The end of the year is an opportunity to stop and consider what is serving us well in our lives and where there might be opportunities for improvement. One area to examine is our mental and physical wellness.
We asked Gianne Shah, a counselor at Perspectives, how we can prepare ourselves for well-being in the new year. He shared several wellness practices that can be incorporated into our daily lives. Are there any others you would add? Let us know in the comments.
12 wellness practices to consider adopting in the New Year.
1) Create a gratitude journal to reflect on what you are grateful for.
2) Write down 3-5 positive affirmations you can tell yourself when you start to feel down or have a low mood.
3) Develop a mantra for yourself that will help motivate you through a difficult or stressful time.
4) Practice Mindfulness (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy based) exercises. Try this breathing video or download the Calm app (IOS or Android) to do mindfulness meditations/breathing exercises. They have great guided imagery or sleep stories to help reduce stress and depression and increase positivity.
5) Lean into your support system, like family, friends or your significant other if you need someone to talk to. Or reach out to your EAP or individual therapist if you would like to talk to a professional.
6) When you get depressed or stressed, remind yourself that what you are going through is not permanent and that you will not be depressed or stressed all the time. You will have better days ahead.
7) If you are feeling down try to do 1-2 things that day or that week that will make you happy. Plan something you can look forward to.
8) Go outside to get some fresh air for 5-15 minutes 3-4 times a week. Sometimes going outside for a walk to get some fresh air can change your internal psychology and help raise your mood.
9) Exercise 20-30 minutes for at least 2-3 times a week. Moving your body increases dopamine in your brain and oxytocin (the feel-good hormone) and can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. Any type of cardiovascular movement can help decrease depression, stress, and anxiety, reduce blood pressure or risk for heart disease and the risk of other illnesses.
10) Take time to reflect on what is causing the stress or depression. Sometimes we have to sit in something to better understand where we are. Take 5-10 minutes out of your day to reflect.
11) Create a schedule to stay organized with your daily tasks! Get a planner or use the calendar on your phone to build out a schedule for yourself. The more organized you are the better you will feel!
12) Get as much rest as you can when you can! If you are having trouble sleeping, try a sleepy time tea or a natural over-the-counter supplement like Melatonin. Make sure the room you sleep in is dark and try reading or meditating 15-30 minutes before bed to help you naturally relax.
About Gianne Shah, MS, LPC, NCC, CCTP
Gianne Shah works as a counselor at Perspectives Ltd. where he provides in-the-moment support, telephonic/Zoom counseling, CISD coordination and so much more. His specialties include anxiety, depression, trauma, grief/loss, personal growth & development, and career counseling.
If you need to talk to a professional Reach out to your EAP or contact Perspectives Counseling and Psychotherapy Centers at 866-296-5262.