From the Behavioral Health Ministry
1. Commit to Kinder Self-Talk
We all have a voice in our head, constantly narrating throughout our day and reacting to what’s in front of us. This voice also shapes our self-identity and how we feel about ourselves. When was the last time you examined how that voice is speaking to you? We can gently shift our self-talk to be kinder and more compassionate. In the new year, when you notice the voice in your head being harsh, take a moment to recognize what’s happening.
2. Practice Gratitude
No matter your individual situation, 2020 was likely more difficult for you than the average year. Even amidst loss, uncertainty and anxiety, we can still find ways to practice gratitude for all the good in our lives. Practicing gratitude can decrease stress, increase resilience, happiness and self-esteem. It’s also been linked to improved relationships and better physical health.
3. Learn to Say No
Our time and energy are our most precious resources. With that in mind, think about how you want to expend these resources in 2021. Which activities, people and interests are your priorities?
Once you’ve figured out what you want to focus on, there will inevitably be other things that compete for your attention. This is where the skill of saying “no,” firmly and kindly, becomes key.
4. Prioritize Joy
Once you’ve learned how to say no when that’s the right choice for you, you will be in a better position to prioritize joy with the time and energy you get back. Sometimes we get so caught up in the repetition of our daily routines, or are hyper-focused on our obligations, that we forget to engage in activities that bring us true joy.
5. Ask for Help
Finally, recognize that in 2021 you don’t have to do it all alone. We are social creatures; we are meant to be connected to each other and work interdependently. Instead of shouldering everything yourself, think about who might be able to help.
As we move into 2021 and work on improving ourselves and our mental health, remember that we are all works in progress, and we always will be. Our wellness isn’t a box we check or goal we reach; instead, it’s a practice we commit to, mess up and start again. With some intention, reflection and help from those who love us, we can face 2021 with all our messiness and imperfections — and know that we are already more than enough.
Source: The Talk Space by Hannah Connors