As we ring in a new decade, many of us feel an opportunity to start our lives anew. Kicking bad habits and setting goals for the year ahead is an exhilarating feeling – we can imagine ourselves becoming the people we most aspire to be.

Although new year’s resolutions are typically made to improve our lives, if we choose them poorly, they can end up causing more harm than help. This year, avoid setting unrealistic goals or adopting a crash diet. Instead, try to choose an attainable goal that is sustainable throughout the year.

Here are five new year’s resolutions that can improve your mental health:

Improve Your Sleep

People often underestimate the value of getting good sleep. According to Mental Health Canada, a chronic lack of sleep can lead to mental health issues like depression. If you’re experiencing bouts of depression or mood swings, maintaining a regular sleeping schedule that gives you 7-8 hours of sleep each night could dramatically improve your wellbeing.

Exercise and Eat Healthy

When people set diet and exercise resolutions, they aren’t always the most realistic goals or done with the right intentions. For example, an unhealthy goal might be to lose weight by cutting out one of your daily meals. An alternative, healthy goal might be to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet as a substitute for fast food. If your goal is to be healthier overall, eating natural foods and getting daily physical activity is a great way to start.

Reduce Time Spent on Social Media

Studies have shown that an excessive use of social media can lead to less moment-to-moment happiness and less life satisfaction. While these platforms help keep us connected to family and friends, like all things, social media is only good in moderation. This year, try limiting your daily use or taking regular breaks from your apps so you can focus more on your wellbeing.

Create a Vision Board

If you have a lot going on in your life, it can be easy to get caught in the daily routine and forget about self development. Vision boards are a simple and effective way to set personal goals, and by displaying them somewhere in your home, you can hold yourself accountable.

Write down 3-5 major goals you’d like to achieve this year that are in your direct control – whether it’s reading one book per month, or travelling to one new destination. These little wins help us to feel in control and proud of the work we’ve done.

Get a Hobby

If you find yourself spending too much time couch surfing in the evenings, or maybe too little time being social, choose self care this year. Picking up a hobby is an important part of self development, and also enables us to participate in social environments that help to boost our mental wellbeing.

This year, your new year’s resolution can last all year long. For the ups and downs you may experience through the year, Your Counselling is always here to offer you guidance and support so that you can maintain a happy, healthy and balanced life. Contact us for a free consultation or to learn why counselling could be your best new year’s resolution.