Many of us make New Year’s resolutions that are related to physical health but we rarely, if at all, make ones that can benefit our mental health.
Mental health is rarely talked about during the New Year but it is a vital element of our overall health.
Poor mental health can lead to a myriad of health problems. Make this year different and prioritize your mental health.
Committing to these five resolutions can lead to a better, healthier you!
- 1. Eat more whole foods
A lot of people make this resolution to benefit themselves physically. But did you know that healthy eating can also do good to your mental health.
Research has it that nutrition has a role to play in mental health. People who consume more whole foods like fruits and vegetables have lower levels of depression compared to those who eat less. Eating whole foods especially those that belong in the broccoli family can also benefit you in the long run as they can help slow cognitive decline.
- 2. Make time for physical activity
Whether it’s cleaning your yard, walking, or running, any physical activity can help you. For years, research has shown that exercise is the most effective way of reducing depression or anxiety.
If you have been sedentary in the past years, it’s best to start slow and find an activity that you enjoy. This allows you to adhere religiously to your exercise plan.
- 3. Get enough sleep
There’s a strong correlation between sleep and mental health. When you’re constantly sleep deprived, you are compromising your psychological and mental health. And when you already have these issues, you are more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems.
How sleep affects mental health and vice versa is still not fully understood but brain studies suggest that having a good night sleep contributes to both mental and emotional resilience. Chronic sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can make you more prone to emotional instability and having negative thoughts.
- 4. Cut back on your screen time
Want more time to exercise, prepare healthier meals, and/or sleep? Reducing your screen time may help.
You don’t have to give up your favorite show. It just means you have to do it in moderation. Studies have shown that excessive TV watching and use of smartphones (and other similar devices) can affect sleep and mental health.
- 5. Seek professional help
Sometimes, we think of mental health problem as something we can just snap out of. The truth is, sometimes we just need professional help.
If your mental health issues are keeping you from living life fully, then visit a specialist. If you didn’t have success with any of the traditional treatment methods, don’t feel defeated. There are alternative treatment options that can help you.