Believe it or not, 2019 is nearly over, which not only means the end of another year full of ups and downs, but it’s the end of an entire decade.
There’s so much change good and bad that we all have experienced in the past years, so before 2019 ends, take a minute to look back on your life, your experiences and how you’ve interacted with the world so that you can decide to use these next years to be even better.
That’s what new year’s resolutions are all about, right? Changing yourself for the better.
A lot of us use the end of the year and the holidays filled with presents and food as an excuse to overlook the things we don’t like about ourselves and our lives, but maybe it’s time to look at things a little more positively. Over the next few weeks as we wrap up 2019, try to find the things you are proud of, the things that we changed for the better, and use those as inspiration to push beyond our comfort zones to make a real difference in the years ahead.
Below we’ve gathered some of the best new year’s resolutions that focus on making you better. In 2020, live your life to the fullest, learn to be happy with yourself and know how to make the world what you want it:
Limit Your Time On Social Media:
Research has shown that social media can negatively impact our mental health, so it might be worth limiting time on apps or even cutting them out of your life completely in 2020. Social media can heighten anxiety by increasing your ability to keep up to date with the activities of other people, which may cause you to develop Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). This in turn can make you obsess about what other people are doing – or even make yourself feel bad because you’re not doing that specific thing. Apps like Instagram only paint a small picture of someone’s life, many of whom only post the good things and never the bad, but try not to compare your life with others online. It might be healthier to take a step back from this false sense of reality next year.
Make A Early TO Bed And Earlier To Rise Routine:
Getting an earlier night will help you feel rested the following day – which is more beneficial to your mental health, as a lack of sleep can heighten anxiety and irritability. Try turning off your phone an hour before bedtime and not watching anything on Netflix. Instead, use this hour to relax in your bed without any distractions. Other ways to help you fall asleep include exercising, avoiding tea and coffee and not drinking alcohol before bed, as well as only using your bed for sleep or sex – so that you associate it with these things. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine that lets you unwind and sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
Cut Down On Drinking (toxic stuff):
Many people drink more during the holiday season. These substances can be harmful to both your physical and mental health; alcohol is a depressant which can negatively affect your mood, and according to Drink Aware, can increase anxiety and stress. Giving up or cutting down on alcohol could help you sleep better, improve your mood and save you money. What’s not to love?
Focus on Exercise:
Exercise boosts ‘happy hormones’ in the brain known as endorphins, which will improve your mood and sense of wellbeing. We’re not saying join a gym and live there, but making small, positive changes can help. Why not try something soothing like going swimming a couple of times a week or make a plan to go on a walk or a run in the morning? Engaging in some form of exercise every day, even if it is just going for a short walk outside, is likely to make you feel better both physically and mentally.
Self-care comes in many forms. For some, it’s a nice long bubble bath with a lit candle and relaxing music. For others, it’s a face mask, chocolate, and their favorite comedy movie. But self-care isn’t just about pampering. It can also be reading a book, meditating, going for a run or even just saying no to things that you don’t want to do. Whatever self-care means to you, know that it is not selfish. It’s important to look after your mental wellbeing in the best way you know-how, so make time for yourself next year.
Try To Trust:
People who suffer from loneliness or mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can often isolate themselves from friends and family, according to research by the Mental Health Foundation. If you’re having a bad time, seek support. Try to be more trusting and know that there are people who love you and will be there for you. A coffee with a friend can do wonders for your mental health and can make you feel less alone. You may even discover that things aren’t as bad as they seem, and even if they are, at least you have someone to talk to about it, who will hopefully understand and try to help.
Improve Your Diet:
Try to make an effort to eat better in the New Year. We’re not talking about counting calories, but rather getting more nutrients such as vitamins, healthy fats, magnesium – all things that our bodies need and may have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing. Research has shown that foods that are rich in folic acid like avocado and spinach and omega-3 acids such as salmon and tuna, can lower stress, according to the Priory Group. This doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself – just make a conscious effort to eat a healthy balanced diet every day.
Maintain A Diary:
Keeping a diary can help reduce anxiety, according to Psychology Today. Whether it’s jotting down your thoughts and feelings to get them out of your head or to track your mood daily, this can provide an outlet to clear your head. Even if you write everything down and then throw the paper away, it may still help you make sense of things that have been troubling you.
Be More Selfish:
This isn’t to say that you should make everything about yourself, but next year, be more selfish by saying no to things you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to go on a night out, and would rather stay home in your pajamas in front of the telly, do that. Tell your friends and family when they have upset you, tell people when they are being hurtful. Be honest with people about your feelings and try not to feel guilty about the fact you might be letting others down.
Ask For Help:
If you’re struggling with your mental health, ask for help. See your GP if you are having a hard time, and if you believe there is something more going on below the surface, ask to be referred to a mental health professional. Don’t feel embarrassed about asking for help. Mental illness can be lonely and overwhelming and it can be hard to cope with it on your own.