It’s a new year, it’s a new day! Goodbye 2022, and hello 2023! Many people celebrate the chance to completely change their lives in the next 365 days, while others feel that they are still stuck in the same state of mind.
Mental health has always been something many people struggle with. I also have a hard time with the crowded-up space in my brain that would probably remind others of a hoarder’s closet. Embarrassing memories, sad friendship departures, learning about life, and daydreams. These all crowd up the space in my brain, never giving me a breather.
A new mental state is what people feel they need, which may be true. But you cannot just get up and leave the house you have been living in your entire life, just to crowd up a new space! You need to learn how to clean up the clutter and be able to walk through your brain without hurting yourself even more.
To start off the New Year, I have decided to give out goals every month, to help achieve a whole year of a new you and a new mental state!
Cut Ties With The People Who Hurt You, And Tighten The Ties With The People You Love
As said in the title, lose the losers! The ones who make you feel alone, even though they are right next to you. The ones who make you tired and exhausted after you spend, what was supposed to be, a fun day out. Keep the ones who make even studying an adventure. The ones who adore you and make it known to do so, even if you don’t like yourself at that particular moment.
Create Achievable Goals; Especially Daily Ones
Being able to create goals for yourself will help you and your mind not feel like you are just a boundless little dot in this universe. (That’s what everyone thinks right)? So start your goals with something achievable, like making your bed every morning when you wake up. Or watering your plants every day. Or even reading for 30 minutes a day. Something that you can easily get up and do, and you will feel accomplished. Bigger goals are also very useful, like getting healthier. Though it seems like a hefty goal, whatever it might be, making small daily goals every day to pursue this big goal will help you out as well.
Even if you have no aspirations, a daily routine can help you feel centered and make you feel accomplished every day. For example, my daily routine is to wake up at 6:30, get dressed in my gym clothes, make breakfast and brush my teeth, run my daily run (whatever it is for that day), go to the gym, then come home and shower. Once I finish all that, I feel like my day is getting started and I feel…grounded. Doing that has helped a lot with my mental health and feeling lazy.
Be Kind To Yourself
Though this may seem obvious, it’s easier said than done. You also may think, “Wow, shouldn’t this be at the top of the list?” but there’s a reason it’s number 3. Once you start to lose the losers and gain a daily routine that keeps you grounded, now it’s time to understand and be kind to yourself as your own person. When you say “I’m lazy” or “I’m ugly,” would you ever say that to your friend or even someone online? Then why would you say that to yourself? Speaking negatively about yourself, especially, can impact your mental health and make you believe the nonsense you spill out.
Though this is a very hard goal, and it may take more than just one month to practice it, starting out small is always the best step.
Being simple like daily affirmations in the mirror, or even at the end of the day telling yourself the things you are proud of that you achieved that day. And yes, even if it is just sitting and eating your lunch by yourself and not feeling upset that you don’t have a friend nearby.
It may even be just buying yourself a snickers bar from the gas station to treat yourself.
But being kind to yourself is most important; you are the person you are stuck with for the rest of your life, why hate them?
Stay In The Present
Focus on the now, not the will be, not the was or the then, but the now. Being able to just focus on what is happening right now and knowing you can change that. You have the power in your hands. You know you can do what you can now, you can’t change the past and you can’t decide the future, but you can flip those two things to your advantage if you focus on what is in front of you.
Take a Breather!
Every month we have been focusing on different goals, you obviously can tell, but sometimes using all your energy on goals for your mental health can tire you out! I know that May is the month we all dread, a time when all final grades are being put in and have to stress study for our finals. Sometimes, your brain needs to take a break from focusing on a ton of different things, and that includes these goals!
Focus on yourself this month and the things you need to get done. Congratulations! This school year is almost over and you are a year closer to being done.
Though everyone says this, becoming active doesn’t mean suddenly putting on a whole outfit and going for a run. Just try to make time to move around and do something different than just sitting at a desk and doing work. Going on a walk, or doing some stretching. Even just moving meditation will be some sort of activity that your body and mind will thank you for.
