Start gaining better mental health by sticking to a few small changes.
Re-evaluate your self-talk
We all have that voice in our heads that constantly nags us about our fears and anxieties. You may not notice it, but this voice shapes your self-identity and affects how you feel about yourself. One tiny but effective step to achieving better mental health this year is to re-evaluate how you talk to yourself.
Like many of us, your self-talk voice is probably negative and critical. After all, it is human nature to be quick to judge yourself and focus on your weaknesses rather than your strengths and potentials. But by being mindful, you can shift your self-talk to a kinder and more compassionate tone. In time, your usual self-talk dialogues like "I'm so stupid" can turn into kinder phrases like "I'm learning and growing."
Practice saying "no"
The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to stay home and practically say "no" to different things. Many of us were able to slow down, pick a hobby, and spend more time with our loved ones at home and virtually. While a pandemic isn't good news, the habit of slowing down and saying "no" benefits your mental health.
Even in the post-pandemic era, you have a right to say no. That includes invitations, requests, and practically anything that you don't have mental space for at the moment. You also don't have to justify your "nos" if you don't want to. Your time and energy are your most precious resources; use them wisely.
Say yes to joy
Once you've learned to say no, you can have more time and energy for activities that can bring you joy. Prioritizing happiness may look different for everyone. It could be as simple as making a cup of coffee in the morning. It could also mean traveling to a new place or watching your favorite TV show with friends.
No matter how you define joy, what matters is that you actively work to cultivate happiness in your life. This can remind you how fun and special life is-that you can be happy on most days, not just only on weekends or holidays. To put it simply, be intentional in infusing more joy into your day, every day.
Don't be shy to ask for help
Another thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that we don't have to do it all alone. We may be isolated from our loved ones, but this doesn't mean we can't reach out to them online. This reminds us that we're social creatures-though socially distanced, we are meant to be connected to each other.
So instead of shouldering everything yourself, ask for help. If you feel down and don't have the energy to run errands, there may be people in your life who would love to lend you a hand when given the chance. And if you're struggling with your mental health and immediate support from loved ones isn't enough, seek out professional help. That's one of the kindest things you can do for your mental health this year.
2020 was tough for us. As you begin moving through the days of this year, work on improving your mental health. Keep your goals realistic and stick first to a few small changes that can hugely impact your life.
By Iconic Chica mag Contributor