New Year's Resolutions Effects on Mental Health - Counseling & Therapy Services - The Juniper Center


Happy New Year everyone! We are at the beginning of a brand new year that is sure to be full of new opportunities for us to become better versions of ourselves. It’s common for people around the world to set resolutions for the new year. Whether that is spending more time reading books instead of staring at phone screens, improving your physical fitness level, or getting back into a hobby that was put aside for a while, these resolutions are ways for people to focus on things that they may have forgotten to focus on. While resolutions can be great, sometimes they become overwhelming impact one’s mental health, and negate the desire to continue pursuing their goals. It’s important to remember that mental health comes first and we are here to give you some ideas on how to focus on New Year’s resolutions without feeling overwhelmed by the process.

Find Simple Ways to Keep Track

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It can be easy for someone to lose sight of their New Year’s resolutions without having simple solutions to keep track of how things are going. Juniper Center clinician, Annie Fernandez, suggests that one can “write affirmations related to the resolutions in places the eyes tend to visit usually.” For example, it might be a nice idea to write on a few Post-it notes and put them on your computer, bathroom mirror, and other places throughout the house to give simple reminders. It can also be beneficial to track progress in a journal or notepad to monitor progress. It is also important to reward yourself along the way for doing a good job.

Set Very Specific Goals

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Sometimes, people become scared or nervous about setting a resolution for the New Year because the whole concept seems unattainable. Many start out on a sprint pace for a marathon journey which is never sustainable. It’s important to set goals that are specific, attainable, and measurable. For example, if you want to “exercise more” you can make a resolution to “exercise 4 days/week” or “30 minutes a day”. This specific goal makes it easy to measure and track your achievements.  

It’s also vital to remember that New Year’s resolutions are set for what YOU want to accomplish this year. Don’t feel the pressure of what others plan to do this year and let that influence what resolutions you make. Take a step back and think about what’s important to you and where you want to focus in the new year.

Set Resolutions to Focus on Mental Health

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The most common New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on fitness, hobbies, and reducing screen time; however, if one notices that their mental health may not be in the best state, it may not be a bad idea to set a resolution that focuses on improving mental health. Resources such as therapists, therapy groups, and even home remedies are available for those focusing on their mental health to help them achieve a better state of mind. 

Annie Fernandez explains that the most common home remedies for feeling a calm state of mind could be “breathing exercises, expressing gratitude towards those that mean the most to you, taking a walk outside to clear your mind whenever you need to or spending time with those that you love.” Simple resolutions like that can significantly help improve mental health. There are also plenty of apps and guides that can help those who are trying to become more calm, cool, and collected throughout 2024. One of the most popular apps is Calm, which provides various tools to help manage stress and anxiety, get better sleep, and feel more present in one’s daily life. Feel free to check out the website and sign up for various free resources to relax your mind and become the best version of yourself.

The Juniper Center has many clinicians on staff, ready to help those trying to become better versions of themselves. Our clinicians are here to listen to anything that might be on your mind. If you are interested in scheduling an intake appointment to seek help to achieve your resolutions, please call 847-759-9110 extension 2 to find the resources to help you become a brand new you this year!



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