New Year, New Resolutions for Better Mental Health
By: Kate Tredwell, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC
As 2017 is upon us, if you are like the majority of Americans, you made a new year’s resolution. Did you know that only about 8% of those who make resolutions actually succeed in keeping them? Most often, those that succeed do so by making explicit measurable goals such as “I will go to the gym three days a week,” rather than vague overarching goals like “I’m going to get healthy.” The good news about resolutions is that they can be started at any point, not only January 1st. So if you haven’t established a goal yet or have already given up on your resolution, here are 3 simple resolutions you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to promote positive mental health.
- Stop pressing the snooze button.
Think hitting snooze gives you a few valuable, extra minutes of sleep? Think again. Studies show that the kind of sleep gained by hitting the snooze button for 10-15 minutes does not amount to quality or restful sleep. In fact, doing so may cause you to feel more tired and make it more difficult to get up. Those that hit snooze are more likely to be late for work than those that do not. Need help kicking the habit? Huffington Post has put together 6 ideas that will help. Getting enough sleep does more than make you feel rested and help you get to work on time, it has a positive impact on mood too. The following article from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School illustrates the risk insufficient sleep has on an individual’s mood.
- Eat breakfast.
Did your resolution this year and every year prior include the latest fad diet? Instead, how about starting with one healthy meal per day, and what better meal to start with than breakfast. Often those that skip breakfast reach for higher calorie foods later in the day. Plus, eating breakfast in the morning kick starts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories. Let’s not forget the impact that eating healthily has on our self-esteem and mood. Want to know more? Read the Mayo Clinic blog by Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. for further explanation.
- Get moving.
Heading to the gym not fitting into your daily schedule? Try parking in a distant space when you get to work. You won’t have to fight for a space and you’ll burn some calories walking to the entrance. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk around the workplace during your lunch break and you’ll burn even more. Even better is the impact that even a small amount of exercise can have on your mood. The American Psychological Association describes more here.
Looking for other resolutions to improve your mental health? Check out this article from the National Alliance on Mental Illness for more ideas.
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