Mind matters: 4 tips for improving your mental health in 2019

A brand new year is just days away, and with it comes the temptation to draw up a list of resolutions that we hope will make us better versions of ourselves. While we typically focus on fixing our bodies, relationships, or checking accounts, this time I want to encourage you to focus on your mental health as you plan for the coming year.

As working parents who need to be in the best shape possible to successfully manage our families, careers, and relationships, it is vitally important that we care for our minds as much as we care for our bodies. 

Doing these 4 things will ensure that you are on the path to well-being, thus making you the best you possible: 

Embrace your emotions.

As parents, we often feel that we need to hide our emotions from our kids and, to a larger extent, the rest of the world. The truth is that pretending that we don’t have emotions is unhealthy.

Instead of suppressing your feelings, embrace your anger, sadness, or disappointment. Allow yourself to feel these things, and then calmly and coolly figure out how you plan to respond to them.

You’ll soon feel better, and your children will grow up knowing that even if you have no control over a particular situation, you can still control how you deal with it.

Bottled up emotions are bad for everyone involved; do what you can to feel them, discuss them, and then respond to them in a thoughtful and positive manner. 

View your mistakes as opportunities to improve.

Do you ever make a mistake and then replay it over and over again in your mind? Do you put yourself down over the littlest of things? Do you constantly compare yourself to other people? If so, the coming new year is the perfect time to stop doing those things.

Never forget this: we all have our faults, and never are those faults so bad that they mean the end of the world. We all make mistakes, but hardly ever is a mistake so bad that it can’t eventually be fixed or viewed as a positive thing.

Simply try to learn something about yourself, something that can be used in the future to make things better. Accept that failure and mistakes are a part of life, and then start to view them as opportunities for improvement and growth.

Improve your physical health.

We all know that there is a relationship between how we treat our bodies and the way we mentally feel. It’s all connected. The foods you eat, the number of hours you sleep, and the amount of exercise you get are all factors in determining your mental health.

So what exactly can you do to improve your physical and mental health? Be sure to eat nutritious meals, drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, and find at least one physical activity you enjoy.

Doing these things will help eliminate your anxiety, guilt, and fatigue. In their place, you’ll feel more relaxed, self-confident, and energetic. For those of us who manage active families and careers, feeling that way is essential to our success. 

Live in the moment.

It is so incredibly easy to obsess over the things that have happened in the past. Too often we try to change them, or we regret the way certain things turned out. That is a surefire way to breed anxiety and self-loathing. 

We often do the same thing with the future. While it is wise to plan for the future, we often spend too much time focusing on what might be. The truth of it all? None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, much less months and years from now.

While we’re doing all that bad stuff, it is entirely possible that we are missing out on some good and exciting things that are happening now. Without even realizing it, life speeds by, filled with fascinating people, places, and things that deserve our attention.

The best way to live is to treat today as if there is no tomorrow. Take time to notice the little things, spend quality time with your beloved friends and family members, and do the things that make you happy.

These 4 tips are only some of the things you can do this coming year to ensure your mental health, but they are a start. I hope you’ll try them.

I wish you and yours a happy and safe new year. Make this year the best ever! 

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