It’s that time of year again: time to set New Year’s resolutions. Interestingly, one type of resolution is taking centre stage as we head into the new year.
A new study by Recurly reveals an overwhelming consensus among individuals to prioritise mental health and well-being in 2024. This data is not surprising, as it aligns with a broader societal trend towards mental wellness.
Over the past few years, individuals, communities, and institutions have begun to acknowledge the importance of mental health as a cornerstone of overall well-being. Conversations once relegated to the shadows are now taking centre stage. The stigma surrounding mental health is dissipating, making way for open dialogues that promote understanding and empathy.
In the quest for self-improvement, an impressive 52% of respondents express their dedication to enhancing their physical health, followed closely by 44% directing their focus towards improving mental well-being. It’s a resounding testament to the growing recognition that a healthy mind is as crucial as a healthy body.
Generational nuances impact mental wellness goals
Zooming in on the generational divide, the study reveals distinctive patterns in how different age groups approach mental health resolutions. Gen Z emerges as a vanguard, with 56% aspiring to bolster their mental well-being in 2024. This generation, often characterised by its forward-thinking approach, is spearheading a mental health revolution, acknowledging the importance of nurturing the mind.
For millennial moms, physical health remains significant, but mental well-being and stress management have taken precedence in their resolutions. According to the Recurly survey, an astonishing 58% express a commitment to improving their mental health.
Stress management also emerges as a focal point, with 48% of Millennial moms aiming to navigate the challenges of daily life with enhanced resilience and composure. These findings reflect a profound understanding amongst this age group that a well-nurtured mental state is beneficial, as well as in creating a positive and nurturing environment for their families.
In contrast, baby boomers, while recognising the significance of well-being, exhibit a lower percentage (25%) with the specific goal of improving their mental health. This juxtaposition reveals the dynamic interplay between generations, each contributing its own unique perspective to the ongoing conversation about mental wellness.
Theresa McEndree, CMO of Recurly, reflects on these findings, emphasising the importance of a holistic approach to mental well-being. “It’s clear from our research that there’s a collective desire to achieve wellness in all aspects of life,” she notes.
Improving mental well-being in the New Year
In the pursuit of a healthier and more balanced life, consider these general tips and pointers to foster positive mental health in the coming year.
- Mindful practices and meditation. Incorporating mindfulness practices and meditation into your daily routine can be transformative for your mental health. Allocating a few minutes each day to focus on the present moment, whether through guided meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindful walks, can contribute to increased emotional resilience and a heightened sense of well-being.
- Establishing boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries is crucial for preserving mental health. Learn to say no when necessary and prioritise activities that bring joy and fulfilment. Creating a balance between work, personal life, and self-care helps prevent burnout and fosters a more sustainable and harmonious lifestyle.
- Quality sleep. Quality sleep is foundational to mental health. Establish a consistent sleep routine, creating a tranquil environment conducive to rest. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep has a profound impact on mood, cognitive function, and stress resilience.
- Physical activity. Regular exercise has been proven to have positive effects on mental health. Whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga, or a high-intensity workout, physical activity releases endorphins, reduces stress hormones, and contributes to an overall sense of well-being.
- Connection and support. Nurturing meaningful connections with friends and family is vital for mental health. Share your thoughts and feelings with trusted individuals, fostering a support system that helps navigate life’s challenges. Engage in activities that promote social connection, creating a sense of community and belonging.
- Mindful technology use. In the age of constant connectivity, mindful technology use is essential for mental well-being. Set boundaries for screen time, particularly before bedtime, and consider taking digital detoxes to recalibrate and focus on in-person interactions.
- Gratitude practices. Cultivate a gratitude mindset by regularly reflecting on the positive aspects of your life. Keeping a gratitude journal or simply taking a moment each day to acknowledge what you are thankful for can shift focus away from stressors and promote a more positive outlook.
- Professional support. If stress and mental health challenges persist, seeking professional support is a proactive step towards well-being. Therapists, counsellors, and mental health professionals offer valuable insights and coping strategies to navigate life’s complexities.
As we embark on the journey of 2024, the momentum towards a more mindful and compassionate society is palpable, echoing the sentiment that a healthier mind leads to a richer and more fulfilling life for us all.