The New Year is coming quickly, in two months to be exact. This year has been a whirlwind of recovering from a pandemic, a war, crime, and loss. That is not even counting what is happening in our personal lives. Everything can feel like a lot sometimes, and it’s important to look to the future with hope, even if it’s hard to find. That’s why New Year's resolutions can be something to look forward to, even if you have doubts about next year, positivity is key.
Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas to help improve your mental wellbeing in 2023.
- Go to Therapy
The best thing you can do for yourself is to take care of your mental health. Sometimes you need some extra help doing so, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Going to therapy can be a great way to talk through your anxiety, stress, and mental health issues with a professional. Everyone could use someone to talk to. If you need help, research various therapies and which one may be right for you, and find someone who can meet your needs. If you do not have insurance, there still may be options for you, including online therapy.
Visit Transformations Care Network for more info, or to schedule an appointment. The Milford location is coming soon. For now, check out the nearest Northeast Health Services in Attleboro, MA located 8 North Main Street.
- Exercising Outside Every Day
Going outside is nature’s form of therapy. It’s actually called ecotherapy, and it has been proven to benefit those who struggle with mental health issues. “Green exercise” is one method of ecotherapy used in treating mental health disorders. Many of these strategies using the simple force of nature are proven to improve symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, and PTSD.
Since the colonization of land, nature has lost its purity, and humans have industrialized upon it. This has created a disconnect between humankind and the natural world, and has negatively affected us in many ways. Reconnecting with nature is the best thing we can do for our mental wellbeing, and it starts with simply being outside, going for a walk or a run on a trail, and surrounding yourself with fresh air and lots of plants. In the Milford area, check out Peppercorn Hill Conservation Area, a beautiful place to hike, bike, and enjoy nature.
- Quit Your Bad Habit
A great New Year’s Resolution is to quit whatever bad habit you’ve taken on. Oftentimes, when people struggle with their mental health, habits are a way of coping. These can range anywhere from drinking too much coffee, or drinking too much alcohol. Whatever your habit is, the best way to end it is to make a point of intentionally stopping. The New Year is a great time to do so. It’s important to recognize that habits are routines that stem from triggers. It’s hard work, but in the end your mental health will thank you. Write down your habit, and then make a plan to break it.
- Travel Outside Your Hometown
Traveling is a great way to get out of your head and explore your environment. For a New Year’s resolution, it may be “travel somewhere new once a month,” whether it be a new state, city, or even a new part of your town. Traveling and visiting new places is essential for mental health. Doing so has been proven to reduce stress, improve mood, and help you connect with others. If you’re in the Milford area, Boston is just less than an hour away by car. There are unlimited things to do in the city. Perhaps your New Year's resolution is to explore the culture and art of your city, and do one cultural outing a month. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is a great place to kickstart your resolution.
- Get a Pet
If you’re struggling with stress, loneliness, or anxiety, getting a pet may be the perfect prescription. Pets have proven to help with mental health issues. Owning a pet gives people a sense of purpose, and a furry companion to wake up with, go on walks with (if your pet is walkable), and have a mutual love connection. Simply being around animals, especially cats and dogs, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’re able to in 2023, owning a pet may be the best thing you can do for your mental health, plus adopting a pet will save them, too. In the Milford, MA area, the Milford Humane Society is a great place to check out if you’re looking to adopt a cat. For dogs, check out the Milford Animal Control.
- Pick Up a New Hobby
A new hobby is the perfect New Year’s resolution. Hobbies can bring joy to your day, and give you a sense of purpose. Overall, studies have shown that hobbies can do wonders for your mental health. They boost your mood, lowering cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and giving you an overall sense of wellbeing. Especially when you participate in hobbies with others, which gives an opportunity for social connection, something that is vital in order to be a healthy, happy human.
In order to set the resolution for yourself, try to pick a couple hobbies you’d enjoy, and make a point of working on them at least a few hours per week. Whether it be knitting, painting, hiking, playing sports, or even something simple like reading. By giving yourself time to do these activities each week, you are prioritizing yourself. Having time for you is essential for mental wellbeing, and it doesn’t have to be something productive, or important. As long as it makes you happy, it counts as a hobby!
The New Year is coming up, and after the couple of years we have all had, it’s important to prioritize ourselves this year. Making a point to follow through with your resolutions is only going to benefit you!