Dec. 30, 2019, 6:52 PM UTC
Its that time of year, aka, the start of a new one, when we assess areas of our life wed like to improve and determine to make a change. Of course, were talking about New Year's resolutions, a tradition that tends to get a bit of a bad rap because such promises to ourselves can be difficult to keep.
NBC News BETTER has previously consulted psychologists to learn how we can best align with our New Year resolutions, highlighting tactics such as utilizing your brains reward system, eliminating environmental triggers and getting social support. This year, were taking a more personal approach by talking with over a dozen therapists to learn what resolutions theyre setting for 2020, and how they intend to stick to them.
Heres what they shared. I recommend breaking out a box of tissues along with that champagne; these goals get deep!
My resolution is to look for ways to be less busy overall, but also less busy within each day, says Mary Rourke, a psychologist and the Director of Widener Universitys Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. I am aiming to slow down, be more intentional in every moment, and try to find moments of peace in each day. These are things I recommend often to clients, and things I strive to do myself (when I stop to think about it). My resolution is to build in ways each day to stop and think about it, and hopefully do it more consistently. Not sure yet how I will stick to this resolution I am considering enlisting the help of a resolution buddy someone who shares my goal and with whom I can have regular brief check-ins to discuss how we are both doing.
I have two resolutions for the new year, says Monte Drenner, a licensed mental health counselor. First, pursue being joyful over being happy. This goal is important because joy is a constant delight whereas happy is brief and circumstantial. The second goal is to be more content which is continual satisfaction rather than getting my emotional state from my surroundings. [My resolutions] are related, which will help me be successful. My desire is for my emotional state to be dictated by more meaningful things in life rather than the momentary annoyances. Growth in one area will help dictate growth in the other. I plan on sticking to them by meditating on them daily as well as directing my reading and listening materials towards these topics.
The way I budget my money will be the outline on how I budget my time, says Shannon Battle, a licensed professional counselor. I can always make more money but I can't make more time. You either maximize it or lose it. If you invested in your education you made sacrifices that deserve to be remunerated. Next time somebody wants to pick your brain send them an appointment, invite with an invoice attached.
While I do a good job on carefully selecting food and relationships that nurture me, I can definitely improve the quality of the media allowed into my psyche, says Paul L. Hokemeyer, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Since the 2016 election, I have been pulled into the hostility, vulgarity and division that has come to define American politics. This consumption has left me feeling anxious, depressed, angry and at times plagued by fear. Moving forward, I'm resolving to only consume media that supports the narrative of empathy, compassion and understanding traits that we need more of in our individual psyches, our relationships, our families and our country.
"I don't make New Year's resolutions to do something new; however, the New Year does offer me an opportunity to let go of what no longer serves me, says Dr. James S. Gordon, MD, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Center for Mind-Body Medicine. This year, what I'd like to let go of is my resistance to change. How do I personally plan to stick with this? By paying attention. When I pay attention, I am aware of my resistance to change [experiencing]:
This awareness will help me contribute to the process of accepting change by simply using these symptoms of resistance as cues to relax and remember that change is in the order of nature.
In this crazy, busy world, it seems far too easy to move onto what's next on my to-do list without savoring what I've just completed, says Sharon Saline, a psychologist. I'm planning to write three good things about each day in my journal before bed so I can focus more on the positive and derive greater satisfaction from my days.
Get the better newsletter.
"2019 has been such a year of division across the globe, so my resolution for 2020 is to try and bring back the empathy, says Clinton Moore, a clinical psychologist. The world is a more beautiful place when we connect, so my aim is to learn one new thing from one new person every week. That means 52 new ways of looking at the world by the time 2020 is done."
In the new year I would like to embrace creativity by doing at least one activity each week in which I create something big or small, says Rebecca B. Skolnick, licensed clinical psychologist. Exercising the creative part of my brain helps me see things from different perspectives, process emotions, and generally feel calmer. I committed to this resolution by signing up for a series of watercolor classes, and I have a list of museum and gallery exhibits that I would like to attend for inspiration.
