New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on diet and health-related changes – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s just as important to make sure you are taking care of your mental health and are starting the year with a positive, healthy attitude. Take some time to think about the mental habits that are driving you crazy and how you can feel more centered in 2015.
Cut Back on Screen Time
From smart phones to work to Netflix, many of us are spending the majority of our days affixed to one screen or another. This can be a challenge depending on how available you need to be for your job, but try to fit in some purposeful time away from technology. Try making dinner a time where no one in the family has their phone out or the TV on. You could also try cutting out the web a few hours before bedtime, a move that should also help you relax before hitting the sheets. Some families find it easier to unplug during the weekend or on Sundays. Try a few different time frames and see if you can instead do something more tangible like read a good book or get coffee with friends.
Find a Mindful Hobby
A new year is a great time to find a fun hobby to try. If you don’t regularly do it, there are yoga classes out there for all levels and interests, from hot yoga to beginner hatha. Try downloading some peaceful nature sounds and spend some time meditating and clearing your mind. It could also be something simple like going on a hike by yourself or for a walk in the park. Having time alone to think and clear your mind is an important part of self-care.
Make a List and Stick to It
We all have those chores we seem to put off for months and months, making them all the more painful to actually accomplish. Make a to-do list of all the tasks that are in the back of your mind. Set a reasonable timeframe to start accomplishing them. Can you drop off that bag of items to donate on your way to soccer practice? Can you have the kids help you clean out the basement on a Sunday afternoon? Once you get some momentum it will be easy to finish the list and hopefully end some worthless mental anguish.