With the start of a new year we all reflect back on the prior year, what went well, what didn’t and decide where you want to go next. It takes a lot of mental toughness, self-love, and discipline to create the life you want. Simply coasting along on cruise control reacting to life can lead to victim mentality and stagnation.
Here are some key ways to get mentally fit for the new year so you can move forward successfully.
Look at your surroundings. If you have junk drawers, a messy car, countertops and cabinets that are full of stuff you don’t even use, it is time to clear the clutter. Cluttered spaces reflect a cluttered mind. If you want to wipe the slate clean, you must get your mind clear. Many people who describe themselves as anxious, stressed or even depressed say they feel better when they start clearing up their physical space.
Exercise a little bit.
People set high fitness goals for the New Year and then fall off after a month or less. This leaves their self-esteem feeling low which is when self-loathing and depression can sneak in. Setting a reachable daily goal like walking 10,000 steps per day will sets your mind in a positive direction because you see accomplishment on a daily basis and will stick to your goals.
Eat mind-boosting foods.
Mental fitness also has to do with how well our minds work. A loss of memory or the ability to concentrate or focus can easily shift with an improved diet. Research finds that along with other benefits, foods rich in Omega-3, such as some fish and nuts, as well as those full of antioxidants can help protect the brain from memory decline. Eating more fish like salmon and adding fruits such as blackberries and blueberries to your diet can help. The good news is that brain boosting foods include delicious options such as chocolate, guacamole (avocados) and sunflower seeds.
Coloring requires total focus on the present. The repetitive motion of coloring provides relief from stress and anxiety by entering a meditative state. Not everyone can sit still and breathe for 15 minutes per day, but they can color. It’s a fun way to achieve mindfulness and shake off the day.
Apologize and forgive.
A fast way to mental fitness is forgiveness! Carrying around resentments and guilt wears us down and can lead to serious illness such as cancer or stroke. If you experienced a tough break up, divorce or arguments led to lost friends, reach out apologize and seek forgiveness and move on. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone a hurtful behavior. Forgiveness frees you and the other person making it easier to move forward.
Learn something new.
Challenge your brain by learning a new language, how to cook, paint. Pick something you think would be interesting or useful to learn and learn it. The more we can activate the cognitive functions of our brains the better our short and long-term memory and hand eye coordination will be.