Story by Lucy Appling
Brought to you by Healthy Minds Therapy
As the First Impressions Associate at a mental health private practice (and a proud therapy attendee as well) I have the unique opportunity to speak with many mental health professionals and get the 411 on boosting my boss mode. I’ve compiled the best tried and true advice below:
Try exercising in a new way.
The decision to bring movement into your life doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating; it can be simple and confidence boosting. Instead of swearing that you’re going to go back to the gym five days a week, or purchasing new workout gear in the hopes that it will motivate you, try something fun and stress-free like “Hot Girl Walks.” What is a hot girl walk? Exactly what it sounds like: you dress cute, grab your tennies, sunnies, and your fave water bottle, and you take yourself on a walk. You can use the hashtag #hotgirlwalk on the apps and see the countless other people who’ve made the choice to elevate their exercise routine in a fun and sassy way. Note: If “hot girl walks” don’t feel like you, feel free to try taking “silly little walks for my mental health.” Enjoy those endorphins!
Start a meditation practice.
Meditating is an investment of time that results in better mental health. What many people don’t know about meditation is that it only takes as little as five minutes a day to see results. To meditate, all you need to do is be mindful of your breathing and redirect your thoughts, when they pass by, back to your breathing. You don’t have to sit with perfect posture, you don’t need a special pillow, and you don’t need a guru to give you directions; you just need to breathe, be mindful, and relax into the moment. Maybe you meditate in your house, on public transportation on your commute to work, or out in nature, but wherever you meditate, make it intentional. Before you know it you’ll be calmer, more focused, and have a sunnier outlook. You can even do a walking meditation—be mindful of where you put your feet, observe your breath, and let your thoughts glide in and back out again.
Pick up journalling.
Whether you’re into the artistic craft of bullet journalling, the quick and dirty practice of morning pages, or just writing about your feelings every now and then, journalling is a great way to process emotions and find a stronger sense of inner peace. Journalling can help you solve puzzles and find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had! If you feel like you don’t know where to begin, you can start by setting a five minute timer and just writing down every thought that comes into your head. It may feel weird at first, but as with anything, this gets easier to do with time! Write on!
"Self care isn't always a bubble bath."
Call a loved one weekly.
If you don’t love to talk on the phone, consider starting a weekly brunch with buds or coffee date with a choice companion. However you do it, the goal for this resolution is connection. Nothing soothes the soul like time spent with cherished friends or family. It feels good to feel liked, to feel seen, to feel connected to those around you. Spend your time more meaningfully with the people who give you strength, love, and good advice, and your mental health will reap the rewards!
Make time for self-care.
It’s important to remind yourself that self care isn’t always a bubble bath. Sometimes self care can look like doing a load of laundry or cleaning and vacuuming out your car. Sometimes self care can look like making the time to read a book (for fun!) or sitting down with a crossword puzzle instead of rushing through breakfast. While self care can definitely be that aforementioned soak in the tub with a favorite beverage, at its core, it’s about paying attention to your mind and body, and scheduling in time for the actions and activities that will make you feel better inside and out. That means that sometimes self care can look like making healthy choices in eating something green (or going on a hot girl walk!), or making time for a hobby that you never seem to get around to but will make you feel happier or more balanced. Self care is going to look different to everyone, so make sure to check in with yourself (through journaing, perhaps!) to figure out what self care looks like for you this year and treat yourself to a little bit of extra love and care.
In the end, New Year’s Resolutions are about becoming the person you want to be moving forward, and none of that would be possible without taking care of your mental health. Our bodies and minds are irrevocably intertwined, so recognize that any change you make to one will also affect the other. Whether you try all of these ideas or none of them, I hope you take some time to reflect on just how far you’ve already come.
Meet the Author
Lucy Appling, First Impressions Associate, works side by side with Becky to make your experience with Healthy Minds Therapy as pleasant as can be! She tries her best to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment so that everyone feels safe and comfortable.
Lucy is kind, thoughtful, hard-working, and loves making people smile. She works to ensure your experience with Healthy Minds Therapy is meaningful as well! Lucy graduated from the University of South Carolina in with a BA in Experimental Psychology and has always been fascinated with the mental health field. She loves audio books, crafting, and her plant collection and is proudly neurodivergent, vegetarian, and queer.