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It's that time of the year when people are looking to reinvent themselves. As cliche as it might feel, the new year offers a great reason for people to change course for the better. So, if you are thinking of resolutions or goals for the year, here are the top 10 mental health goals that you might want to consider for 2024. They promote self-discovery, resilience, and overall well-being.
Did you know that according to a 2019 study conducted by the US-based firm Fitbit across 18 countries, Indians have an average nightly sleep of around seven hours, making us the second-most sleep-deprived people in the world? According to another recent survey, approximately 55% of Indians are not getting enough sleep or are sleeping for less than 6 hours.
If you can relate to these numbers, then set a goal for getting enough sleep. But why? Studies indicate that, on average, 7–9 hours of sleep are suitable for healthy young adults and adults with regular sleep patterns. Inadequate sleep can significantly affect mental health, leading to increased stress, anxiety, depression, impaired cognitive function and decision-making.
Chronic sleep deprivation is also associated with a higher risk of developing mental health disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Individuals vary in their sleep needs, and there is no universal solution. Good restful sleep positively impacts our well-being by improving mood, cognitive function, and overall physical health.
We live in a society that rewards being highly career-oriented and hard-working. Result? Many don't have a good work-life balance and work to the point of burnout. A few years ago, a study revealed that India ranks very low in work-life balance. On average, Indians worked 2,195 hours a year. In contrast, in Hamburg, Germany, which ranked among the top 3 cities for work-life balance, workers put in 1,473 hours.
ekincare offers workplace wellness programs that focus on promoting work-life balance, providing tools and resources to manage stress and enhance overall well-being.
While work and career are important parts of life, remember that they’re only a part. So, strive to have a balance between work and other aspects of your life like relaxation, hobbies, and spending quality moments with loved ones. A balanced life contributes to greater overall well-being.
It's very easy to get lost in the world of endless needs and wants. Whatever you achieve or buy, there is always something bigger or better that you can go for. This leaves people with a constant feeling of disappointment. Practicing gratitude is the antidote to it. Gratitude exercises make you focus on the positive aspects of your life and help you appreciate what you have.
As humans, our conversations often revolve around plant life, underscoring our reliance on sunlight for prosperity. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, the "happiness hormone," in the brain, which can improve mood and mental well-being. It helps the body produce vitamin D, essential for bone health and immune function, and it plays a crucial role in regulating the body's internal clock. So, start the year by adding some outdoor time to your calendar for better mental health!
Self-care is the practice of dedicating time to caring for yourself. While bubble baths and face masks are a start, there's more in store. Self-care is about doing things that bring you joy and improve your overall well-being. So, in 2024, analyse what area of self-care you are lacking and make a plan to improve it. It could be anything from eating healthy to signing up for hobby classes.
Minimalism is a philosophy of living with fewer things in life. But it can have a wider application to our lives for better mental health and a clutter-free life. Minimalism emphasises simplicity and intentionality, focusing on what truly adds value to our lives. By decluttering our physical spaces, mental load, and commitments, we can create a calmer and more peaceful environment, which can have a positive impact on our mental well-being.
Many of us find it particularly hard to say no or establish strong boundaries, as it's considered rude or impolite in our culture. This deep-rooted cultural practice leaves us taking on more than we can manage and adds stress to our lives. In 2024, make it a point to break out of this and start saying no to things so that you can have time and energy for things that truly matter to you.
Have you felt like you aren't as sharp as you used to be at 18? The reason is not that you are ageing; the reason is that you stopped learning. Studies have shown that engaging in new and challenging activities is beneficial for developing and preserving cognitive abilities. As you age, your brain can continue to learn and adapt through a process known as brain plasticity, but it's in your hands to train those muscles by learning new things.
Mindfulness and meditation practices are scientifically proven to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and enhance mental clarity. Taking a few minutes each day for quiet reflection and mindfulness exercises can make a big difference in your overall well-being. So, why not make this a goal for 2024?
Learn how to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday routine by watching this video.
In addition to general good practices, please take time to understand your unique needs and challenges. Devise a plan of action to improve in that area. For example, if you struggle with anxiety, consider seeking therapy, practicing relaxation techniques, or developing a support network to help manage your symptoms. It's essential to take proactive steps to address your specific mental health needs and create a personalised strategy for your well-being.
By setting mental health goals and working towards them, we can create a foundation for a happier, more resilient, and more fulfilling life. Remember that small, consistent steps in the right direction will lead to significant positive changes.
So, here's to a year of self-discovery, growth, and well-being. 🥂
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