Looking Forward: 7 Tips for Building a Better Mindset for 2021

A Towson psychiatrist offers tips for staying mentally healthy in 2021

For most people, 2020 has been a tumultuous year. No one expected a once in a lifetime pandemic to descend on the world. Nor did they know how to prepare for the political and economic unrest that would follow. But while there are some events in life we can’t control — like the coronavirus pandemic or the outcome of an election — we can still choose how we absorb and respond to these events. 

With the start of 2021 comes the chance to reflect on the past year. You should also take this time to prepare for success during the year ahead. Check out our advice from a Towson psychiatrist on mentally preparing yourself for 2021 now. 

How to Prepare Yourself for a Successful 2021

2020 might not have gotten off to a good start, but that doesn’t mean things can’t get better for 2021

person walking up the stairs
This past year has been challenging for everyone. But focusing on staying healthy and mentally strong can help you get through these tough times.

1. Create a Gratitude Journal

Creating a gratitude journal is a simple and effective way to improve your mental health. By jotting down everything you are grateful for, you can become a more positive person, reduce stress, and even start to sleep better. 

The time commitment to keeping a gratitude journal is pretty low. You don’t have to write a comprehensive list of things you are grateful for every day. Writing down just three things a day can help you develop a more positive mindset. By focusing on the positive aspects of your life that bring you happiness, you are giving more power to these emotions while reducing negative ones that might be harming your mental health. 

2. Try Something New

Woman in yoga camel posture

For most of 2020, we have remained cooped up inside our houses. It can be tempting to spend the new hours binge-watching a TV show or sleeping. But it might be better for your mental health if you spend some of your newly acquired time doing something productive. 

There’s nothing wrong with taking a little TV break, but trying something new can keep you mentally active and motivated. Whether you have always wanted to try watercolor painting or planting, these fun activities can help the time fly by. 

3. Plan a Mini Solo Vacation

Who doesn’t need a vacation? While we won’t be able to fly to Paris anytime soon, we should give ourselves a proper mental break to help us start 2021 on the right foot. Spend a day out on the beach or hiking in the woods to help clear your mind. 

4. Talk to a Therapist

Most people think it’s only necessary to talk to a therapist if they are currently going through a crisis or are struggling with a severe mental health disorder. But you don’t have to wait until a problem occurs to talk to a therapist

Going through therapy offers a number of benefits, such as:

  • Learning key problem-solving skills
  • Being able to talk through your issues with someone
  • Managing healthier relationships

5. Practice Meditation and Deep Breathing

woman meditating in the woods

Meditation has also been shown to improve one’s mental health. Start practicing at least three times a week before transitioning to an everyday process. You don’t need to wait until 2021 actually starts to begin practicing. Start now and use the new year as a chance to reflect on your progress and how you wish to improve. 

6. Cut Down on Unhealthy Foods and Vices

Consuming an excessive amount of junk food and alcohol can be bad for both your physical and mental health. While you don’t have to completely eliminate these from your diet, you should try to cut down your consumption. 

To help boost your mental health, make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Nuts, eggs, dark chocolate, and yogurt are all known to help reduce anxiety too.

7. Cut Down on the Screen Time

Numerous studies have found a strong link between heavy social media use and mental health problems. While researchers haven’t yet established the long-term effects of heavy social media use, we do know that it can lead to harmful short-term effects. FOMO, feeling inadequate, and self-absorption can result from watching others appearing to live charmed lives. We forget that these photos we see are only snapshots of a complex life and that they don’t always show the full picture.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to nurture both your physical and mental health. Focusing on both aspects of your health is crucial for setting yourself up for a great year. Many people have turned to mental health therapists to help them navigate their lives and stay healthy. If you’re on the search for a Towson psychiatrist, the Psych Associates of Maryland offers some of the best mental health care in the area. Contact the team today to schedule an appointment!

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