New year… what does it mean to you?

Do you feel inspired to turn over a New Leaf ?

Well it is that time of year when everybody is thinking about a fresh start, new year resolutions and perhaps wanting to make a change for the better. 

For many January in particular can be a miserable month – Christmas is over, you may be waiting for your next pay day, and the dark nights and poor weather can mean that all you want to do is stay at home. However, staying indoors and potentially isolating yourself, can have a negative impact on your mental health.

I feel differently. I see January as a month where I can reflect upon what has happened over the past year and make some small positive changes in my life for the better. I love the quiet reflective time that January offers and the chance to snuggle up my own self-care favourite “box set and blanket” 

At this time of year small changes are better for us than trying to make a huge change that isn’t realistic and will often cause more stress and anxiety, and possibly disappointment in the long run .

A really positive idea instead of setting a new years resolution is to start a gratitude diary or jar, this works particularly well with young people too. Each day try to write down 1-3 positive things that have happened, these could be as small as you like. This is a great way of training yourself to look at the positives of each day, which will help your mental wellbeing.

What can you do to help yourself?

Look after your physical health… Get involved in activities, this in turn will improve your mental health. 

  • Dry January, give your liver a new year’s break
  • Healthier food alternatives and regular walks
  • Get regular sleep 

Practice self-care…It’s the ‘self-care’ word again, It’s so important to practise self-care as a means of improving your mental health. My Self-care blogIt can be easy to focus on the needs of other people in your life at the expense of your own needs, but taking just a small amount of time for yourself can be hugely beneficial to your psychological well-being.

  • Plan time for yourself and rediscover what makes you happy.
  • Stop being so hard on yourself, you can only do you best and that is good enough!
  • Reduce the time you spend on social media, You might find that you’re much happier without it!
  • Try something new, give yourself a challenge, this will also be great in boosting your self- confidence.

Please be mindful that with a change in routine and more time for reflection it is important to be aware that things that have been troubling you, stuff that you may have put to the back of your mind before the festive season kicked off, may spring back to your immediate thoughts. Maybe it is time for a space for you to be heard and counselling can help you re-establish what’s important to you, and manage the issues that are causing you stress and anxiety .