ABH Maryland

Prioritizing Mental Health in the New Year 


Prioritizing Mental Health in the New Year 

  • Mental Health

Another year is coming to a close, and as we approach the cold winter months, it is natural for people to reflect on their accomplishments and make plans for the year ahead. The pressure to set unrealistic resolutions for January can lead to some unhealthy choices that do more harm than good. While it’s important to set goals for our physical health and career development, it’s also crucial to prioritize our mental health in the new year.

Keep your mental health in mind when thinking about changes you’d like to make in the new year. After all, it is just as important as physical health. It affects our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and it can have a significant impact on our overall well-being. When we’re mentally healthy, we’re better able to cope with stress, build relationships, and live the life we want for ourselves. 

How to Set Mentally Healthy Goals

First, remember that we are setting goals, not resolutions. Anyone can make a resolution and then hope to stick with it, but that’s not the same as setting an important goal, working toward it, and achieving it.

The first step to setting mentally healthy goals is to identify your current mental health status. This can be done by taking a simple self-assessment that might indicate where you have needs. Not all fad diets or viral challenges will be wise for the issues that make you who you are.

You might also want to talk to a mental health professional. They can help assess your needs personally and help you set goals that are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Tips for Setting Mentally Healthy Goals

Now, let’s go over some tried-and-true methods for setting healthy goals. 

  • Focus on your strengths. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Boost your self-esteem and confidence by using your strengths to achieve your goals.
  • Set realistic expectations. Don’t try to change everything overnight. Start with small, achievable goals and build on your successes.
  • Break down large goals into smaller steps. This approach will make your goals seem less daunting and more manageable.
  • Be patient with yourself. Change takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
  • Celebrate your accomplishments. Take time to appreciate your progress, no matter how small. 

Examples of Healthy Goals for the New Year

Here are some examples of goals you can set for the new year that are great for your physical and mental well-being. Choose just a few to focus on at a time. You can do it!

  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature.
  • Improve your sleep habits. Getting enough sleep is essential for mental health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods can help improve your mood and energy levels. Use the new year as a perfect opportunity to eat better.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, improve mood, and boost self-esteem.
  • Connect with friends and family. Social connection is vital for mental health. Make time for the people who matter most to you.
  • Seek professional help if needed. If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with support and guidance.

Prioritizing your mental health in the new year is an investment in your overall well-being. Setting mentally healthy goals can improve your mood, reduce stress, and build a more fulfilling life.

Contact Us

At Advanced Behavioral Health, we understand that the new year brings with it a desire to set goals for improvement. If you want to lead a happier, more satisfying life, our therapists can help suggest goals to guide you there.

Our team of qualified mental health professionals is standing by to answer your call. You can call us at 301-345-1022 or visit our website to get started. 

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.