This year, Im committing to 15 minutes of sitting in stillness a day, says Amie Roe, a licensed clinical social worker. Lately Ive been wishing for more spaciousness in my life and I think this is an attainable way to create that for myself. I chose 15 minutes because thats what feels manageable for me. Im also going to grant myself tons of flexibility around how, where, and when in the day I sit in stillness. The more flexible and gracious I am with myself, the more successful I know Ill be.
As a couple's therapist and discernment counselor, I know that the transition to parenthood can be hard on a marriage. Which is why I'm really committing to myself and my marriage in the new year, says Theresa Herring, a licensed marriage and family therapist. I always tell my clients that if you don't schedule it, it won't happen. So, with my brand new 2020 planner, I am scheduling moms' night outs with girlfriends, date nights (both going out and staying in!), and an exercise routine.
My New Year's resolution is to work smarter not harder, says Carrie Mead, a licensed clinical professional counselor. I am continually working to create a healthy work-life balance. The reason for this is that I consistently work with people who feel the pressures and challenges associated with this imbalance and its prudent that I lead by example. To keep myself accountable to this goal, I set my schedule so that I have ample time for my clients, my family and myself. Including quiet time for myself is key to creating the harmony I crave. I have witnessed many clients forget this key component and they continue to struggle with stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and health issues despite their dedication to change. I schedule my self-care time the same way I schedule clients or date-nights; it goes on the calendar with everything else.
This year, I intend to focus on nurturing my sense of play and curiosity, says Jo Eckler, a clinical psychologist. Every week, if not every day, I will try something new, finding ways to laugh and/or play. As adults, we can become rigid in our thinking and feel that life is a boring treadmill. Play reminds us of who we truly are, who we've always been and gives us permission to be gloriously imperfect and have no idea what we're doing.
This year, I will continue to work on work/family boundaries, says Lynn Zakeri, a licensed clinical social worker. I was impacted by Laura Vanderkam's book, I Know How She Does It, which got me thinking about all I do in 168 hours a week. I really [love] my work, and I also really love my family. Each year I am better at managing the work/family balance but it is hard trying to do it all. I will continue to remind myself that doing it all is sometimes simply accepting the best I can do on a given day.
As a very busy clinician who talks to clients all day long, the last thing I want to do at the end of a long day is to chat with people, says Rita Eichenstein, a therapist and neuropsychologist. To that end, research shows the greatest level of health comes from those who have an active and nourishing group of friends. So, Ive already made a list of those who are dear to me, or those who seem interesting. Instead of the usual lets meet for coffee, Im scheduling hiking, walking, museum browsing and beach walking together to deepen my friendships.
My New Year's resolution is to average 500 words of writing, every weekday, until Thanksgiving, says Jon Reeves, a clinical psychologist. I have always wanted to write a book, but until now have not prioritized consistent writing. I'll stick to it in three ways: (1) structuring the resolution as specific, concrete daily habits that accumulate towards the ultimate goal (a book); (2) making it flexible enough to miss a day and catch up by writing more the next day or on the weekends; and (3) scheduling an hour for writing every weekday on my calendar. At the end of the resolution, I'll have about 118,000 words enough for a book.
My New Year's resolution is to slow down and listen far more than I speak, at least a 2:1 ratio in my relationships with both clients and personal relationships, says Brent Sweitzer, a licensed professional counselor. It may seem like an odd thing for a therapist to say, given that's a crucial part of their job, but I saw the new Mr. Rogers movie recently and was so moved to see how the act of listening and being with another person led to such transformation. By listening attentively to another person, we convey our love to them. It helps them know that that unseen part of them is worthy of our attention.
My New Year's resolution is to do things every single day that foster healing and self care, says Shari Botwin, a licensed clinical social worker. I counsel people who are recovering from all types of trauma. I am also a childhood sexual abuse survivor. I need to work on taking the time I need for my own healing and continue to find balance as a therapist, mama and survivor. Im going to take in the advice I give to my patients and work on giving myself more time to have fun and have more balance in my personal life.
Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
See the article here:
- Mental health professionals offer suggestions to those suffering with stress, anxiety - Olean Times Herald - March 25th, 2020
- How can I tell if my child has mental health issues and what can I do to help? - Nevada Today - March 25th, 2020
- Mental health clinics and organizations alter offerings | Forest Lake Times - ECM Publishers - March 25th, 2020
- West Texas community mental health partners offering in-person and telehealth services - MyFoxZone.com KIDY - March 25th, 2020
- Coronavirus and mental health | Local - The Baytown Sun - March 25th, 2020
- Tips to take care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic - WTOL - March 25th, 2020
- Participants Needed for Online Study on Social Distancing and Mental Health - University of Arkansas Newswire - March 25th, 2020
- Experts: Use the time to better your mental health - WWL News, Talk, Sports Radio Station - March 25th, 2020
- Maine mental health workers brace for spike in clients whose lives 'may never be the same' - Bangor Daily News - March 25th, 2020
- This startup is tackling the hidden mental health impacts of cancer - Wired.co.uk - March 25th, 2020
- Wasatch County Council Hears Reports Regarding Mental Health Services And The School District - KPCW - March 25th, 2020
- Coronavirus: six ways of turning anxiety into positive mental health habits - The Conversation UK - March 25th, 2020
- Surprising ways parents can maintain their mental health while working from home - AZ Big Media - March 25th, 2020
- Why your mental health may be suffering in the COVID-19 pandemic - PBS NewsHour - March 25th, 2020
- Snap rolling out Here For You mental health tool early with focus on coronavirus - The Verge - March 25th, 2020
- BREVARD COVID-19 UPDATE: Palm Point Behavioral Health Fully Operational and Serving the Needs of Our Community | - SpaceCoastDaily.com - March 25th, 2020
- 9 Mental Health Practices To Maintain (Or Begin) During The Coronavirus Lockdown - Forbes - March 23rd, 2020
- COVID-19 And Your Mental Health - University of Arkansas Newswire - March 23rd, 2020
- Companies are making mental-health care fast and accessible - New York Post - March 23rd, 2020
- 'Wake up, millennials: Now is the time to prioritize your mental health,' therapist says of coronavirus pandemic - CNBC - March 23rd, 2020
- Using video conferencing for mental health consultations - Swinburne University of Technology - March 23rd, 2020
- Mental health professionals share insight into coping with COVID-19 - Pine River Times - March 23rd, 2020
- Mental health professionals finding new ways to care for patients - WBAY - March 23rd, 2020
- Keeping up with mental health during a time of uncertainty - WIFR - March 23rd, 2020
- Is there a right way to worry about coronavirus? And other mental health tips - The Guardian - March 23rd, 2020
- How working from home during coronavirus affects productivity and mental health - Vox.com - March 23rd, 2020
- Coronavirus and the state of your mental health - WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa. - March 23rd, 2020
- Failure to address coronavirus mental health issues will prolong impact | TheHill - The Hill - March 23rd, 2020
- Don't forget to take care of your mental health as well during the COVID-19 pandemic - News 5 Cleveland - March 23rd, 2020
- Stay active during isolation: Help maintain your physical and mental health during COVID-19 period - KSN-TV - March 23rd, 2020
- Social distancing can take a toll on mental health: Anybody can be affected by this - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee - March 23rd, 2020
- What you need to know about maintaining your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak - Boston.com - March 23rd, 2020
- 8 mental health tips to weather the coronavirus crisis like a pro - Cyclingnews.com - March 22nd, 2020
- COVID-19 in Minnesota: Mental health resources to help get through this tough time - FOX 9 - March 22nd, 2020
- Reframing the narrative: How to protect your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic - Northwest Herald - March 22nd, 2020
- Containing The Coronavirus Pandemic Seriously Threatens Our Mental Health: Here Are 5 Strategies To Protect Yours. - Forbes - March 22nd, 2020
- Mental health tax lays foundation for improving health outcomes in Winnebago County - Rockford Register Star - March 22nd, 2020
- MENTAL HEALTH: Medical experts give advice on how to stay healthy amid uncertainty - KTTC - March 22nd, 2020
- When Home Becomes The Workplace: Mental Health And Remote Work - Forbes - March 22nd, 2020
- Get outdoors, create routines and ask for help to maintain mental health while practicing social distancing - Summit Daily News - March 22nd, 2020
