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  • Ayla Novruz

Nurturing Your Mental Health: A Fresh Start for the New Year

Ayla Novruz

Graduate Research Assistant

As we ride into the New Year, it's a great time to reflect on our mental well-being and set intentions for positive growth. The winter holiday season, with its unique challenges, may have taken a toll on your mental health. In this blog, we'll explore strategies to embrace the new year with a focus on self-care, meaningful connections, and fostering a positive relationship with yourself.


Rediscovering Personal Meaning: To embark on a journey of mental wellness, begin by rediscovering the personal meaning of the season. Whether it's through giving to others, embracing spiritual rituals, or simply finding warmth and daylight, connect with what resonates with you. Consider journaling, affirmations, art, or quiet walks to keep this meaning at the forefront of your thoughts. Additionally, don't ignore your feelings; instead, identify the root causes and explore constructive ways to cope. Say "yes" to new experiences that align with your interests and goals, while also learning the power of saying "no" to protect your mental well-being.


Caregiving and Energy Budgeting: Caring for others, whether as a professional caregiver or within personal relationships, is akin to managing a budget — an 'energy budget.' Communicate expectations to loved ones, including realistic plans for festivities. Guide children in setting reasonable expectations to avoid disappointment, and prioritize self-care breaks to maintain a balance between looking after yourself and others. Regularly assess and adjust your energy expenditure, allocating time for rejuvenation through activities like reflection, hobbies, and seeking support


Embracing Self-Care: Incorporate self-care practices into your routine, considering the impact of shortened daylight hours. Open your curtains, take regular walks, and explore coping skills related to relationships. The way you care for your body significantly influences your mental well-being, so it's crucial to prioritize its health and well-being. Eat nourishing meals, stay well-hydrated, aim for adequate sleep, and integrate regular exercise into your daily schedule.


Now, let's transition into cultivating habits for a healthier relationship with yourself in the new year.


5 Habits to Improve Your Relationship with Yourself in 2024:


1.     Invest in Yourself Daily: Dedicate 15-30 minutes each day to activities you enjoy, promoting self-discovery and personal growth.

2.     Affirm Your Positivity: Counteract your inner critic by regularly writing down positive aspects of yourself, fostering self-appreciation.

3.     Be Your Own Best Friend: Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness and support, especially during challenging moments or perceived failures.

4.     Wind Down and Relax: Prioritize relaxation at the end of each day, unwinding from stressors and promoting better mental and physical well-being.

5.     Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and appreciate the small victories in your daily life, reinforcing a positive mindset and cultivating resilience.  

As we step into the New Year, prioritize your mental health with intention and commitment. Remember, your mental well-being is a vital aspect of your overall health, and by nurturing it, you're investing in a fulfilling and balanced life.


Wishing you a restful and transformative year ahead!






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