The countdown to 2022 is on, which means it’s time to start brainstorming some New Year’s resolutions. If your resolutions for the new year involve better self-care, then goal setting is a proven strategy for success! One goal that should be at the top of everyone’s list is improving mental health and wellness.
While this resolution may seem like a no-brainer, it can be very challenging to achieve, especially during this time of year. To improve your mental health and wellbeing this year, it’s important to break down this goal into smaller, more attainable objectives, first. If you're looking for some ideas to help you set positive goals for the year ahead, here are six mental health and well-being goals worth pursuing in 2022.
Focus on Your Physical Health
Your body and your mind are interlinked. When your body feels strong and healthy, your mind does, too. To achieve a healthy physique (to improve your mental health) you don’t necessarily have to be running marathons and living on a diet of celery. Small changes – like exercising for 30 minutes every day or limiting takeout to a couple times a week – can lead to big changes.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep! Sleeping allows your body to rest and gives your mind some downtime to recharge. Without sleep restoration, you’ll feel tired and depleted, which directly impacts your mood.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, people with insomnia are 10 times more likely to develop depression than those who don’t. So, if you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, consult your doctor. You won’t believe what a few extra hours of deep, peaceful sleep will do for your mental health and wellness.
Put Yourself Out There
The winter months can be dark times, especially with shorter days and longer nights. In fact, January 24th is regarded as the most depressing day of the year. The post-holiday blues are a common phenomenon made worse by the preponderance of seasonal depressive disorder (SAD) - check out our blog about SAD if you need coping strategies to improve your mood.
If your instinct is to stay indoors and spend time alone rather than venturing out into the cold, you’re not alone. However, this may cause your mood – and mental health – to experience a downward spiral. Commit to regular social activity to stay engaged with the world around you!
While the thought of going outside may not be an appealing one, a coffee date with a friend will have you feeling warm, cozy, and happier. So bundle up and give yourself some activities to look forward to.
Always Give Yourself Some “Me Time”
While spending time with friends and loved ones can be a mood-lifter, everyone needs “me time.” Self-care is the ultimate act of mental health preservation. Make sure to set time aside for doing the things you love. For some people, the best-spent me time involves a hot bath and a book. For others, it’s a relaxing massage or a day of shopping.
Whatever solo activity you enjoy most, make time for it! Sometimes, it’s important to put yourself first. Consider it a necessary investment in your health and wellness.
Practice Positive Thinking and Self-Talk
“Out with the old, and in with the new,” is a popular approach to the new year. One thing you’ll need to let go of in 2022 is negative self-talk. According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking supports many health and wellness benefits, including:
- A longer life span
- Lower rates of distress and depression
- Improved psychological and physical well-being
- Better coping defenses against stress and hardships
- Increased resistance to the common cold
- Stronger cardiovascular health
Of course, thinking positively is easier said than done, especially when we’re often our own worst critics. One rule of thumb is to never think (or say) anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else.
When your thoughts do begin to stray in the wrong direction, we recommend one of our favorite coping strategies and habits to improve mental health: a gratitude check-in.
Adopt a Mantra and Start Meditating
One way to adopt more positive self-talk into your routine is to try mantra meditation. If you struggle with getting in the right frame of mind, mantra meditation is an easy and effective way to ground yourself.
According to Healthline, practicing positive affirmations and mantra meditation can lead to the following benefits:
- Increased self-awareness
- Reduced stress
- A greater sense of calm
- Increased self-compassion
- A more positive outlook
Some positive affirmations to practice during your mantra meditation can include:
- “I am making myself a priority this year.”
- “I will speak to myself with kindness.”
- “I am optimistic for the future.”
- “I will focus on the things that I can control.”
- “I will lead with empathy, not judgment.”
The mental health and wellness collections from happii feature and support messages and positive affirmations you can use in your mantra meditation. If you need a wearable reminder to pause and embrace all that is you, we’ve got you covered.
Share a Message of Positivity
The only thing better than embracing the power of positive affirmations is sharing these messages with others. Our mental health hoodies, tees, affirmation cards, and stickers, won’t just help you keep your chin up, but can also serve as a gentle reminder to others to love yourself.
When it comes to turning your mental health and self-care goals into a reality this year, there’s one thing important you should do to keep yourself accountable: write them down. When you put your goals in writing, you’re actually 42 percent more likely to achieve them. So take a few extra minutes and jot your resolutions down in your favorite notebook or even on a sticky note.
A growing body of evidence points to the value of learning self-love. Research actually tells us that practicing self-love helps you accept yourself, achieve personal growth, and improve mental wellness.
At happii, we’re all about self-love and care. We invite you to join us in our mission of spreading more positivity this year. To make 2022 a year of self-care and improved mental wellness for those who are struggling, shop our collection of mental health clothing and accessories. Spread a bit of positivity this year wherever you go when you’re wearing happii!