Perhaps this year rather than resolving only to lose weight or to quit smoking (although let’s face it, those may well be good ideas) let’s also take the opportunity to reflect on big-picture shifts that yield great results and lots of bang for the buck. New Year’s resolutions for mental health might even make it easier for you to keep the other resolutions you choose to make anyway so why not go for it?
Embrace fresh starts: new semester, blank journal, a move, new or rekindled friendships and relationships. Whatever it may be this year, remember anticipation and forward thinking are the stepping stones to motivated change. There is nothing like the calendar year turning over to remind us that the possibilities are endless.
Get happier and healthier in general. Boost self-esteem and feel better. Spend time doing more of what you love and what feeds you and less of what doesn’t.
Be a better version of the person you already are. By practicing random acts of kindness and finding your purpose, your self-esteem grows. Better self-esteem means better quality of life.
Be kind to yourself and treat yourself with respect. Be as generous to yourself as you would be to a friend. Stop beating yourself up. You don’t deserve that. You do deserve respect.
Improve family relationships. Maybe you have struggles with your family, but this group of very important people is vital to your wellness and sense of security. Work on the relationships, find a peaceful place in your mind about your family.
Be a good friend. Follow the golden rule and do unto others as you would have done to you. Be the kind of friend you would want as a friend. The more love you give the more that comes back to you.
Reinvest in school. You don’t have to completely overhaul your current level of performance to feel the results of your efforts. Small steps, small changes in your commitment level and you will feel stronger and more in control of your academic life.
Set healthy boundaries. Set limits with family, friends, work and school. Learn to say no and feel okay about it.
Resist negative thinking. It’s a slippery slope and chronic negative thinking changes the way our brain processes everything we experience. It clouds our ability to see clearly. Retrain your brain.
Take steps to protect your emotional health. We use experts to support us in everything we need assistance with. Why not visit a therapist for a check in? They are trained, nonjudgmental paid listeners and can help provide new tools for dealing with mental health stress and help you to grow personally and emotionally.
Outreach Teen & Family Services  is a nonprofit, confidential counseling service headquartered in Uptown Mt. Lebanon. We offer affordable, accessible and discreet counseling and educational programs for teens and parents. We are committed to providing a welcoming, supportive environment. This article is made possible through a partnership with Mt. Lebanon Police Association.