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Making Time For Mental Health

Make your mental health a priority this New Year!

Following every Christmas is the New Year, and with it comes all the typical New Year’s Resolutions – eating less junk food, exercising more, walking or commuting more instead of driving to work, and so on. While cutting down on junk food and getting more exercise are already great ways of improving your mental health, there are so many other types of positive mental health strategies. If you haven’t already considered some, here are a few ways to get started:

Mindfulness

A very popular self-care strategy these days, mindfulness is a central component of philosophies such as Buddhism, Taoism and Yoga. Nowadays, mindfulness has been adapted into mental health care as a way of reducing stress, enhancing emotional intelligence and coping with the difficulties of daily life. Mindfulness can be particularly powerful for coping with anxiety and depression, as it allows you to ground yourself in the present moment, and become more self-aware.

Developing a regular, effective mindfulness practice can take time, but fortunately it’s quite easy to work it into your daily life. Why not try some mindful walking? The next time you walk somewhere, focus on the feel of the ground under your feet, the feel of the breeze or the sun on your skin, or the rise and fall of your breath. Just observe and enjoy what is happening around you in the present moment.

Hobbies

If you have time in the new year, why not take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Maybe you’ve always admired your grandmother’s embroidery, or you’ve thought about growing your own veggies. Maybe you’ve always been an occasional writer – why not make it regular?

Having a hobby can be a great way of exercising your creativity and problem-solving skills, and can give us some much-needed “me” time. They can also provide a sense of purpose and passion in our lives, and can help us develop a network or community of friends who share the same interest.

Volunteering

Like having a hobby, volunteering can be an excellent way of connecting with others and engaging in something you’re passionate about. Volunteering your time to a cause you believe in, such as animal welfare, or just giving back to the community through local organisations, can have beneficial effects on your mental health. It can be a great boost to your self-esteem, and has been found to relieve stress and alleviate symptoms of depression.

Much of this is related to the sense of purpose you feel when you volunteer. Knowing that you’re giving up your time and effort for an important cause can give you a sense of achievement. Volunteering, allows you to connect with others who have similar interests and values to you, which can combat feelings of isolation and social disconnect. Have a look at the suggestions for volunteer opportunities later in this newsletter!

These are just a few ways in which can you incorporate mental health care into your New Year’s Resolutions! Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and not every suggestion will work for you, but these are some simple ways to start

Written by Apeksha (ADAVIC Volunteer)

 

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