BY: RACHEL HALEY, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF HARM REDUCTION
January marks the start of a new year and new beginnings. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past 365 days and reset our intentions for the next year ahead. With a list of new resolutions, goals and plans, we make commitments to change our habits to improve ourselves, our relationships with others and our communities.
This year, is mental health on your list for improvement? If so, you are not alone. Forbes reported that 45% of people made a resolution to better their relationship with their mental health for 2023. Just like our physical health, improving our mental health is not an instantaneous process. There is no way to fast-track or get immediate and lasting results without consistent practice. Knowing where to begin and having the confidence to take the first step to improve your mental well-being can often feel like hardest part. Being realistic and developing a mental health routine that can evolve with you can help you be your best self each day in the new year.
RESOLUTIONS INTO ACTION
How do we turn our mental health resolutions into real change to foster a healthy relationship with our mental well-being? Here are two daily habits that may help you elevate your mental health in 2023 and beyond:
Do a daily check-in. We often neglect to give ourselves permission to stop and process all that we experience in a 24-hour span. Spending time sitting with our thoughts and feelings is a powerful practice that can give us insight and understanding into our own emotions. The mental health reset activity is a tool that can guide you through how to process your feelings, reflect on your emotions and evaluate your mental health on a daily basis.
Schedule self-care. Self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity! Focusing on your self-care and mental health should feel like pursing your passions. It should restore you and align with your emotional needs. Scheduling time for self-care that you value holds you accountable to your wellness goals and can prepare you to be your best self mentally, even during times of high stress.
The year ahead will undoubtedly bring moments of joy, sadness, disappointment, happiness, frustration and surprise. Some days may test your ability to hold fast to your mental health resolutions and force you to reconsider your capacity. So instead of perfection, let’s aim for progress. Give yourself permission fail and to restart as many times as you need to. Why? Because, as Diane von Furstenberg best said, “The most important relationship in life is the relationship you have with yourself.” For the new year, Alpha Chi Omega hopes you put yourself first and invest in building a positive relationship with your mental health. Future you will be happy you did.
Need help with your mental health? Contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (988) for 24/7, free and confidential support, prevention and crisis resources from its national network of local crisis centers and trained professionals.