it gets tougher to bounce back.
When it comes to physical health, eating right and exercising regularly is key. Exercise can help reduce stress and boost energy levels. Living in a community with a state-of-the-art fitness center makes it easy to do a quick workout before or after work, and even during a lunch break. Eating right means consuming a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and lean proteins. Make sure you get enough sleep as well, as getting sufficient rest is essential for staying healthy.
Taking care of your mental health is a must. It’s important to take time for yourself and do activities that make you feel relaxed and peaceful. Take up a hobby like painting, writing, or playing an instrument, or adopt a pet from a local shelter. It’s also important to talk to someone you trust when you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed. If you need more help, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. We’ll go further into that in a moment.
Setting Realistic Goals
The New Year is the perfect time to make changes and set new goals for yourself. But it’s important to start off the year on the right foot by setting realistic, achievable goals. When it comes to improving your mental and physical health, this means focusing on sustainable, long-term changes. And remember that going on a trip with family is good for both! If you want to ski, snowboard, ice fish, go ice skating, visit a museum, or see more live music, we have a fun guide for that.
Be Specific with Your Goals
Take the time to think about what areas of your life you want to focus on and create a plan for how to get there. Be sure to be realistic about the timeline for achieving your goals. If you want to make a drastic lifestyle change, such as quitting a bad habit or starting a new fitness routine, break down the process into smaller steps that are more manageable. This can be a daily, weekly, or monthly goal that is easily tracked via an app, bullet journal, or calendar.
Balance Your Goals
Make sure to include both mental and physical goals in your plan. Setting aside time to practice self-care activities, such as yoga or journaling, can help boost your mental health. Similarly, finding activities that you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle can help you achieve physical health goals, like exercising regularly.
Give Yourself a Break
Remember to be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. If you miss a day of meditation or walk fewer miles that week, it’s not a big deal! You’re human and things happen. Give yourself a break and recognize that sometimes what is seen as a “step back” may actually be a moment for necessary rest.
Making a Plan
It’s important to break down your resolutions into manageable steps that are achievable. Here are some tips for creating a plan to ensure success in achieving your New Year’s resolutions:
1. Be Sensible with Your Goals
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by setting goals that are too big or unrealistic. Instead, create smaller, achievable goals that are within reach. This will help keep you motivated and make it easier to stay on track with your resolutions.
2. Make a Timeline
Establishing deadlines for when you want to achieve each of your goals will give you something to work towards and measure your progress against. It’s also helpful to set weekly check-ins so you can assess your progress and adjust as necessary.
3. Track Your Progress
Keeping track of your progress is an important part of achieving your goals. Whether it’s through journaling or using an app, take time each day to record what you’ve accomplished and how you’re feeling. This will help keep you on track and provide you with the encouragement to keep going.
4. Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance if you need it. You can enlist the help of family or friends, join a support group, or talk to a medical or physical therapist.
Getting Help When You Need It
If you find yourself struggling to make positive changes or just need additional help getting on the right path, there are plenty of options available. It’s also imperative to remember that there is no shame in reaching out for assistance. Here are some ideas:
1. Talk to a Friend or Family Member
A trusted companion can provide emotional support, offer different perspectives, and even provide tips on managing stress.
2. Reach out to Your Primary Care Physician
Your doctor is a great source of advice when it comes to physical and mental health. They may also be able to refer you to a specialist for more specific issues.
3. See a Mental Health Professional
If you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, or other psychological concerns, speaking to a therapist or counselor can be extremely beneficial. They’ll be able to help you work through difficult issues and create an action plan for tackling them.
4. Seek Support from a Local Organization
Many organizations offer services specifically geared towards mental and physical health. Whether it’s one-on-one counseling, group therapy, team sports, etc., you can find programs designed to help you reach your goals.
5. Try Online Resources
There are countless online tools and resources available to help you improve your mental and physical health. From videos and audio recordings on relaxation techniques to informational blogs on various topics, you can find a wealth of information with just a few clicks.
You don’t have to do it alone. Taking the first step towards seeking help is often the hardest part, but once you do it, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your New Year’s resolutions and leading a healthier, happier life.
Celebrate Your Successes
It’s important to take time to recognize your successes in improving your mental and physical health. Celebrating your successes will help you stay motivated to keep working towards your goals. Here are some tips for celebrating your successes:
1. Acknowledge Yourself
Take a moment to thank yourself for the effort you’ve put in. Reflect on the small victories that have helped you reach your goals.
2. Celebrate with Friends and/or Family
Share your accomplishments with your closest confidants. Whether it’s a dinner out or a virtual celebration, having your loved ones around will make the experience even more special.
3. Create a Rewards System
Have a treat or activity planned after achieving each milestone. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant; it could be something as simple as taking a long bath or buying yourself a new book.
4. Document Your Journey
Keeping a journal or taking pictures of your progress can help remind you of how far you’ve come. Going back and seeing where you started can help you appreciate the progress you’ve made and stay motivated to reach the finish line.
This year, make taking care of your mental and physical health one of your top priorities. It will pay off in the long run!