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Ringing in the New Year and making resolutions are two pillars for the successful start of any year. Hitting the gym with some semblance of regularity and eating healthy are easily the most popular New Year’s resolutions of all time. However, weight, fitness, and finances are not the only areas to focus on when it comes to making resolutions.

This year, create some solid mental health goals so you maintain your sense of balance and meet every day in 2020 with joy and curiosity.

 Promise to talk to yourself with compassion: If you are like most people in the world, you are easily your worst critic. First, you aren’t allowed to make mistakes. And then, when you do inevitably mess up something, you attack yourself with the harshest of words and thoughts. Resolve to challenge and change this status quo in 2020. Every time you go off on yourself, stop and tell yourself – “I am only human. I am allowed to make mistakes.”

Say ‘no’ more: You can do anything you want, but you cannot do everything! Don’t say yes, when you really want to say no.  You will just end up overextending, and then feeling bad about not meeting your own unrealistic expectations. Choose your battles wisely – it is okay to say no.

Let good enough be good enough: Do what you can with what you have. Instead of striving for perfection in every act, let good enough be good enough for a change.

Open up to your close friends: One of the biggest misnomers is that you are the only one facing the problems you face, and so, you have to do handle everything alone. News flash: you aren’t, and you don’t! Often, people don’t get any help because they don’t ask for it. Make it a resolution in 2020 – ask for help when you need it, open up to your close friends, and let go of your need to control everything.

Write a daily journal: It is difficult to be reflective with nothing but your thoughts to reflect on. Start a daily journal and spend five minutes or so scribbling down the thoughts in your head. Don’t think, just write – this is called a brain dump. As time goes by, you will be able to see in print how your thoughts on certain issues have changed, and what your mental patterns are.

Limit time on social media platforms: Social media is a double-edged sword. Used well, it offers you a way to connect with like-minded people and friends. However, most people spend time obsessing over the successful lives of others. This inevitably leads to feeling less satisfied about your own achievements, and a lonelier and more isolated existence than before. Avoid these mental health drainers by limiting the time you spend on social media.

Practise self-care regularly till it becomes second nature to you: Self-care comes in a number of forms, and most of them do not require you to break the bank. So, while you can enjoy your occasional ‘Add to cart’ days of retail therapy, ensure that you explore other avenues of self-care, too. Go out for a walk, enjoy a long shower, read something nice, catch up with a loved one, be mindful of the small happy moments in every day – basically, feed your soul the love it needs in 2020.

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