We are entering 2019 and it’s good to start thinking about some of the goals we want to accomplish this coming year. Here are the top 10 mental health goals for the new year.
Follow Mental Health Advocates on Media Platforms.
There are many mental health advocates and bloggers who are heavily present on social media platforms. It’s a great resource for those of you who feel alone and struggle with accepting your diagnosis of a mental illness. These are sources of information and inspiration by your peers in the online mental health community.
Attach Post It Notes to Your Mirror.
Get post-it notes. Every Sunday night write an affirmation, quote or a positive reminder and attach it to your mirror. I’m beautiful and capable of success–My mental illness is not my weakness, it’s my strength–I deserve love because I am awesome. If you can think something positive while looking in your reflection each day, you are doing something awesome for yourself. Check out my Quotes page for inspiration.
List Your Wants and Needs for Treatment.
Get a sheet of paper and a pen. Draw a line down the middle. Title one side-the way I feel and on the other side the way I want to feel. Bring this to your doctors and work with them over the next coming year to reach your goals for treatment. Be assertive, communicate with your doctors and remain hopeful when it comes to treatment.
Get Involved in the Mental Health Community.
Sharing a blog post or article about mental health on social media is a great way to advocate. Mental health events are happening all around the world that you can get involved in this year. There are apps you can download to connect with the mental health community such as Wisdo.
Check out these posts about getting involved:
Read More Books.
Read more books this year whether they are self-help, fiction or non-fiction. Reading allows us to engage with our emotions and keeps our minds active in a healthy way. Self-help books have helped me tremendously on my mental health journey, and I encourage you to take time to read this year.
Here are some of my favorites:
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, You Are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Learn About Mental Illness and Stigma.
It’s essential to learn about mental health, stigma and your specific diagnosis. When I began researching the history of stigma, I realized a lot about the way I viewed my life with a mental illness. Try to learn something new about mental illness on a weekly basis. Document what you have learned. This past year I started reading more about stigma and social identity in the book, Stigma by Erving Goffman.
Here is one of my favorites: Mental Health: Tracing the History of Stigma
Pick up a Hobby.
Turning your passion into a hobby is life changing. When I was depressed last year, I took my love for writing and romantic stories and started collecting vintage love letters. It has turned into a hobby that helps me cope with down days. First ask, what do I love to do? Then go from there and research hobbies related to your passion.
Travel to a place you’ve never been, go on a date, take an acting class, join a support group, meet new people, etc. When you live with a mental illness, our anxieties can prevent us from thriving in life, which is why challenging ourselves is so important. The first step is the hardest, but overcoming some of our anxieties gives us the confidence we need to push forward. You can do it!
Decorate Your Home with Positivity.
Look around your living space and see where you can contribute positive elements to create a better environment. When I moved into my own apartment, I bought affordable art pieces that displayed my creativity, presented my vintage love letter collection and added colorful pieces around my home. I kept my house bright and a quote jar by my bed. You don’t need a ton of money to do this, there are many consignment shops and online stores that have reasonable prices.
Get a Group of Friends Together for a Mental Health Night.
Casually bringing together your friends to do something creative centered around mental health is fun and liberating. Making quote and affirmation jars, guided meditation, making flower crowns, writing letters to your younger selves are all things you can do together. Ask a friend to purchase a self-help book alongside you and get together to talk about it. It doesn’t matter what you do, use your imagination and bring those closest to you together for an awesome mental health night this year.
Remind yourself everyday that you are beautiful, intelligent and capable of thriving in this life, not merely existing. Happy New Year!