New Year’s Mental Health Resolutions
| 3 min read
Dr. Kristyn Gregory, D.O., is a medical director of behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Dr. Gregory received her medical degree from the Chicago School of Osteopathic Medicine. She then completed residency training in Adult Psychiatry at Henry Ford, and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Wayne State University. She is board-certified in Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has practiced in a variety of settings in the metro Detroit area including inpatient, residential, outpatient, school-based and juvenile justice programs.
The power of positivity
- Affirmations: Incorporate reminders like “I am confident” and “I am capable” – affirmations that can foster personality traits that positively influence feelings of satisfaction and happiness.
- Practice gratitude: Write down a list of things that bring feelings of thankfulness.
- Reach out: Ask for help when needed.
- Meditation: Take 10 minutes in the morning to quiet the mind and focus on the present.
- Try something new: Adding in variety can improve self-esteem and confidence.
- Start a mindfulness practice: Mindfulness is the art of being fully present – going about daily activities with purpose and awareness without being overwhelmed, judgmental or reactionary.
- Don’t set the bar too high: Making an unrealistic goal won’t set anyone up for success.
- Break up one big goal into small chunks: For example, a goal of losing 25 pounds would be overwhelming. Instead, try breaking that goal up into achievable steps – like losing two pounds a month. Completing this smaller goal each month can help someone build momentum towards the larger goal.
- Success won’t come right away: Just because someone starts exercising or meditating Jan. 1 doesn’t mean they’ll have the body they want or a handle on their stress by Jan. 10. Resolutions are about how someone wants to look or feel by Dec. 31 – and there’s an entire year to get there.
- Set a goal that doesn’t cause dread: If the idea of the goal gives the “ugh” feeling, why set it? New Year’s resolutions don’t have to mean 5 a.m. workouts at the gym. They can be as simple as adding fun or joy to life by making time for hobbies, family or friends – all moments that can improve mental health.