New Year’s Goals

Every year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions in order to spark a positive change in their lives. Typically, these resolutions involve improving your health, fitness, finances, or relationships.

Despite having the best of intentions, many people struggle to achieve their resolutions. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions were successful. So, in order to help you realize your New Year’s resolutions, we want to offer a few tips to encourage you as we head into 2022.

Set Goals, Not Resolutions. Invest some time in thoughtful reflection before setting your goals, determine where you are and where you want to go. Reflect on the high and low points, but don’t stress out over them. Use this time of self-reflection to help you move forward to create your goals. Don’t get stuck on the negative things that happened. If you find you are stuck, talk to someone who can help you move forward.

Goals are the object of your ambition or effort; they are personal. If your goals have no meaning, you’re unlikely to achieve them.

Start Small. A lot of us tend to be too eager when it comes to resolutions, we have the best of intentions but take on a goal that is too big to achieve. So, this year as you set your goal make sure to start small, divide a big goal into smaller goals that are more achievable.

Set Reasonable Goals with Realistic Expectations. Set reasonable, attainable goals throughout the year instead of one lofty goal on January 1. This can help you reach whatever it is you strive for and leads to a greater chance that you will keep them throughout the year. When setting your goals, step back and ask yourself if it’s realistic, if not, alter it to be more attainable. If you set your expectations too high, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Change One Behavior at a Time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time so changing those behaviors into healthy ones require time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.

Ask for Support. Having a solid support system can help you stay motivated and accountable. Tell 3 people you trust and who encourage you. Explain what your goals are and ask them to help you to achieve your objectives.  You could also consider joining a support group such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking or losing weight. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with you will make your journey to a healthier lifestyle much easier and less intimidating.

It’s important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to be a catalyst for sweeping character changes. It is a time to reflect on past behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes. So, as you set your New Year’s goals, we want to remind you that Life Management Center is ready to help you with family support services, mental health treatment, crisis counseling, adoption services, and more. Contact us today at (850) 522-4485 to see how LMC can be a part of your 2022!

 

 

Hope for the Holidays: Holiday Mental Health Tips

The holidays can be a joy-filled season, but they can also be stressful. Stress and depression can not only ruin the holidays, but can be harmful to your health as well. Having realistic expectations, planning ahead, and asking for help can reduce stress and depression.

Here are some suggestions for how you can reduce stress and maintain good mental health during the holiday season:

Acknowledge your Feelings & Accept your needs. Be kind to yourself and put your own mental and physical well-being first. It’s ok to take time and express your feelings. Know what your triggers are to help you prepare for stressful situations, once you know this, you can take steps to avoid or cope with stress.

Manage your time and don’t try to do too much. Prioritizing your time and activities can help you use your time well. Making a schedule helps ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed by tasks and deadlines. It’s okay to say no to plans that don’t fit into your schedule or make you feel good.

Be realistic. As families change and grow, traditions often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. Sometimes, it’s simply not possible to find the perfect gift or have a peaceful time with family. Family dynamics can be complex. Acknowledge them and accept that you can only control your role. Try to accept family members, friends, and the holidays as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations.

Don’t Abandon Healthy Practices. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Not taking care of yourself and overindulgence will only add to your stress. Try these suggestions:

  • Exercise daily. Schedule time to take a walk or bike ride. Whatever you do, make sure it’s fun. Daily exercise improves your overall physical health.
  • Set aside time for yourself. Make time for activities that recharge you such as reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to your favorite music. It’s okay to prioritize alone time.
  • Eat well. With dinners, parties, and cookie trays at every turn, our eating habits are challenged during the holiday season. Try to maintain a healthy diet through it all.
  • Get enough sleep. Symptoms of some mental health conditions can be triggered and exacerbated by getting too little sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. They don’t actually reduce stress: in fact, they often worsen it. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, educate yourself and get help.

Find support. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious this holiday season. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Take control of the holidays and don’t let them become something you dread. Take steps to prevent the stress and depression and learn to recognize your holiday triggers. With self-reflection, planning and positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

Life Management Center is here for you if you suspect you or someone you love may be experiencing depression. We offer crisis intervention, psychiatric care with outstanding physicians, and counseling services. You don’t have to suffer alone. Call (850) 522-4485 today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.

For mental health emergencies help is available 24-7. Life Management Center Call 850-522-4485 Option 5.

This content provides information and discussion about mental health-related subjects. The content provided and any linked material is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

 

Source:  Mental Health America; The Mayo Clinic

Prioritize Your Mental Health

For most of us, taking care of ourselves means taking care of our body by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. And while all of these are important for physical health, something is missing. Mental health and wellness is more critical now than ever before.  The mind is just as vulnerable.  So many people suffer from poor mental health and taking care of our mental wellness is often overlooked when we think about getting healthy.  It’s time for that to change.  To help you start, we’ve put together a list of 10 things you can incorporate into your routine to help prioritize your mental health.

  1. Keep a Journal. Track gratitude and achievements, each day you should include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish.  Has something been bothering you? Let it all out…on paper. Writing about upsetting experiences can reduce symptoms of depression.
  2. Spend time with friends and family. Plan a vacation or getaway. Having something to look forward to can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks! If a trip isn’t an option, then plan something at home like a cookout, go to a park, or play a game. People are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend time with friends and family.
  3. Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.
  4. Make time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy. Spending time doing something you love is so important to your well-being. Take time to do the things that make you happy.
  5. Laugh. Hang out with a friend who makes you laugh, watch a funny movie or TV show, even check out some cute videos online.  Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
  6. Unplug and go off the grid. Leave your smart phone at home.  Disconnect from constant emails, alerts, social media and other interruptions. Spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face instead of digitally.
  7. Practice forgiveness. Even if it’s just forgiving that person who cut you off during your morning drive. People who forgive have better mental health and report being more satisfied with their lives.
  8. Smile. It may not be the easiest thing to do, especially if you are feeling down or anxious, but smiling can help calm you down and lower your heart rate.
  9. Go for a walk outside– it could be a stroll through the park, a walk on the beach or even a quick jaunt around the parking lot at your office. Research shows that being outside can increase energy levels, reduce depression and boost well-being.
  10. Get some sunshine!  But don’t forget to apply sunscreen. Studies show exposure to the sun increases serotonin which correlates with a better mood and feelings of satisfaction and calmness.

Source- Mental Health America https://www.mhanational.org/

This content provides information and discussion about mental health related subjects.  The content provided and any linked material is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.