- Fayetteville mental health professionals offer tips for dealing with COVID-19 related anxiety - The Fayetteville Observer - March 22nd, 2020
- How to make mental health a priority during the coronavirus pandemic - ESPN - March 22nd, 2020
- How to maintain good mental health amid social distancing and working from home - KTIV - March 22nd, 2020
- Coronavirus and mental health: Anxieties spike amid Bay Area's isolation - San Jos Spotlight - March 22nd, 2020
- Here's how to take care of your mental health during isolation, according to a mental health expert - wtvr.com - March 22nd, 2020
- We can't leave those with mental illness, addiction disorders behind | TheHill - The Hill - March 22nd, 2020
- Questions about mental health treatment to be removed from Michigan bar exam next year - Lansing State Journal - March 22nd, 2020
- Snodgrass Says Residents Mental Health Issues Are Top Of Mind - HighRiverOnline.com - March 22nd, 2020
- Social recession: how isolation can affect physical and mental health - The Guardian - March 22nd, 2020
- Mental health agencies gear up for increased coronavirus-related workload - 13abc Action News - March 22nd, 2020
- Senate passes bill to boost mental health care access - Lowell Sun - February 14th, 2020
- Could mental health support be the key to keeping more Colorado preschool teachers in the field? - The Colorado Sun - February 14th, 2020
- Mental health care is vital to routine health care - The Boston Globe - February 14th, 2020
- "This is an emergency": Whistleblower says Olympic Committee needs to do more to address mental health - CBS News - February 14th, 2020
- Therapy program seeks outreach to improve mental health of refugees - The Daily Orange - February 14th, 2020
- Lululemon exec: Mental health is the 'next major step in our journey' - Yahoo Finance - February 14th, 2020
- Parkland shooting: Race is on to teach kids about mental health - Palm Beach Post - February 14th, 2020
- How are RAs prepared to address mental health? - The Stute - February 14th, 2020
- Incarcerated Teens Struggle With Higher Rates of Mental Health Issues. This Is How One Teen Found His Way Through - Colorado Public Radio - February 14th, 2020
- Climate change and the toll it takes on our mental health - The Hill - February 14th, 2020
- In Eastern Washington, young children needing immediate mental health care often have few options - Pacific Northwest Inlander - February 14th, 2020
- Bridgeview Mental Health Center moving to new location in Clinton with no bus route - KWQC-TV6 - February 14th, 2020
- Overland Park takes first step toward creation of mental health task force - shawneemissionpost.com - February 14th, 2020
- Garden City man accused of killing uncle will undergo mental health evaluation - Idaho Press-Tribune - February 14th, 2020
- Snapchat will now offer mental health tools in the app - MIT Technology Review - February 14th, 2020
- PM News Brief: Rep. Curtis And The ERA, Youth Mental Health & Timing An Olympic Bid - KUER 90.1 - February 14th, 2020
- Bayfront to close Intensive Outpatient Behavioral Health Program in Punta Gorda - Wink News - February 14th, 2020
- Study Reveals "Mental Health Crisis" in U.K. Film, TV Industries - Hollywood Reporter - February 14th, 2020
- My patients dont separate their physical and mental health. Medicare must stop asking us to - The Guardian - February 14th, 2020
- Massachusetts law meant to protect people with mental illness may make them sicker - The Boston Globe - February 14th, 2020
- By the Book: The Glass Eye and writing about mental illness - University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News - February 14th, 2020
- The Championship and a talk about mental health Football Weekly Extra - The Guardian - February 14th, 2020
- Neglecting your mental health could affect your heart health - WQOW TV News 18 - February 14th, 2020
- Doctor Who's Awkward Mental Health Fears Reaction Explained by BBC - Screen Rant - February 14th, 2020
- New Mental Health Certification Will Help Create Healthier Workplaces - Forbes - February 7th, 2020
- Soaring higher: Congratulations to LHU's mental health counseling program | News, Sports, Jobs - Lock Haven Express - February 7th, 2020
- Vaping ordinance and youth mental health are now top goals for Mountain View City Council - Mountain View Voice - February 7th, 2020
- Cries for help on Twitter linked to spike in mental-health hospitalisations - Yahoo Sports - February 7th, 2020
- Other states starting to follow Massachusetts' lead on bar exam, mental health - Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly - February 7th, 2020
- Stress Less: Tech Companies In The Mental Health Space Are Finally Going Mainstream - Forbes - February 7th, 2020