New Year, New You

Make mental health a priority for 2018

By P. J. Ellison

At the end of every year, Lucy seems stronger, more courageous, and ready to take on all challenges in the next 12 months. Lucien, on the other hand, feels downtrodden. Worries fill his mind. Just the thought of having to face the mysteries awaiting him around the corner of a new calendar make him anxious and worn out at the same time.

Are you like Lucy or more like Lucien? If you know a Lucien or see someone like him in the mirror every morning, maybe it's time to make mental health a priority in 2018. The following are some pointers on how to do just that in 2018.

People person?
Life's too short to carry on with toxic relationships, whether they play out under the same roof, at work, or socially. If so-called friends cause anxiety and undue stress, it's time to make some tough decisions. Decide who deserves your time, energy and heart. Ditch the rest, simple as that. Life won't wait.

Go easy on yourself
Hey, you’re human and humans make mistakes. Go easy on yourself. And yes, it’s okay to cry. As a matter of fact, we’re planning on having a good cry later this afternoon. It’s therapy. And it’s free. This year, take a moment every week to give yourself credit for your accomplishments no matter how small. Add them all up and you’ll astound even yourself after 52 weeks of keeping score.

Do what’s good for you
“If only I had more time, I would...” Fill in the blank. Whatever it is, do it. Take that pottery course you’ve been putting off. Invest in that camera and take better photos. Volunteer if that’s what your heart keeps telling you to do. Make all of those little tasks a priority in 2018. You’ll feel better about your self and your world every time you check an item on your to-do list.

Ditch distractions
Distractions. They’re easy to find and easy to get caught up in, from Youtube videos and social media to 24-hour news streaming (screaming?) at you. Make 2018 the year you regain control of your free time. At the very least, strike a balance. Set up an hour or two a day that’s devoted to you. This is your time to indulge in your hobbies, meditation, exercise, studying, and whatever your heart truly desires.

Time to talk
Look back to even 10 years ago and it's easy to see the strides our society has taken toward making mental health a topic that can be addressed out in the open. Now, more than ever, the very idea of seeking help, a therapist, or counsellor is less taboo and more of something to admire. Ask for help. Look for someone to talk to, even if it's about the stresses of everyday life. Besides, therapy doesn't have to take place in an office with a chair and a couch. You can find counselling on-line via websites like Fill out a questionnaire and they will match you to an available counselor who fits your objectives, preferences, and the type of issues you are dealing with.


Winter 2018, Vol 10 N°1

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