Supporting your mental health is an ongoing process that changes throughout your life. While on occasion this struggle may feel isolated, know that you are not alone. This year we checked in with our clinicians about their New Year’s resolutions to support their mental health for the year 2024. They want to provide you with some tips to create resolutions, overall supportive mental health options and resolutions for themselves.
Tips when creating resolutions:
Some tips for setting resolutions (or goals) in general is to create realistic and achievable goals! Start small and then as you meet those resolutions you can expand them or create a new more challenging goal. -Samantha Tankenoff
When creating new resolutions for your mental health this year take into consideration some of the smaller steps that it may take to get there. This may take a task that seems overwhelming and help break them down to feel more achievable while your end goal may be a larger task. Also, understand that achieving better mental health is ongoing. The steps you take to get there may shift and change and it is important to continue to set aside time for the healthiest version of yourself. -Felicia May
A productive way to improve your mental health in 2024 is to set boundaries within relationships. Sometimes, boundaries can be seen in a negative light and can feel as though we are hurting someone we love. However, boundaries are created in order to improve a relationship between two people. Setting boundaries is a helpful tool to remember, especially around the holidays when we are surrounded by many family members and friends.
- Here is an example of what setting a boundary can look like (this is just one example, there are many different ways boundary setting can look): Susie feels uncomfortable when her family members continue to ask about her dating life. Susie respectfully tells them, “I prefer questions pertaining to my career since that is where my focus is right now. I will update you on my dating life when I feel ready to share. I would love to tell you about the promotion I received a few months ago, I am very excited about the new role I am in.”
Please note, if you are uncomfortable in any conversation, it is not rude to end the conversation or change the topic. It is healthy for you to set a boundary. In the example above, Susie provided another topic she was comfortable sharing and expressed her boundary without blaming or attacking her family member or friend. In the future, if she is asked more questions about her dating life, it is important she continues to highlight the boundary. -Jessi Erickson
Happy New Year! I encourage everyone who is making resolutions to consider resolutions that are additive, rather than restrictive or punitive. Remember, you are worthy, and you are enough, just as you are right now. Often we use the start of the year as a jumping off point for improving our health, the health of our relationships, etc. When you frame this into a resolution, I encourage you to consider what you are adding into your life, rather than taking away. For example, if you are wanting to improve your physical health, you may consider adding in exercise, or adding in foods with positive nutritional value, rather than restricting certain types of foods.
- My own resolution for 2024 is to add in more quality time with my kids on a daily basis. I hope to add in more time reading with them, baking, and playing outside as much as we can! -Katie Fleming
While I think New Years can be an exciting time of change, newness, and a clean slate, I think at its extreme it can also create an unrealistic set of goals for resolutions. This can sometimes lead to disappointment after big ditch efforts to change things drastically. Something that I would suggest is reflecting upon how the year has aligned with your goals and ways that it has not, and to look at small and attainable changes in your habits to continue building. This can help your confidence and trust in yourself over time and improve your mental health overall! – Ashley Starnes
Consider all the strengths you bring to the New Year! Take time to connect with others who make you laugh! – Dawn Paquelet
- Watch Brene Brown on NETFLIX or TEDx talk about vulnerability or read one of her books, such as The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly.
Resolutions ideas to get you started
Sam, Rachel, Jessica and Janelle offer some great ideas to get you started!
- Practice movement in ways that are fun! Exercise should be about intentionally integrating movement and enjoying yourself in the process.
- Be kinder to yourself. You are your own harshest critic so remember to practice self compassion.
- Engage in daily mental health check-ins with yourself (i.e., “How am I feeling right now?” “What do I need at this moment?”, etc.).
- Participate in individual therapy treatment to learn more about yourself, the ways you show up in relationships, the strengths you possess, etc.
- Start writing in a journal whether it is structured or more free-flowing, and then end with a meditation.
- Make sure to have your basic needs covered. This includes eating healthy, sleeping enough hours during the night (8-10 hours women and 6-8 hours men), staying active and taking vitamins (especially vitamin D since we don’t get to see the sun as much).
- Having quality time with friends and family that can have a positive impact on your mood.
- Communicate my needs and expectations to the people around me.
- Incorporate at least one self-care activity per day.
- Going out of the home at least 15 minutes per day.
- Be more in contact with nature.
- We all have different areas of our life such as, our relationship with ourselves, partner, family, friends, physical & mental health, work/school, hobbies and spirituality. Identifying how we feel in each one of them and identifying one simple thing that we can start doing that will help us improve in each one of those areas, implement it and make it a habit.
A New Years’ resolution to support your mental health in 2024 is to be kinder to yourself. We have all had moments when we are harsh with ourselves. This often happens with little to no conscious thought. The notion is that our self-criticisms will “motivate” us or help us to be “better” in some way; however, we typically end up feeling ashamed and worse about ourselves. To be kinder to yourself, start with daily reminders of your wonderful qualities (hint: it may help to ask your loved ones to name some if you struggle to do this). Since self-critical thoughts often come from our subconscious, we can’t always control when they come up. If you notice a self-critical thought, notice it, and try to reframe it to something more neutral and ideally positive. Validate any emotions that arise and use self-soothing techniques if needed. Remember that we all struggle with this at times and there are people around you who want to be a support! – Janelle Patterson
Our clinicians 2024 resolutions
“My New Years resolution to support my mental health in 2023 is to make more intentional time for celebrating my own progress and allowing myself to feel proud about what I am doing well in various areas of my life. I can often be very critical of myself and tend to focus on what I can be doing better in my personal and professional life, so I want to challenge myself to take a moment each day to pay attention to what I am doing well and give myself credit for it!” – Paige Haney
“Less phone time! Scrolling on a phone through news or social media makes me feel awful. I notice I feel way better when I don’t do it, and I have a feeling I am not the only one.” – Lupe Rodriguez
Alexis Cross broke down her goals by day, week and month!
Keep up with my journal
Get 7+ hours of sleep each night
Cook 1 new recipe
Read 1 book
See 1 movie
Try 1 new restaurant
We want to encourage you to look forward to this upcoming new year and celebrate your mental health goals! Consider resolutions that are additive in nature, taking one step at a time towards those goals and creating healthy boundaries. The team at Fleming Family Therapy wants to wish everyone a happy New Year!