For many people, the New Year brings with it the opportunity to establish healthier new habits. From a mental health perspective, here are a few ways to establish habits to reduce stress and create more ease in your daily life.
Establish a smoother morning routine
Everyone is busy. However, busy does not necessarily mean productive. How you begin your day is incredibly important. It sets the precedent for what the rest of your day will look like. If you wake up late and are scrambling to leave the house, your whole day will feel rushed, even if it was an otherwise relatively good day. Instead, allow a full hour each morning to give yourself the time to meditate, work out, or prepare for the week.
If you wake up with plenty of time to care for your needs, you’re less likely to feel burnt out and overwhelmed by the demands of the world.
Positive in, positive out
You probably become more mindful when it comes to exercising and eating healthfully at the beginning of the year. What would that look like if you applied it to your mental health? What you put in your brain will influence what comes out of your brain. So it’s best to be mindful about what you watch on television, the type of friends that you associate with, and the books that you read.
When deciding what’s best for yourself, ask yourself if it’s encouraging to yourself and others. If it’s not adding value, substitute it for something more uplifting.
Your physical space is a representation of your mental space. Get a fresh start by getting rid of things that take up physical and mental clutter. This will allow you to spend time on more important things such as family and self-care. Fewer items also means less time cleaning! If just the thought of decluttering seems overwhelming, create a plan. Dedicate 30 minutes every week to declutter until every area of your house is organized to your liking.
Set goals with dates
The likelihood of accomplishing a goal is significantly increased when you write it down and also when you attach a deadline to the goal. According to the book, “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results,” approximately three percent of people write down their goals and of that, over 90 percent accomplish their goals. This is a huge deal – just by writing down your goal, you’re more likely to accomplish it! Even if the goal is not completed in the time frame you set, you are significantly closer to accomplishing it than if you’d never written it down at all.
PRO Medical offers counseling services for all types of concerns including stress management, depression, anxiety, resolving conflict, work stress, and more. We’re here to help you start your year on the right track.
Written by Terran Pointdexter, MA, LMHC a PRO Medical Counselor
Terran views counseling as a relational process where the client and therapist work together to address issues and create goals around how to resolve them. Her approach involves Client Centered Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy to help clients achieve and maintain their ideal well-being.