Now that we’ve covered you’re health and physical appearance, all that’s left is the mental aspect. With a new year, new you, a different or better way of thinking can change so much in your life. You won’t realize how your mental health can be holding you back by thinking in a pessimistic or self deprecating way.
This post will go through some things to help you start off the new year with a fresh mindset.
Identify Last Years Problems and Plan for the New
This may seem a bit counter productive, but hear me out first.
If you’re going to start brand new for 2019, you need closure on 2018, and the best way to do that is identify and left over problems and figure out how to fix them. For example, I want to be better at communicating, get my spending under control, be more serious with this blog, and go out of my comfort zone more.
Now that I know my issues, I can figure out ways to improve on my issues. To be better at communication I can try and stop myself before I get passive aggressive, and keep in contact or recontact old friends. For my spending, I can meticulously track my spending and compare it to my budget. To be more serious with the blog, I can look into getting an official domain name and self hosting, along with any other helpful tools. And for my comfort zone, I can try and do little things every day. I can make a list of things I’m scared of or hesitant to do and find ways to progress towards them or outright jump in head first.
Identify your issues and lay out steps you can take to fix these issues or problems before they get the best of you.
List Out What You Are Grateful For
And you thought being grateful was over after Christmas! Nope! This is one last time to sift through the memories of the past year and write out all the things, people, and places you are grateful for this year.
I recently did a post on what I’m thankful for in 2018, and this definitely qualifies as a list of gratitude. But I’m going to make myself a new list. It’s only been a few weeks from then, but you never know what’s changed in that amount of time.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what you’re grateful for, what was something you liked this year? Do you have a favorite memory? A favorite place? Start there.
Plan Goals for 2019
Now that you have your past issues planned to be fixed, and you’ve listed what you’re grateful for, it’s time to plan out for 2019.
I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who needs things planned out. It doesn’t have to be micromanaged down to the minute, but having a general idea of what I’m going to do makes me feel more comfortable.
So if you plan out your day or week, why not plan out your year?
You can make things as vague as you want, you have 12 whole months or 365 days to figure out how you’re going to get your goals finished. We can take my example of communication again. Maybe I can try and reach out to someone I lost contact with or meet someone new once a month. That’s not that big, only 12 people a year.
For the budgeting I can go through my purchases at the end of every week to see where I’ve spent my money. I tried doing this at one point, but it only lasted a few months. I tried using google spreadsheets for it, but maybe I need things to be by hand for me to stick with it.
Journaling is a form of getting out your thoughts in a safe way. You can check out this post by Rose Minded about the 11 Reasons Journal Prompts are Essential to Your Mental Health if you want to get the nitty gritty of things. She also has journal prompts for depression and journal prompts for anxiety if you need a kick start.
I used to journal all the time, but over time started to journal less and less. I started getting to a point where I wanted to ignore some issues rather than writing it out and reliving it. But that’s not exactly healthy for your, so I need to work on that.
If you’re not textually inclined, you may find journal prompts a bit hard. You can try your best if you want to get into journaling, or you could draw your responses, or even use a blogging platform and use pictures or gifs to try and explain your feelings and emotions. I would recommend Tumblr, but with their recent policy changes it’s very likely the site will be going down hill in the near future.
Start Practicing Mindfulness
To me, the practice of mindfullness is to slow down your life and take in everything around you before acting or reacting. It’s keeping yourself in the present without worrying much (or at all) about the past or future. A lot of times we get caught up in the “what ifs?” of life so much that we fail to actually have fun.
Mindfulness and meditation often tend to go together. While mindfulness is the act of staying in the present, meditation is a way to stay in the present. If you’re like me and have so much running around your head, the thought of jumping head first into meditating on your own might make you anxious. However, there are guided meditation videos and podcasts to help.
Looking for other ways to practice mindfulness? Check out Habits Buzz post Beginners Guide: What is Mindfulness and How To Practice It or The Blissful Mind’s post How to Add More Mindfulness Into Your Everyday
While not exactly mindfulness, one of my favorite ways to relax is through ASMR. I’ve found that it calms me down and lets me focus on one thing at a time. Here are some of my favorite ASMRtists:
Related: Advice for My Younger Self
Seek Professional Help if Needed
I wasn’t sure if I should add this, but simply because of that I knew I should.
A lot of people out there try to muscle through mental tangles by themselves. While it’s admirable, more often than not, you can’t do it alone. Even if it’s just a situational thing, seeking out a therapist may be one of the best ways to help yourself this year.
I won’t lie, therapy can be expensive and if you don’t have insurance, that can be debilitating to your finances. When you find a therapist you like or that is in network for your insurance, you can ask them about payment plans or ways to lower your bill. Private practices are more likely to give you discounts because the only person they have to pay at the end of the day is themselves and have a little more wiggle room when it comes to things. I had a psychiatrist who owned his own practice who I saw for over a year for free because I was unemployed and he said he “didn’t need” my copay.
Don’t be ashamed if you need help. I think it’s becoming less of a stigma to seek and receive help as time goes on. There are just some things you shouldn’t go through alone.
Do you have any other suggestions I may have missed? What are you doing to better your mental health this year? What are your goals for 2019?
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