Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? If you did, you’re definitely not alone. According to a survey by Tangerine Bank, almost 70% of Canadians made a resolution in 2018. It’s reassuring that so many of us want to do something to improve ourselves as each New Year begins.

The survey found that more than half of the resolutions related to physical fitness goals, including getting more active and eating a healthier diet. About one-third of the resolutions were devoted to improving finances.

But, no matter in what ways you resolve to improve yourself in 2019, there’s one resolution that can help you be successful in all of them. If you work on your mental health as much as you do on your physical and financial health, you can make yourself better prepared to reach all your goals for the New Year.

anxiety sufferer on a couch

5 Ways to Support Mental Wellness

If you have specific mental wellness issues that affect your life, it may be best to talk to a mental health professional. And that’s the first of our tips that can help you maintain your overall mental wellness.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help – If you have the flu, a sore back or a toothache, you don’t hesitate to visit a doctor. Unfortunately, relatively few of us seek the same sort of help if we experience a mental health issue. Your mental health can affect your physical health. Getting the help you need to support your mental wellness can benefit your overall wellbeing.
  2. Take Care of Your Body – Your resolutions to get more active and/or improve your eating habits can help your mental health too. Getting the proper nutrition, improving your physical fitness, and even getting a good night’s sleep, can all give you the strength and resilience you need to better manage your mental health issues.
  3. Be Kind to Yourself – Treat yourself the way you would like to be treated. If you made a mistake at work, you wouldn’t want your boss to yell at you. But, if you listen to your inner voice, you might be yelling at yourself for the same mistake. Try to show yourself more compassion and respect, and temper the criticism.
  4. Stay in Touch with People – If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, shutting out the world can seem like a good answer. But interacting with others, even for a short time each day, can stimulate your brain, which can help you better manage your symptoms.
  5. Try to Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms That Work for You – Everyone’s different and we all have different ways of dealing with the challenges that life throws at us. A friend might tell you that working out at the gym helps him improve his mood when he’s feeling down. But going to a gym might be the last thing on your mind. So try to find what works for you. Maybe a crossword puzzle gives your mind a break from the issues you face. Many people find that helping others, like listening to a friend with a problem or volunteering in the community, is a great way to help themselves. But be sure to avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms, like alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Any relief they give will only be temporary and they will likely make the problems worse.

It might be impossible to cover all the things you can do to support your mental health this year in a single blog post. But just giving it the same attention you give to your physical and financial health is a great start.

If you would like to learn more, please contact us here at BRCook Psychological Services and schedule an appointment.

Bruce R. Cook

I have been a practicing mental health professional for the past 26 years and I have worked in various public and private practice settings throughout the GTA and Ontario. The populations that I work with are adults 18-64 and I have extensive experience working with both individuals on various presenting problems, and also as a couples’ therapist.

I am a certified solution-focused therapist, and I integrate a number of theoretical orientations into my practice including cognitive-behavioural, humanistic, psychodynamic, reality focused therapy. In essence, my experience and style have been dynamically moved into an eclectic approach that best seems to fit the client and their personal needs.
Bruce R. Cook