With the beginning of the new year, there comes an influx of resolutions about working out, eating healthy, or losing weight. While our physical health is key, taking care of our mental health is just as important. If you’re looking a way to improve or maintain your mental health, check out these 6 things you can try in 2021!
From bullet journals to daily gratitude logs, there’s a variety of ways to use writing and record-keeping as a mental health tool. The best part is that getting started is easy. Simply find an old notebook and start writing. That’s it!
If you need some inspiration, find a journal that provide daily prompts or guidance. Additionally, if you prefer digital tools, try Penzu. It’s a private, online journal that lets you write from your laptop, tablet or phone, so you never have to miss a day!
Declutter by joining your local ‘Buy Nothing’ group
Decluttering your house is a great way to start the year with a positive mindset. You can take it a step further and go green with the Buy Nothing Project.
Did you know that a large amount of donated clothes, appliances and decorations still end up in the landfill? Started by two friends who wanted to make a difference locally, the Buy Nothing Project lets you gift your unwanted items directly to someone in your community.
No longer have a need for that Styrofoam cooler? Maybe a neighbor needs one for a trip to the beach. Did your kids outgrow their barely used clothes? Perhaps a family in town has use for them. Realized you’re never going to use that juicer you bought three years ago? Someone down the street might have just gotten into juicing!
Set a limit to your social media
Every year, we seem to spend more time on social media, checking Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok. If you are unhappy with the amount of time you waste online, but can’t seem to do anything about it, try setting a limit your social media with the iPhone’s helpful Screen Time tool.
Simply go to Settings > Screen Time and click on App Limits. From there you can set a limit to how much time you spend the day on specific apps.
For Android phone users, try using the built-in focus mode to block distracting apps during work and study time. Create a habit of staying off social media until your work is done.
Unsubscribe from all that junk mail
It sounds like small change — but just getting rid of that mail clutter will help you feel more organized in the new year.
Take an hour or so to go through your emails from the last week and unsubscribe from any organization or newsletter you’re no longer interested in. For paper mail, reduce clutter by signing up for paperless statements from your bank and utility company. This process is typically simple and takes only a few minutes.
Additionally, stop unwanted credit card offers in the mail by visiting optoutprescreen.com. This is a site used by the four main consumer reporting agencies to allow you to opt in or out of having your information shared for offers. For more information on opting out, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website.
Find a hobby that encourages off-screen time
Catching up on the latest tv shows and playing your favorite video games can be a great way to relax, but these activities also keep you in front of a screen for hours at a time. Getting away from screens can help you feel more productive and give you a mental health boost.
This new year, you could commit to trying at least one new hobby that involves no screens. Consider ordering a paint-by-number kit, a beginner’s crochet set, or even learning how to make sourdough from scratch!
Set a sleep routine
It’s easy to stay up late watching television or scrolling on your phone. However, the lack of sleep can drain you both physically and mentally. In 2021, make an effort to establish a good sleep routine. As much as possible, try to maintain a regular bedtime. Turn off all screens before you go to bed to help you fall asleep faster.
However you decide to take care of your mental health in 2021, making time for self-care and good habits is an essential part of achieving a positive mindset.