We are 10 days into 2021 and there is no shortage of challenges to your mental health.
COVID rages and many are facing yet another lockdown. While the vaccine has brought hope to many, it has come too late for those who have faced devastating losses of their livelihood, their sense of security, their relationships and even loved ones.
Despite the upheaval it has caused, COVID-19 is not your biggest challenge. The biggest and most important challenge you will face in 2021 is to your mental well-being.
You are not alone. We are all in the same boat. Regardless of our means, our beliefs, or our differences, our mental wellbeing is the asset we need to build as we battle the endless obstacles and stress in our lives. Without having strong and healthy minds, we leave ourselves and our futures vulnerable to whatever challenges come our way.
Making the Decision …
Mental wellness starts with a decision. A very important decision. You have to decide that your mental health matters. You have to decide that you will do whatever it takes to make wellness a priority. The decision and the journey may not be easy – there will almost certainly be setbacks – but ignoring and avoiding the things that take away from your mental health is like running through a minefield and hoping for the best.
You have a chance this year to let yourself count. It is a chance to learn what you need to feel and do better. It is a chance to treat yourself like you matter and to truly care for yourself. If you take that chance, you will push back against anxiety, depression, and burnout. You will protect yourself against breakdown and overwhelm. You will give yourself the best chance at the future you want for yourself and those you love.
But you have to decide that your mental health matters.
Once You’ve Decided ...
Spend time thinking about what you need to be well and what is wearing you down.
Ask yourself what stops you from making a change. It is normal for fear and anxiety to get in the way and keep us from moving forward. Our brains can be very suspicious of change, when it is for the best.
Think of one positive change you want to make and one small action that can move you in that direction. Now do it. Take that tiny step. Then take another. And another. When you hit a snag or struggle, keep taking one more tiny action to build your wellbeing.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance along the way. We need connection and support to grow. Read. Research. Learn from others. Celebrate every win along the way, no matter how small it may seem. Choosing to prioritize yourself in a world like ours takes courage and guts. Be proud of giving yourself the opportunity to be your very best.
Do this and things can change. You can do better. You can feel better.
But first…you have to decide. Will you be a priority in 2021?