Unconventional New Year’s resolutions for mental health

The new year is looming, and thoughts of resolutions may be on your mind. The gym might be a more crowded and you might have healthier items on your grocery shopping list. While these kinds of resolutions work well for some people, they might not be for everyone and for many people, just putting in a little extra effort can improve their wellbeing.

What matters most is picking resolutions that truly fit your personal needs and lifestyle going into the new year. The last thing you would want is to get burnt out within the first few months. If you need a little extra help to get motivated in choosing some new and unique goals for 2022, you’re not alone. 

Resolutions for Mental Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Below are a few suggestions to help support a better mindset.  

  • Make your bed every morning. – This simple act helps set your day up to be productive and positive. 
  • Try a new hobby. – New hobbies allow you to focus on something other than your usual day-to-day worries. If you’re trying to learn to play a new instrument or master a new craft, you can’t be consumed with thoughts of work or maintaining your home.
  • Keep a journal. – A journal is a great outlet to help release your thoughts in a constructive way for whatever emotion is consuming you at the moment.
  • Be kind to yourself. – It’s really true that you can be your own worst critic. Give yourself a break and start out small with giving yourself one compliment a day to help boost your confidence.

Resolutions Dealing with Interpersonal Relationships and Your Health

The following resolutions focus on how some social activities can affect your health negatively and why you should limit partaking in them.

  • Avoid the gossip. – Not only is it hurtful for whoever is the subject of gossip, but it negatively impacts your own health as well. Gossip increases the likelihood of experiencing anxiety and depression. Both disorders can affect your physical and mental health.
  • Practice forgiveness and let go of grudges. – Letting go of feelings of resentment or anger can help decrease your blood pressure and even strengthen your immune system. 
  • Avoid complainers and try not to complain too much. –While complaining is sometimes a method of sharing our feelings and frustrations, consider how you are affecting those you are complaining to. Being around negative people can give you headaches, chest pain, and cause insomnia.

Resolutions to Help Others

Helping others has several mental, physical, and social benefits. The best benefit of all is getting to support meaningful causes.

  • Volunteer – Volunteering is really a win-win situation. Whatever organization you choose receives help while you get the chance to help make a difference in your community. A bonus would be to sign up for manual labor, like yardwork or building maintenance, to have it double as a physical activity.
  • Donate your gently-used clothing – Make it a routine to go through your wardrobe a few times per year to give your clothing to families that need it. 
  • Pay it forward – Any time you benefit from a random act of kindness, try reciprocating the effort when you see fit.

Try one or all of these resolutions to help enhance your happiness and health in 2022.

Need a little help coming up with your personal wellness plan for the new year? Call your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Check-ups are a great way to check in with your provider and develop realistic goals for your health and wellness based on your current condition.


Michelle Cavanaugh, MD, sees patients at UPMC Susquehanna Health, Family Medicine at Duboistown, 145 Shaffer Street, Williamsport. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cavanaugh, call 570-326-2447. For more information, visit UPMC.com/PrimaryCareNCPA.

Author

  • On the PULSE is an online media outlet in Northcentral, Pennsylvania. We specialize in in-depth journalism, human interest content and video features. Our mission is to build engagement in community through local news.

On the PULSE

On the PULSE is an online media outlet in Northcentral, Pennsylvania. We specialize in in-depth journalism, human interest content and video features. Our mission is to build engagement in community through local news.

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