Find An Outlet
Being able to find a way to let go of the baggage that you have on your mind, even if it’s just screaming at a pillow, is always one of the best ways to figure out how to handle your mental health.
Many people may feel as if they are a burden when they speak about their issues, but just finding a way to express your thoughts to either a person, a journal or an object can lift loads of stress off of yourself. Being able to piece together everything that bothers you, may help lift the load and will only take up a few minutes of your time! But again, make sure not to only focus on the negative, as there is a positive to every day, even if it is just waking up.
Explore Different Hobbies
You are a person who desires more than just the same old same old, correct? Find something that has always interested you, it is August after all. That weird time between the end of summer and the start of the school year makes you have to sit there and think about how to take up your time and do something you’ve always been interested in!
It could be writing, reading, photography, crocheting, making music, etc. Anything your heart desires to do, go for it. You have the time for it, after all. And creating more space for your mind to grow will help give you the clarity that you may be needing.
Now, I know, this life of ours moves fast and moves quickly. If you want to catch up on anything work-related, you gotta be on top of it 24/7. But you aren’t working 24/7, are you? And if you answer yes to that, then you clearly need to take this goal seriously. Taking breaks is so so important for your mental health.
Many people hear this, and I know you have heard this as well, probably a million times. But sometimes, you do not take a good look at your day and see a good break. A break in your day would be a half hour of sitting, and not thinking or worrying about the things that are causing you stress. Doing something for yourself and what you love and have been looking forward to doing when you had time.
Maybe it could be one of those hobbies you started last month :)
Focus On The Big Picture
Now, this may sound like April’s goal, ‘Stay In The Present’, and though it may touch on some of the same things, like focusing on what is important, it also means to not dwell on the small stuff. Anything small that happens on one insignificant day does not decide the future, focusing on the real meaning of the insignificance can lighten your load and make it easier to ignore or deal with.
Being able to communicate to yourself that some of the things are small, and seeing the actual reality of why it happened and how to deal with it is one of the first things that will calm you down and be able to work rationally with your thoughts.
Connecting can have many different meanings, and in this scenario, it does! Connecting with yourself and who you are can help you figure out what you want in this world. Connect with the past you, and the present you, and see how far you have come. You think that living every day is something we all are supposed to do, but everyone lives in their own way. It just depends on who you are. So figure that out! Who are you, what do you want and how did you get into my house? A few questions to get you started!
Another connection that you should try this month (or goal if you’re trying to just move by the goals) is to connect with others. And I know that in January, you went and removed all the people weighing you down in your life, but now it is time to find and connect with new people and create amazing bonds with them. There are many ways to do this, joining a club could be one! (maybe a club inspired by one of your August hobbies, wink wink) or even just going to a party or one of your classes and talking to the people you think look cool and fun to hang out with. Everyone wants new friends, don’t worry!
And if in-person speaking is not your thing, Bumble (not sponsored) has a great tool to find friends around your area as well. Just swipe on people who have the same interests as you and go and hang out! Always be safe though!
Finally, the end of 2023. How are you feeling? If you worked through these goals quicker, then wow I am proud! Taking the time and helping yourself and your mental health is a big step toward your future.
So, what have you learned? Has anything new happened? Have these goals helped? Put in perspective what you learned and reflect on the past few months, weeks, etc. Hopefully, you didn’t do all of this in a few days but I am not you, so whatever works!
See how far you have come and reflect on your decisions, good and bad. Figure out what has worked for you, and what has not. Understanding that not everyone has the same goals and that these goals can only take you half of the way, is also something that you should reflect on as well.
Your mental and physical health is the most important priority in your lifetime. No one else is going to care about how you live, more than yourself. You are the decider of every decision you make, right? So it is time to make that happen! Be confident, unstoppable, and amazing! The world is your oyster, good luck.