Every year we make promises to ourselves to start doing things January 1st; work out more, make more money, travel somewhere. And while all of these are great goals, we tend to let them go by February, and go back to being the our old selves.
What we tend to forget (aside from keeping our goals into the new year) is that we can actively work to make our mental health better; and it’s a lot easier than you may think. If you’ve already abandoned your 2017 resolutions (or if you’re wanting inspiration to help your mental health) here are some realistic goals to improve yourself in 2017.
Be more honest with your therapist.
I would be lying if I told you I told my therapist everything, exactly how it happened. I love my therapist; but the truth is sometimes hard to swallow. There’s always a stigma of being too “crazy” when the truth is that’s what your therapist is there for. You don’t hire a therapist because you’re perfect; you hire a therapist because you’re human, and you need guidance through life. Your therapist is the last person you should feel ashamed around. They’re your human diary (and have really great advice to get you through sticky situations)! Be an open book with them (and make sure you have a therapist you trust!)
Weed out your support system.
You don’t have to be around people who don’t make you feel good. You are not obligated to be around people who make you feel worse, or do not validate your feelings. Enough is enough. You can move on from people who don’t lift you up. If you don’t trust someone to talk about your mental health, or hide who you are or what you’re feeling, chances are you’re not benefiting from that relationship. You don’t need to dramatically cut them out; but feel justified to silent remove yourself from them.
Research your diagnosis.
This is probably the easiest things to do, yet we never do it. Why is that? Perhaps it’s a fear of acknowledging what’s wrong with us? Maybe it’s a fear of accepting you’re not perfect? Whatever reason you’ve been putting it off, stop, and google your diagnosis. Start with WebMD (the only time I’ll actually say that) and dive into medical journals, personal blogs that cover the topic, and any website you can find to gain more information. Stop by your library and pick up a book about your mental illness. There’s even documentaries on Netflix, YouTube, and more. By the end of your research you’ll be able to recognize your mind states better, and you’ll feel less alone knowing you’re not the only one fighting your illness!
Make a schedule.
There are a million daily task items that we do that can set off an imbalance in our minds; sleeping too much, lack of sleep, eating unhealthy, not eating enough, vitamin regiment, when we take our pills. It’s all too much. But simply making a schedule, or even a to-do list can make things more manageable. Make a meal plan, so you make sure you’re eating healthy and enough. Ask your doctor about vitamins that will help your mental state. Make sure you sleep (and don’t hit snooze!) Schedule in some time to go outside and exercise. And most importantly, to those who have prescriptions, make sure you’re taking your meds at the same time daily!
Be open, and reach out when you’re in crisis.
This is probably the most important resolution you could make this year, and for years to come. When crisis hits us (whether it be a triggered crisis, or just a mind state) sometimes us Mental Warriors think we’re Superman. We think we can handle it all and work through it. But the truth is, the longer we keep a crisis under wraps, the more dangerous we become to ourselves and others. Don’t be afraid of disappointing others, relapse, or stigma. Talk to someone. Call the crisis line, tell your closest friend, talk to your doctor. And if you have to, admit yourself to a hospital. Use the facilities that are set in place to help you. Don’t be ashamed of being sick.