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Published on January 08, 2019

Make Resolutions to Better your Mental Health

As we celebrate the beginning of 2019, we inevitably reflect back on the last year, and think about what we want for the upcoming year. It’s the perfect time to check in on our mental health, and what we can do this year to set resolutions that will help us care for ourselves.

Every person’s mental health is different, so your goals also will be different. If you’ve been struggling with your mental health lately, you might want to set manageable goals like brushing your teeth every day. If things have been going well for you, you might want to set bigger challenges like pushing extra hard in your career, or to hit a personal goal like running a 5K race.

Here are some resolutions that we can all use, no matter where we are with our mental health.

  • Be kind to yourself. Whether things have been going well for you or if you’ve been having a tough time lately, it’s important that you treat yourself with the same kindness and encouragement you would extend to a friend. If you wouldn’t say it to someone you love, then you shouldn’t say it to yourself.
  • Practice good sleeping habits. Getting enough sleep can be hard when you’re living with a mental health disorder, but studies show the importance of prioritizing sleep for improving mental health symptoms.
  • Eat healthy foods and get your body moving. Many people include losing weight by dieting or hitting the gym on their list of resolutions, but those goals can actually be tough on one’s mental health. Instead of putting the focus on the scale, think about how you can include more veggies in your weekly meals, or maybe going for a walk with a friend. This goal is about caring for your body, not pushing yourself to attain a certain look or weight.
  • Talk more about your mental health. Being more open about your mental health helps others understand your needs, and allows them to be supportive to you. It also helps to build connections. Your friends and family members may also be struggling, but if one of you doesn’t open up the conversation, you may never know.
  • Help others. You could take this to mean different things. You might do small random acts of kindness once a month, or put in extra effort to show your loved ones that you appreciate them. It could mean volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Studies show that helping others is good for your mental health – and those around you will appreciate it as well!

Isn't it better to set New Year’s resolutions that you can keep up with, and that benefit your mind and body, rather than add pressure and stress to your life? Consider some of these ideas to frame your resolutions this year.

If you feel that you might need more support in setting goals or not sure if mental illness is impacting you, take our mental health screening. It’s a simple, confidential way to see if you have symptoms of a treatable mental health disorder. After the screening, if needed, you can make the decision to meet with a mental health professional.

dave miers

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dave Miers, PhD, is the counseling and program development manager for mental health services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb.

He helped establish the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition in 1999 and chaired/co-chaired this Coalition until 2017. He currently serves as the past co-chair. Dr. Miers is a member of the leadership group for the Lincoln/Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Dr. Miers has published research and co-authored a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Clinical Suicide Research focusing on family survivors of a child suicide. Dr. Miers helped develop the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) team in Lincoln, Neb. He also helped develop other LOSS teams in Nebraska and is active with LOSS team development on a national level.


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