How You Can Put Your Mental Health First in the New Year

By Rubina Kapil

Mental health, new year

The new year is quickly approaching. For a lot of people, it’s a time to hit the reset button on fitness and nutrition, let go of negative habits and expand career or travel goals. It’s also a great opportunity to prioritize your mental health.

We know that mental health treatment can be expensive and time-consuming. According to Cohen Veterans Network’s 2018 America’s Mental Health study, one in four Americans have had to choose between getting mental health treatment and paying for daily necessities. Sometimes the help of a mental health professional or treatment is necessary for recovery, but you can help manage your mental health challenges in efficient and low-cost ways.

Use these self-care strategies from the MHFA curriculum to put your mental health first in the new year.

  1. Practice self-acceptance. New Year’s resolutions often focus on improving some part of who we are, such as our physical appearance. Instead of trying to change, use the new year as an opportunity to practice self-acceptance and self-love.
  2. Move your body. Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Go for a walk, take a fitness class or play a sport with friends and family.
  3. Be grateful. Research shows that practicing gratitude every day can invoke feelings of thankfulness and optimism that make managing challenges easier. Try these simple exercises to be more grateful.
  4. Put yourself first. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish. It’s important to take time every day for yourself and your mental health. This might include enjoying a hot bath, treating yourself to a movie or spending time with family or friends. Do what helps you relax and re-charge.
  5. Take Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid teaches people the signs and symptoms of common mental health challenges and substance use disorders and how to manage them through professional help and self-care. Take a course today and learn more about how you can take care of your mental health in the new year.

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to making your community a healthier and safer place for people facing mental health and addiction challenges. We hope you have a happy and safe New Year!

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