It’s that time of year again — everyone is making a list of all the things they want to accomplish in the new year. More often than not, people focus on the psychical part of their lives that they want to improve upon whether it’s losing weight, starting a new diet or cutting out certain foods. Instead of focusing completely on working out and psychical health this year, I think it is important for people to focus on their mental health. Your physical health is important, obviously, but take the time this year to make sure that you are mentally and emotionally right where you want to be, to focus on the person that you truly are.
1. Put yourself first.
Don’t spread yourself too thin this year. Do the things that you enjoy, and stop saying "yes" to things that you don’t want to do just because you feel obligated. Make time for yourself. I know it can be hard not to help others, but if it is interfering with the things that you need to get done, it is OK to say no. I promise that no one will hate you and they will understand. Learn how to put yourself first.
2. Get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep is so important. Whether you feel the need to finish everything immediately or push everything off to the last minute, know when to give yourself a break. Stop forcing yourself to finish things just to get them done. Put your best effort forward and, in the end, the outcome will benefit you even more.
3. Don't let people get you down.
Stop listening to everyone else. Even if what you are doing is making you happy, taking a negative person’s advice can mess with your head. If something you do makes you feel like your are standing a little taller and gives you butterflies in your stomach, never stop doing it. Not everyone is going to agree with you. People are not going to like and approve of everything you do. Do something that makes you smile — that’s all that matters.
4. Alone time is good for you.
Everyone needs a few hours to be by themselves in a quiet room to relax and decompress. Even if you have a lot to do, alone time is a must. Take a bubble bath, read a book, watch a movie, take a nap, paint your nails, write, draw, paint, do anything. A little down time to stop worrying about everything will recharge your mind and body.
5. Feel great about yourself.
It's so easy to just throw on sweatpants and a sweatshirt, but the days in which you feel like you look good, are the days you feel good too. For one or two days a week, do your hair, your makeup and whatever else makes you smile a little brighter while looking in the mirror. When you feel more confident in your appearance you will feel better about the world around you.In 2017 we all need to remember that our mental health is as important as our physical health. It's completely acceptable to feel like things aren't going your way. But this year, make sure to get the help you need to love yourself just a little bit more. You are strong enough to become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Just remember: don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid to put yourself first, don’t be afraid to say that your mental health is important.