The start of a new year can be the perfect time to make changes that will improve your physical and mental health. Many people experience dread as they anticipate a new year filled with uncertainty. If you are finding it difficult to have a positive mindset, you aren’t alone. This year seems to have been especially long, and you are not alone in hoping that 2021 will be a better year!
But, what can you do to put yourself in a better position to have a positive mindset going forward in any new year, particularly this new year?
As a new year’s resolution, our goal should be to have positivity as the baseline that affects how we deal with life’s challenges anytime. As it happens, there are some steps you can take to develop a positive outlook, serving as the foundation you need to flourish instead of flounder in 2021.
If you would like to talk to someone about engaging in daily activities that can bring a positive mindset, I am a licensed therapist who is here to help. My first step in helping you to achieve your goals are the following 7 mental health tips to start the new year with a positive mindset. Build these into your everyday habits so they become second-nature.
Tip #1: Show Gratitude
Even though 2020 has been a tough year, it helps to have a sense of gratitude. There are still things to be thankful for. It may be a job, friends, outreach workers who care. Having an awareness of the good things in your life is important to gain a positive outlook.
Tip #2: Exercise
Yes, physical activity can help you develop a positive mindset. There are many things that we can do physically that affect our mental health, and exercise is one of the most important. It’s been shown that exercise helps with decreasing levels of depression. Set your goal at exercising three times a week. Just this one act will help you increase your positive mindset!
Tip #3: Keep in Touch
Staying in touch with people will help you in maintaining a more positive mindset. If you can’t be physically around people due to the pandemic, try to talk on the phone. Keep in touch with others and don’t isolate. Another tip is to communicate with people who have a positive attitude themselves. Attempt to stay away from those people who may have negative impacts on your mental health. Surround yourself with positivity!
Tip #4: Make a Change
Sometimes just making a small change can signal a fresh start. Something as small as a haircut can help you focus on making the new year different from the last. Start a new habit like making your bed every morning or writing in a journal. Creating a new, positive habit is huge in terms of setting you up with a more positive mindset.
Tip #5: Help Others
Helping others comes back to help you. You may be finding yourself in a cocoon right now, but try to find some way to reach outside yourself and help others. In addition to the benefits for the ones you help, you’ll see a myriad of benefits, such as:
- Gives you a sense of purpose
- Gives you a sense of belonging
- Makes you feel good
- Keeps things in perspective
- Boosts your self-esteem
- Makes you feel more positive
Tip #6: Take Time Off From Your Digital Devices
Smartphones, tablets, and laptops can not only overstimulate your brain, but the time on social media can have a largely negative effect on your outlook. Time after one hour of use per day has been shown to lower mental well-being by increasing depression and anxiety. Take care of yourself by taking some time off your digital devices every week. If you think ½ a day is achievable, then make it a goal you set for yourself.
Tip #7: Take Care of Your Body
Along with our tip #2 exercise, taking care of yourself physically in other ways can improve your mental outlook:
- Eat nutritious meals
- Avoid cigarettes
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough sleep.