8 Mental Health Resolutions For 2020
January 13, 2020
2019 was definitely the year of personal growth for me and I couldn’t be happier with the strides I’ve made, but, of course, the work is never done. Last year, I made some really drastic changes in my life, which were the first steps in becoming a happier and healthier person. Before that, I was stagnant, simply because it’s impossible to grow when you’re stuck in a miserable situation. Now that I’ve created some much needed space, I’m in the process of finding myself again, which, I won’t lie, takes a lot of effort and patience. To motivate myself, I’ve come up with 8 mental health resolutions that I need to work on the most. Let’s do this!
1. BECOME LESS GUARDED
The past few years I’ve built a solid wall around me, as I’ve lost a significant amount of trust in myself and in other people. I didn’t mean for it to happen and it’s one of the things I hate the most because it prevents me from creating any sort of meaningful connection with others. Obviously, I would love to change this, but it has proven to be very difficult. I don’t WANT to keep people at a distance, but something inside me tells me it isn’t safe to reach out. I suppose the only thing I can do is to keep putting myself out there and to sometimes force myself to be vulnerable, which, at the moment, means going against my instincts. Nevertheless, I hope this will become easier over time.
2. FOCUS ON FRIENDSHIPS
Assuming the first resolution is a success, I really want to focus more on building real friendships this year. There seems to be some kind of curse on adults that makes us unable to make new friends, as well as lose touch with old ones. The general consensus seems to be that we’re just too busy. All of the responsibilities (I hate that word) that come with having a job, a partner and/or children take priority over hanging out with friends like we used to in high school or college. Weren’t those the best times though? I don’t get why we’ve traded that for running around from one commitment to another, while hardly having the time for a proper meet-up with one of our besties. I definitely haven’t escaped this curse though and it’s about time I do something about it.
3. CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE MYSELF
Being ill for an extended period of time has made me cautious. It’s been years now, but I still don’t fully trust my body. I’ve been conditioned to think it’ll give up on me or let me down and it’s been a real struggle to change this belief. I used to be adventurous and wild and up for anything, but now I’m always careful, nervous and thinking ahead. It’s like I live to avoid a disaster, or a disease, and it’s exhausting. I need to stop anticipating that things will go wrong. I think I did a pretty good job challenging myself in 2019 and I’ve really been trying to do stuff that scares me, but I know I can still do more.
4. CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK
Ah, don’t we all want this? Ideally, I would stop caring about what people think altogether, but we gotta stay real. That’s just not going to happen. At this point, I can hardly go outside without thinking people are judging me in some way. I feel like I’ve taken being self-conscious to an extreme. It’s ridiculous and a complete waste of time and I can’t wait for the day I feel so happy within myself that I no longer care how others perceive me. To me, that’s true freedom.
5. FEEL CONTENT WITH MY BODY
A big part of not caring about the opinions of others revolves around feeling content with my body. This has been a goal of mine since I was 15 and unfortunately, it’s something I’ve never been able to accomplish. Right now, I feel insecure, because I feel like I don’t look healthy enough. As opposed to the rest of the world, I’ve always considered myself to be too skinny and I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve been trying to gain weight for the past 10 years. It only got worse when I started to link being skinny with being ill (long story).
It’s not even a vanity thing, I just want to look and feel healthy. Either way, one of my biggest mistakes was thinking I could achieve this while I was stressed out and unhappy. You’re never going to look good on the outside when you feel like shit on the inside! On the bright side, I have already made a lot of progress in the past few months.
6. BE MORE SELFISH
I’ve been a people pleaser for as long as I can remember and I can’t say it has done me much good (okay, bitter much). The thing is, I love to make people happy and I always want to make time for everyone. I also hate saying ‘no’ and I usually try to avoid it at all costs. This HAS to stop. There have been times in my life when I was much better at this and I vividly remember the peace of mind it gave me to set healthy boundaries. One of my favourite sayings goes something like “In order to be selfless, you have to be selfish first”, which I fully stand behind.
7. BE MORE PRESENT
According to Eckhart Tolle, being present is the key to finding inner peace. Shockingly, I’m usually quite good at the whole carpe diem thing, because I have no interest in dwelling on the past and I can’t think beyond the scope of 1 year into the future. Lately, however, I’ve become a bit obsessed with the future and I’ve been very focused on everything I don’t have yet, instead of enjoying what I’m doing now. On the one hand, it’s fun to be excited again about future plans, but I do need to be careful that I don’t let what’s happening now pass me by.
8. FIND INNER PEACE
If I manage to achieve all of the goals I just mentioned, inner peace should be the outcome. In reality, I know it might not be that easy. And that’s fine. I don’t need to become a spiritual zen master in the span of a year, as long as there is some improvement, I’m happy.
I hope some of my mental health resolutions can inspire you to look within too and maybe you’ll even join me on the road towards self-improvement. Unfortunately, mental health is a subject that should receive way more attention in today’s society, but what we can do is start with ourselves and become aware of what’s holding us back. If everyone would commit to this, the world would be a much happier place!
What are your mental health resolutions for 2020? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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