New Year’s Resolutions for Better Emotional Health in 2022

To help readers cope with anxieties in these stressful times, TOI has launched Talk it Out, a series where expert counselors will answer your questions about mental health. This week we are sharing tips to improve your psychological well-being
the new Year It is time for resolutions and to question our habits. As the Covid-19 pandemic takes collective havoc on our mental health, it is more important than ever to prioritize our emotional well-being. Here are some ways to take care of our mind.

Focus on self-compassion

This year, learn to be kind, gentle, and forgiving to yourself. As you go through various situations, recognize and accept that you will have your own way of thinking about them and that they can often evoke difficult feelings. Don’t compare your answers to those of others. “If you think there is a better way to react to a situation, discuss it with those close to you and develop the skills that will allow you to reshape your responses,” says Kamna Chhibber, head of the Department of Mental Health and Science. behavior, Fortis Healthcare. . “Being compassionate to yourself will allow you not to get stuck with the problem and to move forward with positivity.”

Invest in relationships

Lockdowns, physical estrangement, and fear of catching an infection have all affected our relationships, but it’s wise to remember that social support plays an important role in our mental well-being. Chhibber says having people to share things with helps build perspectives, especially when you’re feeling stuck. Take active steps to stay in touch with the people who matter, in a safe way. Be consistent and make proactive efforts to reach out to virtual platforms, even if you can’t meet them in person. Don’t wait for others to contact you. “Remember, no one can magically know when you are going through difficult experiences, so it’s important to actively connect,” Chhibber says.

Cultivate gratitude

It’s easy to get stuck in thoughts about things we don’t have or what should be different, but it prevents you from being able to fully experience the joy of being where you are and having what you do. . “Counting our blessings, especially for things that haven’t gone wrong, is a good way to start learning gratitude,” says psychologist Varkha Chulani. You can also develop your gratitude by keeping a daily journal to remember the positive things of the day. It helps you more fully immerse yourself in the here and now, create contentment, and feel good.

Get rid of unhealthy coping mechanisms

Unnecessary coping mechanisms provide short term relief but can be ineffective or unhealthy in the long term, such as smoking or drinking when under stress, being frustrated with loved ones, drinking too much coffee when anxious, spending hours on social networks to divert attention from his thoughts that bother us or reckless driving in the event of anger. “Identify the unhealthy coping strategies you use and when you use them and assess their pros and cons,” explains psychologist Tanuja Babre. “Reducing this behavior completely isn’t easy, so start by controlling it, be mindful, replace the smaller behaviors by turning to your loved ones and talking about what’s bothering you, and grounding yourself by taking deep breaths. ”

Take the time to take care of yourself

Dealing with uncertainty, anxiety, loss, and overwhelming emotions in the midst of a pandemic can lead to fatigue. Taking care of your mind, body, emotions, and relationships helps build mental resilience. Babre likens it to eating healthy foods or wearing our face masks to protect us from infections. “Taking care of yourself isn’t about stepping in when you’re stressed, it’s about taking care of yourself every day,” she says. “Do one thing every day that brings you joy and comfort,” she adds. It could be exercising, spending time with loved ones and pets, a hot bath, writing to old friends, or watching your favorite movie. It is also important to give yourself time to rest and sleep well. Take a day off from mental health to do nothing, even if you can’t travel or go out.

Integrate mindfulness into your daily life

Instead of multitasking, learn to pay more attention to your daily activities, whether that’s eating, bathing, or walking. “Being mindful can help you enjoy the present and take you away from worries about the future,” says Smriti Joshi, Chief Psychologist, Wysa. “Doing this regularly builds your tolerance for frustration. For example, take a two-minute conscious breathing break during labor, focusing only on the sounds you hear or on your breathing. It helps you detach yourself from your worries. You can also try the raisin exercise: grab a candy or a raisin, focusing on its flavor, sweetness and texture.

Ask for help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to talk to someone you’re comfortable with: a loved one, a teacher, a friend, or a mental health helpline. Therapists can help you cope with stress, overcome difficult experiences, feelings, relationships and behaviors, and achieve goals. When is a good time to ask for help? “When our stressors start to interfere with our day-to-day functioning and our usual coping mechanisms aren’t enough, we need outside intervention,” Babre explains.
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