We live in a society that seems obsessed with physical health and weight loss. A majority of people have tried one or more diets to lose weight. People join gyms, juice, and take supplements, all in an effort to optimize their physical health.
Sadly, most people don’t give their mental health a second thought and don’t dedicate enough time and energy to their emotional wellbeing in a way that promotes a better life.
The problem is, no matter how good you look in a bathing suit or how “ripped” you may be, or how low your cholesterol is if you aren’t mentally healthy, your life is negatively impacted. and as the body-mind connection has proven, over time, it impacts you mentally and physically.
In the age of Coronavirus, when many of us are dealing with health and financial struggles, the stress can really take a toll on our mental health. With this in mind, here are some good mental health habits to practice in 2021 and beyond.
Research shows that evidence-based therapies have proven to be effective in improving our well-being and mental health. In fact, research has shown that over 20 studies have proved clinical mindfulness programs, such as Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioral therapy (M-CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and others, significantly improve anxiety and depression.
Practice Gratitude. Gratitude is like a magic bullet when it comes to mental health. Too often, when we are feeling negative emotions, we deny our full reality, that is to say, we deny all of the wonderful things that are present in our life. Be sure to take realistic stock in your life each day and feel grateful for the people, events, and things in your life that bring you joy and happiness. And be sure to share your gratitude with others!
Want to practice with like-minded others, join one of our DBT Skills Groups or try mindfulness counseling!
Value Yourself. The only thing worse than dealing with grief, sadness, and stress, is doing so while devaluing your own self-worth. Be sure to treat yourself as kindly as you do your loved ones. See the good in you and practice self-care and self-compassion every day.
Research shows that self-compassion skills and compassionate counseling truly make a huge difference in our lives and in improving our negative self-talk.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an acceptance-based cognitive-behavioral therapy that coaches you on how to live more fully in the present moment, develop healthier coping strategies, better regulate difficult emotions, and building self-esteem and self-worth.
Lose Control. Most of us cling to the idea that we can control every single facet of our lives. It’s just not true. This desire for full control brings with it a sense of anxiety. Make this year the year you finally let go of needing to control everything. Break perfectionism, open your heart and find more joy in your life.
1. Prioritize Self-Compassion
2. Treat yourself as if you are a special guest
3. Cook a delicious and healthy meal
4. Do something that nourishes your soul
5. Find time to truly relax and unwind
6. Prioritize pursuing better health
7. Play and engage in fun and wellness promoting activities
8. Talk lovingly and compassionately to your inner child
9. Be the Best Version of YOU
10. Are you attached to doing and busyness? Taking time for yourself is not a luxury, but is essential. Some ways to be your best self.
Replenish your energy:
1. Take a 5-minute walk in nature
2. Find time to reflect, write, meditate, or pray
3. Go to a restorative or yin yoga class
4. Have a massage or relaxing treatment
5. Do something that sparks creativity or joy
6. Find time to read something you enjoy
7. Be More Present in Your Life
8. Let go of self-judgments. Be kind to yourself, like you would a close friend, a young child, or a beloved pet.
9. Increase your self-awareness. Observe your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors without judging them
10. Lovingly move away from harmful thoughts and behaviors, and find the support and help you need to be successful in this. You are worth spending the energy, time, money, and resources on
Practice being self–compassionate and self-accepting without conditions:
1. Surround Yourself with Positive People
2. Toxic people are bad for our mental health. It’s time to cut ties with those who bring you down in order to make room for people who will support you.
Along with these habits, you may want to consider speaking regularly with a mental health counselor and building healthy communication and boundaries that support your life, who can help you navigate any issues you may be dealing with and provide coping techniques.