So, 2021 is finally over, and it’s time to look forward to better times. But can we really expect the world around us to improve if we don’t? 2020 put almost everyone under a huge amount of stress, and taking care of our mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever.
Most New Year’s resolutions don’t last through January and the compounding feeling of guilt for “failing” stays with us for a long time. Therefore, it’s time to define some special new year resolutions that will help us be better people and make the world a kinder place.
Limiting social media time is generally a good idea, but focusing on doomscrolling might be even more important. With an unending stream of bad news that we were hit in the past several years, there’s a tendency to just stare at our social media feeds, absorbing huge amounts of negative information. The practice was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread social unrest across the globe.
While we all want to “keep up with the news/discourse,” there’s no denying this has a negative effect on our mental health. So, let that be your first New Year’s resolution, spend less time on social media, and when you catch yourself absorbing an excessive amount of depressing news, put away your phone, take a step back, and try doing something you enjoy.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Recognize that you don’t have to go through life alone. Humans are social creatures, and we work best in communities and work interdependently. While self-reliance is generally good, hyperindividualism, and the need to do everything on your own, is contributing to a worldwide mental health crisis.
A lot of people feel embarrassed when they need help or just don’t want to admit they need it. Keep in mind that you have the right to ask for help. From your friends, from your family, or from a professional if you really need it. You are not a burden, everyone is having a rough time right now, and we all need each other in order to pull through.
Learn to say no
We have a limited amount of time in this world, and we should be careful about how we spend it. The key thing is to prioritize – what do you really want to do, and who do you really want to spend time on.
So, just like you have the right to ask for help, you (and other people) have the right to say no. Be firm but kind, you and the people around you will be better off for it. If you stretch yourself too thin, you’ll just end up being miserable, and your friends and family will be able to feel it.
We’ve been conditioned to seek approval from others but keep in mind that you have the right to refuse anything you don’t have the space for at the moment. Don’t respond to attempts to guilt you into something you don’t want to do. This is a crucial New Year’s resolution that will help your mental health.
Be kinder to yourself
It all comes down to treating yourself better. We’re too used to self-criticism, judging ourselves by impossible standards, and hyper-focusing on the negative aspects of our personalities, bodies, or actions.