Nearly 20% of adults in America today suffer from some kind of mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness or not, it’s important to take measures to protect and improve your mental health. And the beginning of a brand new year is a great opportunity to start.
If you’re ready to make your mental health a priority in 2023, keep reading. We’re breaking down five simple things you can do.
Get realistic in your expectations
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when you begin prioritizing your mental health is to let go of your high expectations, both for yourself and for your journey toward better mental health. Feeling healthier and stronger mentally isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. If you’re expecting to see fast results, and those results don’t come as quickly as you hoped, it’s easy to get discouraged.
Instead, consider setting some smaller, more achievable goals for yourself in the New Year. Opt for those that you can easily track, like taking a walk every day or writing in a journal a few times a week.
Distance yourself from toxic friends or family
When you’re looking to improve your mental health, it’s natural to want to turn to those closest to you for support. But before you do, ask yourself whether those individuals are helping or hurting your mental health. Studies show that 80% of Americans have been victims of emotional abuse, reports Forbes.
Creating distance between yourself and friends or family members who are toxic or who have a negative impact on your mental health is one of the key elements of starting your road to recovery.
Social media can be a great way to connect with friends or to share your journey to better mental health. But at the same time, it can be one of the biggest contributors to negative thoughts. Social media use can have a direct impact on your sleep, which can in turn cause depression, anxiety, and memory loss. Cyberbullying, as well as the temptation to compare yourself to others’ carefully curated and heavily edited posts, can also impact your mental health.
While you don’t necessarily have to let go of it completely, it’s a good idea to take a break or set restrictions on your social media use in 2023.
Get moving every day
Moving your body every day is one simple way to boost your mental health. Even something as simple as taking a daily walk can have a direct impact on your mental health. In one study, individuals who exercised had more than 40% fewer poor mental health days than those who didn’t, reports UCLA Health.
Ask for help
One of the best things you can do for your mental health also tends to be one of the hardest. Asking for help is challenging for many people. Often, it means finally coming to terms with the fact that you’re suffering, and that you might not be able to do it all on your own.
But getting help with your mental health is the best way to get back to feeling like your own, healthy self again. Seeking help at a mental health treatment center is a great way to learn how to support and improve your mental health in ways that will continue to net results in the future.
Prioritising your mental health in 2023
From seeking professional help to prioritising exercise daily, these are a few of the best things you can do for your mental health in 2023. If you’re ready to make a change, the start of 2023 is a great time to do so.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.