By Lexys Sillin, RBT, Mobile Crisis Outreach Counselor
Despite the monotony of quarantine, financial stress, and the political unrest, 2020 is in fact coming to an end. While COVID-19 has its own physical consequences and world-wide restrictions, the CDC also suggests that many people are experiencing increased symptoms of anxiety and depression. Nevertheless, the turn of the year seems to flood us with inspiration and determination to improve our health, our relationships, and our surroundings. For many of us, there has never been a greater motivation to set meaningful, resilient goals.
How do I set healthy New Year’s Resolutions?
Setting goals at any time can be daunting, and New Year’s resolutions can take on an even more intense flavor of ambition. Often, resolutions revolve around changing our external circumstances: Losing weight, getting a better job, or making more money are common resolutions set each year. Yet, ambitious goals require resources, time, and thorough consideration.
When forming goals this year (and in the future), it might be helpful to consider the following questions:
- Is it specific? Who is involved? What does the goal look like? When and how will this goal take place?
- Can you track your progress and know when you have met your goal?
- Do you have the resources to achieve your goal? What do you need to achieve the goal?
- Why am I setting this goal now? Does this goal align with my beliefs?
- What is the deadline for this goal and is it realistic?
What are some mental health goals to set for 2021?
On social media, self-care often appears in the form of taking a bubble bath, drinking a glass of your favorite beverage, watching your favorite show, or putting away your work early on occasion; however, self-care is often multifaceted and individualized. Self-care under most definitions, refers to one’s ability to maintain or improve health, especially when under stress. Similarly, self-care constitutes several different areas of wellbeing. While self-care can include fun and relaxing activities, it can also include completing challenging tasks to aid one’s overall health.
Some examples of self-care may include:
- Physical– Making regular time for exercise, sleep, sex, and to turn off technology
- Emotional– Allow yourself to cry, enjoy cuddling with a pet or partner, participate in a hobby, and/or seek some form of social engagement
- Spiritual– Look for volunteering opportunities, try meditation or yoga, seek a spiritual mentor, participate in a faith community, and/or pray
- Professional– Set boundaries, take mental health days, and learn to say NO when your plate is full
- Psychological– Try different forms of art, engage in self-reflection, seek therapy, and journal
- Personal– plan short-term and long-term goals, make a vision board, and connect with friends or family
Do I need to have New Year’s resolutions?
Although the social pressure around setting New Year’s resolutions can be intense, there is never a bad time to create and evaluate goals. Goals are meant to serve you and your purpose, and if that time is not right now, that is okay.
Reflecting, setting goals, and practicing self-care are not easy tasks. If you ever need to talk with someone, we are always here to listen.
Mobile Crisis Dispatch (Johnson & Iowa Counties): 1-855-800-1239
Mobile Crisis Dispatch (Keokuk, Washington, Louisa, & Jefferson Counties): 1-833-854-7613