By Christa Protano
With every new year comes our attempt at new personal goals and resolutions. Often, when we start thinking of ways to be better come January, it’s around the holidays. So it’s no wonder that “eat healthier” and “exercise more” are usually the top resolution contenders. But according to a Forbes Health/One Poll survey, the most common resolution people made in 2023 was to prioritize their mental health over physical health. And for 2024, that focus is not really going away, especially among older adults. But given that the average new year’s resolution last less than four months, the pressure we feel to even make one seems counterproductive when it comes to mental wellness. So rather than providing you with a whole slew of things to try, here are just a few healthy habits you may want to adopt in 2024 to help lighten your mental load.
According to the experts at Healthline, getting a restful sleep is key to boosting mental health. They suggest trying to go to bed at the same time every night, cutting the caffeine after 3 p.m., and keeping your room temp at 65° F.
Dreams keeping you up at night? You might want to find out what they symbolize and work on any issues during daylight hours. To get started, check out The Dream Dictionary, a comprehensive A-to-Z reference book on dream interpretation.
De-prioritize Social Media
ICYMI: Spending time on social media isn’t exactly a healthy habit for anyone these days. Heathline claims that anxiety, depression, and feelings of low self-worth can all be attributed to constant scrolling. For 2024, consider leaving your phone in a drawer or outside of the bedroom while you sleep. You may also want to delete those addictive social apps. Or, rather than picking up that device, you could always pick up a new hobby or book. We like the idea of journaling your way to a better you. From coloring devotionals to whimsical writing prompts, Thunder Bay Press has plenty of options to get you started on a personal writing journey, and it’s all screen-free.
Get Social … In Person!
The bad news: Nearly one-third of Americans are feeling more lonelier than ever before. It’s a growing health crisis in our country, with even the surgeon general advising us to seek out more social connection and engagement within our communities.
Now some good news: If you need an excuse to put yourself out there, the new year is the perfect time to start. Sign up for a class to learn a new language, take up pickleball, or join a community center that offers excursions, special events, and fitness classes—anything to expand your social comfort circle. And once you have a regular meetup on the books, stay organized with a planner. We love the 12-Month Undated Daily Planner because it doesn’t matter on what day or month you begin. This undated planner lets you kick off your scheduling any time you wish, and for any 12-month period you choose. So there’s absolutely no pressure to sign up for something right after the ball drops.