It's now February of 2020. The old mentalities of taking care of everyone but yourself are SO last year. It's one thing to step up and make sure that everyone else has what they need to be OK, but it's another to constantly and consistently neglect yourself, in the name of caring for other people. Well, I'm here to say that 2020 is your year to take care of yourself. Taking care of other people is great and even honorable, but, there's an old saying that rings true — you can't pour from an empty cup. And hey, you really can't. So, if you're reading this and you're one of those people who takes care of other people and have almost nothing left to give to yourself, this list of things that need to change for positive mental health in 2020 might be for you.
1. Stop being a people pleaser
Stop trying to make everybody else around you happy. Take some time and find what makes you happy, and put other people's opinions on the back burner.
2. Stop taking on more than you can handle
2020 is your year, so do the best you can to make sure you're not spreading yourself too thin. You're just one person, after all.
3. Make sure you're getting enough sleep
Yawn. This might be a boring one, but getting at least six hours of sleep a night is what is recommended to function properly. So, take some time and catch all the Z's you can.
4. Stop eating poorly
Yes, what you put into your body affects what you get out of it. I know that sometimes it's near impossible to get the right kinds of foods in the right amounts, so even small steps towards a bigger goal of eating better, in general, are totally fine!
5. Stop spending too much time on social media
Yes, checking your Instagram feed every hour on the hour is actually bad for your overall health, so maybe cut back on the social media usage.
6. Stay away from energy suckers
You ever hang out with people and feel totally drained after? Well, you could be hanging out with the wrong kind of people. Don't hang around people who you feel like suck the life out of you — those people are probably affecting your life in a negative way for a reason. Stay away from people like that.
7. Quit whining
So maybe this one sounds a bit harsh, but really — quit whining. We live in a world that is so beyond privileged that we take simple things for granted and overreact way more than we need to. Instead of whining about necessary obligations, take a moment and appreciate all that you get to do or get to have. Chances are, you'll be a lot happier in the long run.
8. Stop being obsessed with being in love
Being in love is great and absolutely freaking magical, but that's not all we're meant to exist for. It's great to want to spend as much time as humanly possible with your significant other, but that person is a person, too, just like you. Remind yourself, and your partner, that sometimes, a little "me time" is absolutely necessary for a healthy and happy relationship.
9. Practice accountability
So, to me, self-care includes self-accountability, which means admitting when I royally screw up but doing so in a way that enables me to not beat myself up over said screw up. We're all human and we all make mistakes, but we all also have to own up to those mistakes, as well.
10. Stop drinking too much caffeine
Yes, too much caffeine can negatively impact your day-to-day life, causing unwanted irritability and in some cases, mood swings as well. Coffee every day in moderation is totally fine, but too much coffee or other drinks containing caffeine can actually be harmful to your mental health, as well as your physical health.
11. Stop drinking too much alcohol
Kicking back one after another alcoholic drink really isn't good for you at all, so maybe either cut back on the booze or choose the sober life. Your mental and physical health will thank you!
12. Remember that it's ok to take a mental health day
This one is for those that can afford it, but honestly, life gets so busy for all of us sometimes, and it's important to make sure that we all take the time we need to for ourselves, even if that looks like taking a mental health day.
13. Take yourself on a date
Who says that you need a significant other to treat yourself to a nice day/night out? It can work wonders for your mental health when you take the time and do something nice for yourself.
14. Spend more time with friends
Yes, we all have super busy lives, but our friends are the ones who pick us up when we're down. So, schedule in some more friend time this year to boost your spirits.
15. Take a moment to breathe
This one might sound super clichéd, but oftentimes, well all forget that sometimes life is outright hard to deal with. It's OK to take a minute and just breathe.
I hope that this list of things that need to change for positive mental health in 2020 gave you some ideas on how to be kinder and gentler towards yourself. After all, we're all human and we're all just trying to do the best we can in life.