This is based on a press release I received from Pharma Dynamics about mental health and mental wellbeing.
According to Abdurahman Kenny, Mental Health Portfolio Manager for Pharma Dynamics, setting unrealistic New Year’s resolutions may not be so good for your mental health.
Making New Year’s resolutions frequently requires self-reflection, which is great if done constructively. However, many of us are recovering from two tough years. Without the right support or approach, you might find yourself spiralling into negative thought patterns and the stress of making and breaking New Year’s resolutions may increase feelings of worthlessness.
When we make significant behavioural adjustments as part of our resolutions, the added stress and pressure can raise our cortisol (stress hormone) levels. And then, when we fail, we blame ourselves for a range of self-perceived flaws, making us feel inept and worse than when we began.
A better approach for your mental health
If you’re determined to set resolutions, be kind to yourself to ensure they are manageable adjustments rather than lofty ambitions.
I want to lose weight, but I don’t have a set amount of kilos I want to shed by a specific date. Instead, I’m taking measures to move more and be more aware of the food and drinks I consume. I generally only have one gin a week, during Sunday lunch, which is also – generally – the only time I have dessert. There are exceptions, but I don’t beat myself up about eating everything in sight and a slab of chocolate when I have PMS. The important thing is that I don’t do it every day, and I walk five extra minutes the next day. Or ten, if I feel good.
Tips to set New Year’s resolutions for your mental health
- Resolutions often focus on what you’re doing wrong or what you need to change about yourself. Rather focus on your strengths and how you can use them to create the life you want.
- Be kind to yourself and celebrate your progress. Let your successes motivate you to keep moving forward.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Set small, attainable goals and take it one day at a time.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t succeed, be flexible and re-evaluate your goals rather than giving up on them altogether.
I listened to a great podcast today that I think may help many people. It’s less than 20 minutes, entertaining, and informative.
If you are struggling to cope emotionally, feel overwhelmed or hopeless, contact Pharma Dynamics’ toll-free helpline on 0800 205 026, which is manned by trained counsellors who are on call from 08:00 – 20:00 seven days a week. For additional support, visit www.letstalkmh.co.za
I hope 2022 will be a blessed year for you. That you grow in a space you are comfortable. That you learn to love yourself and treat yourself with the same kindness you do others. And that you know on the days that are tough, the storm will end. And I’m here in any way I can help.