We’ve all heard the usual ‘new year, new me’ mottos, if we’ve uttered the phrase ourselves or not. While it may seem like a cliché, there is something to be said for approaching the new year with a brand new attitude towards life and your mental wellbeing. If you suffer from anxiety, depression or you find life overwhelming and stressful, it can seem like an uphill battle to challenge and change your negative thoughts and emotions. However, our mental wellbeing contributes to our feelings of confidence, self-esteem, overall happiness in life and helps us build long-lasting positive relationships with family and friends.
Whether you have a diagnosed mental health condition or you usually feel okay day-to-day, taking the right steps to improve your mental wellbeing will have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your daily life. Below are five steps to help you make 2018 your year of improving your mental wellbeing!
Be Honest & Open
One of the first steps you need to take when trying to improve your mental wellbeing is to be completely honest and open with yourself about how you feel, what you’re experiencing and how well you are currently dealing with whatever is going on. It’s pointless to tell yourself that the pressure at work is something you are coping with if you find yourself struggling to sleep at night.
This year you should resolve to try not to bury unpleasant feelings and emotions, but instead, accept them. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to start observing your negative, and positive, emotions and become more compassionate towards yourself. Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation which has been proven to contribute towards long-term changes in happiness. It not only contributes towards happiness, but studies have also shown it can protect against depression and anxiety.
Embrace Who You Are
Once you’ve been open and honest about your thoughts and emotions, embracing who you are will increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. Learn to tell yourself it’s okay to feel the way you do about certain situations. Instead of berating yourself for negative emotions, acknowledge them and try to discover a way you can change for the better. You should strive to treat yourself with as much respect and kindness as you would a loved one. It may be hard at first to learn to love yourself, and it won’t be as easy as pressing a button, but it’s a valuable skill and lesson to teach yourself. You should try to practice repeating positive affirmations daily, to remind yourself that you are confident, you are beautiful, you are worthwhile, and you can get through the day.
Put Yourself First
It may feel it, but it’s not selfish to put yourself first in certain situations. Trying to bow to pressure from others and putting their needs before your own will take a toll on your mental wellbeing and could contribute to overall feelings of anxiety and depression. Learning to take a step back from stressful or harmful conversations and situations will allow you time to breathe and reassess your approach towards what is happening. You should aspire to be your own best friend and to treat yourself as such. If you want to stay in at the weekend instead of meeting your friends for a wild night out, you should try not to feel guilty about your decision. Putting yourself first will give you time to build your confidence and self-love alone.
Nurture Loving Relationships
It’s no secret that having strong, long-lasting friendships have incredible benefits for our overall health and wellbeing. Studies have seen that those with strong friendships live longer and suffer less with anxiety, depression and stress. Even if you find yourself wishing to hide away and see less of our friends and family, it’s vital for your mental wellbeing that you take the time and the energy to build upon your current friendships and ensure they have strong foundations.
Not only friendships but our romantic and sexual relationships also need to be nurtured and cherished so they can flourish and grow deeper and stronger. If you find yourself struggling in the romance and sexual areas of your life, there are solutions to help you begin to fix the problems. If you struggle with meeting new people, online dating is an option to explore, especially in 2018 when the taboo against meeting partners online has vanished. Specialized products such as Bathmate Direct can build your confidence back up in the bedroom, allowing you to take your sexual relationships to the next level.
Take Care Of Your Physical Health
While a doctors appointment may not always be necessary, looking after your physical health will make sure you’re in peak condition to take on mentally whatever life throws at you. From taking pain medication when you need it to making an effort to have earlier nights when you’re exhausted, your physical health and mental health should work in tandem to ensure you’re at your very best at all times. To help your body stay in peak condition, you should also make 2018 your year to try new exercises and activity. Exercise releases “feel-good” endorphins, which will inevitably improve your mental wellbeing, as well as your self-confidence and your self-love.
When looking after our physical health, you should also assess what you are putting you’re your body. You may be partial to a large pizza and bottle of wine at the weekend with friends, but trying to reduce as much processed food and drink as possible will help you to feel more energized. Alcohol, in particular, can have a negative effect on your physical and mental wellbeing. As alcohol is a depressant, overindulging on the weekend can have a knock-on effect on the rest of the upcoming week. If you find yourself using alcohol to cope with your week, you will feel worse than you did once the effect wears off. Using alcohol as a coping method is a dangerous avenue to go down.
This year, you should try to adopt a healthier diet to see what benefits that can have on your mental wellbeing. However, try not to feel guilty if you treat yourself to something tasty, like your favorite take-out or a second glass of wine.