my top 5 mental health goals for 2020
Before I realized it was a trend, I had picked a few words that would describe how my 2020 would be. While most people stick to New Year’s Resolutions, I instead decided to choose a few words to try to live by and implement them into my daily routine. This year, those two words were hustle and health.
While the hustle part may get a post of it’s own, I wanted to take a moment to zone in on my mental health. I’ve never been one to keep up with my mental state at all, which led to me waking up exhausted, being dragged through the day by my projects and begging for the day to end so I could go to sleep. I know how to take care of myself mentally, but the problem was that I was honing the skill around once a month instead of every day.
I believe there are numerous ways to go about taking care of yourself, but in my own practice, here are the top 5 accomplishments I hope to achieve before 2020 is over.
Number 1: I want to be more relaxed.
I have had anxious habits since I was a very young. In fact, whenever I had a moment when I’d reached my peak, my father would look at me and say, “My gosh. You’re so tense!”
Imaging being 12 and your father reminds you about the angst you constantly have…
I never liked to relax because I’d feel like I might be neglecting something. There was always one more project, one more task, one more list that I needed to finish before I could go to bed. And if I didn’t know of any, I’d make one up just to keep my hands busy. As a matter of fact, my favorite thing was to make tasks while I was already in the middle of one! Talk about the queen of procrastination…
And when time came in which I did want to relax, I felt as though a cloud would hang over me. I would finally get to a point where I had time to relax and suddenly forgot everything I liked to do that would put my mind at ease.
The first goal is to finally reach a state in which I can relax, which brings me to my next goal:
Number 2: I want to be able to let things go.
I don’t care how big it is nor do I don’t care how small it is.
I hold on to everything that I think will somehow give me some sense of belonging or stability. Every argument, every toxic relationship, every thought marinated in self hatred.
So wait… hold up…
If I know it isn’t healthy, then why do I do it?
Well, for the same reason alcoholics need one more drink or drug addicts need one more hit: there’s a sick sense of pleasure that fires in my amygdala from holding onto everything; even at the expense of my own sanity.
Yeah, this post just went there. *sips Kraken*
Now that I’m older and deal with more adult problems, holding onto any and everything isn’t just impractical; it’s doing a number on my mental health. By the end of the year, I hope to be at a place where it’s easier for me to let things go.
Number 3: I want to be more honest with myself.
When I was younger, I’ve never been one to hear about my flaws. My parents’ constant push for excellence in education coupled with my competitive nature made for a negative outlook on constructive criticism.
Even if I knew there were areas that needed improvement, it was much easier to sweep those things under the rug and focus on my accomplishments instead. Excuses were my best friends, and I wasn’t giving them up without a fight.
I’ve recently rekindled my love of daily journaling, and through it started becoming more vulnerable as a person. I started following prompts that let me give myself permission to be honest with myself.
At first, it was extremely uncomfortable. Even though I knew that nobody was reading my journal, writing it down made it somehow more public. It almost felt like shouting my thoughts to the world. Once I was able to reassure myself that my journal is my own personal way of being completely open and honest with my thoughts, the floodgates opened.
While the momentum is still going, I want to make it a point to keep this “being honest with myself” thing up through the year. I’m known for starting too many journals, so I’m going to try my best to stick to this one.
Number 4: I want to be more confident.
I’m gonna let you in on a journal entry: I severely lack self confidence.
With a great competitive spirit comes an ego that is easily demolished.
Growing up, I compared myself to just about everyone around me. I wasn’t as pretty as “her”, wasn’t as smart as “him” or severely lacked in areas “they” deemed worthy. The stress of keeping up with my peers did a number on my health (and grades) and I wasn’t able to keep up with them. I was spending more time keeping up with others than I was taking care of my own needs.
That ends now.
I want peace for 2020, and I know that will be easier to obtain once I gain confidence in what God gave me instead of comparing myself to others.
Number 5: I want to start seeing a psychologist.
I won’t lie: this post was written a little late…
A couple of months ago I took a huge plunge and started seeing a psychologist. The first few two sessions were horribly uncomfortable, but I knew that going was an important first step to freedom.
I had wanted to talk to a psychologist for years, but after my mother’s past experience with a psychologist who fell asleep in the middle of their session, I wasn’t too thrilled with letting someone dissect my thoughts. However, I also had to come to the realization that my mother’s experiences weren’t necessarily going to be my own. I was in a new state with new opportunities and completely different situations.
I plan to continue to see my psychologist every Monday as I have been, and I pray that through the professional help I can start making more necessary steps toward a life of overall peace.
2020 is going to come with challenges, as the Bible already makes it clear that we are going to go through trials and tribulations. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t prepare myself for how I will react to them.
There’s a quote that I have hanging by my computer that goes
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.Victor E. Frankl
My mental health goals for 2020 will create change in the way I choose my response to mental, physical, financial, spiritual and emotional stimuli in my journey toward freedom and inspiring others to find their own.