Realistic Resolutions

Inspired by this post written three years ago, I'm here to bring you some updated, short, sweet, and realistic ways to set your wellness resolutions for the new year. 

It seems like many folks set goals to get healthier: most often, you hear of resolutions focused on physical health: intentions to increase exercise or incorporate more nutritious foods into one's diet. Goals to increase physical health are all fine and good, but what if we took it a step back (or forward, depending how you look at it) and decided to set resolutions that focused on your mental health instead? What if it was getting a grasp on your emotional self-care that eventually paved the road to the physical health you're looking for? If simplifying and turning your focus INWARD is on your mind as we round out 2016, keep reading...

A phrase heard often while in my undergrad program was: "Anyone can do anything for a short amount of time". If I've learned anything, both as a human trying to get through life and in my career as a social worker, it's that this phrase holds some serious truth. When we look at goals and try to make them more attainable, it helps to break them down into short and achievable objectives.  You CAN do these things. Sometimes the 'starting' is the hardest part.

In looking into the New Year, here are three ways to keep it short, simple and sweet in balancing your emotional health. Meeting these short objectives daily or a few times a week will hopefully help you on your path to those bigger goals, if that's what you're aiming for. These are things everyone can do. 

Five Mindful Minutes

Aim for this daily. The goal here is to focus with awareness for five minutes straight. Whether it's while washing the dishes, taking a shower, switching laundry from the washer to the dryer, or enjoying silence: notice your senses. All of them. In five minutes, no matter what you're doing, see if you can name 5 things you see, 5 things you hear, 5 things you can feel, 5 things you can taste, and 5 things you can smell. It's a form of meditation. Small increments make big changes.

Twenty Minutes in the Tub

There was a time a few years ago in my pre-Mom life where I recommended an epsom salt bath several times a week. HA HA HA. Since the purpose of this post is realistic objectives, let's aim for once a week. An epsom salt bath, as noted in the previously linked post, has many benefits, both physical and emotional. It's the perfect way to practice mindfulness and escape at the same time. Aware of what's going on in the now, and escaping from what's going on everywhere else. Good for the soul. 

jot it down

I have always had a passion for writing, so journaling, making lists, and keeping my ideas on paper has long been a therapeutic release for me. Even if writing isn't your thing, writing a few quick sentences about your day helps download your brain and unload your thoughts. I have found profound healing in writing my thoughts. If the attainable objective is writing down your thoughts, the action can be tailored to whatever the bigger goal is. Example: Keep your thoughts on post-it notes on the bathroom mirror if you need daily affirmations for positive thinking. If your goal is getting rid of negative thought patterns, write them down and then rip it, crumple it, or even burn it (safely). Let the action be a symbol of what you're trying to achieve in the 'bigger picture'. 

Have any ideas of your own? Share them below! 

Happy New Year, readers.