3 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health in the New Year

3 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health in the New Year

The new year is upon us, and that means more goals to work towards. But what about working on yourself?

Sometimes the best resolution is learning how to take care of your mental health first. As you set your goals for this year, learn how to prioritize your feelings of anxiety and depression.

By making healthy choices now, you will be setting up a solid foundation for managing anxiety and depression in the future.


Here are three ways to prioritize your mental health in the new year:

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1. Make It Your New Year’s Resolution to Practice Self-care Daily

Your mental health and your physical health are intimately linked. When you feel mentally healthy, it can positively affect your physical self-care behaviors, such as eating right and getting enough sleep.

The opposite is true as well; when you neglect your mental health by not practicing self-care, this will negatively impact the way you take care of yourself physically.

Some tips to help you practice self-care daily include:


  • Set an alarm! Setting an alarm throughout the day reminding yourself to do something nice for yourself like taking a walk outside or filling up with fresh air, talking with friends or family, listening to music or reading a good book.
  • Eat right.  Make sure you are taking in the nutrients your body needs to be healthy and happy.
  • Get active! Exercise is an excellent tool for managing your mental health. By getting active you are challenging yourself, which in turn allows your mind to focus on something other than negative thoughts. 

  • Practice self-compassion. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary in order to fully support others in their lives.

2. Replace Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones Through Journaling or Talking to a Therapist

Depression or anxious feelings can become overwhelming when you are constantly bombarded with negative thoughts. Sometimes, these thoughts may even seem like they are your own voice in your head causing unnecessary stress and anxiety.

If this is the case for you, there are several things you can do to replace those negative thoughts:


  • Start by keeping a journal. Every night before bed write down three good things that happened to you during the day. This will allow your mind to focus on the positive rather than the negative when it comes time to drift off to sleep.

If the thought of journaling every day seems too overwhelming, simply try writing down your negative thoughts once a week and then work on replacing those thoughts with more positive ones.


  • Try talking with someone trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an excellent way of learning how to change your negative thoughts into positive ones.

If CBT sounds overwhelming, start by talking to a therapist about how you are feeling. You can also try online counseling if it feels more comfortable for you.


  • Try mindfulness meditation. Meditation provides an excellent space for self-reflection and learning how to quiet the mind in order to stop obsessing over your fears or problems.

3. Let Go of Toxic Relationships That are Triggering Loneliness & Hopelessness

If you are having trouble managing your mental health, it is important to take a look at who you surround yourself with. Sometimes, relationships can trigger isolation and feelings of hopelessness.

Here are a few ways you can set healthy boundaries with those closest to you:

  • Set personal limits by learning how to say “no.” This can be difficult if you struggle with feeling like you are inconveniencing others, but ultimately saying yes when your answer should be no will only worsen your mental state.

You cannot give 100% of yourself to everyone without properly caring for yourself first. Learn how to set boundaries by saying “no” once in a while.


  • Reach out to a support group. Being around other people who know what you are going through can make a world of difference in your mental health.

If you struggle with feeling like you have no one to turn to, go online and find a support group where you can talk anonymously about how you’re feeling. Sometimes talking through these feelings with someone who is going through the same thing as you can help give you hope that things will get better.


  • Join an organization that focuses on causes near and dear to your heart. Whether it’s a local food bank or a community garden, being involved in something positive in your community will help you feel more connected to others.
  • Find a new activity that you love. Try something creative, like painting or writing, or find an outdoorsy hobby, such as hiking or camping. This will help replace the feelings of isolation with feelings of belonging and connection.

The new year can be an excellent time to stop stressing over the little things and start dealing with life’s big picture. You deserve to take care of yourself, so don’t forget it’s okay to prioritize your mental health by making simple changes that help you feel better every day.

And if you need additional support, schedule an appointment today with one of our therapists. We can help.

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