Mental Health Tips and Reminders to Start 2024 – My Brain’s Not Broken

Hello friends and happy new year! Since I’ve written several New Year’s posts on this blog, I thought I’d try again in 2024. Over the past few years, my posts about the new year have varied a lot. Earlier in this blog’s history, I wrote about my rejection of New Year’s resolutions and the pressure they put on us. A few years ago I reflected on how I would like to start the new year off right. And last year, I reflected on how I wanted to approach 2023. As I read these posts, I’ve come to see the ways I’ve changed (and yes, grown) in the years I’ve been writing this blog. This year, I would like to stop focusing on myself and refocus on mental health. There are many ways we can try to grow in the new year, but how can we do it with our mental health? Here are five mental health tips as you build and grow your mental well-being in 2024.

Start where you are.

When it comes to mental health and well-being, it’s important to know where to start. And the fact is, we’re all at different points in our mental health journey, and that’s okay. Not only is it good, but it is as it should be. I can’t tell you how many times I felt frustrated when I failed at something related to my mental health while watching someone else succeed. I thought I was doing something wrong when, in reality, it just wasn’t the right time for me. Now is the time to make an honest assessment: how is your mental health? Are you prioritizing it as you deserve? This is different for everyone, so it’s important to be honest and open with yourself.

Awareness is only the first step.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about mental health is that when we discover something about ourselves that we’d like to work on, it doesn’t magically go away. That’s often when the real work begins. Many of us have experienced cognitive distortions, negative thoughts, and other mental health problems for years without fully understanding what they are. Awareness raising is valuable, but it is not a cure. Once I accepted this, it was easier to move forward.

There will be obstacles along the way.

There’s a common misconception that once someone starts working on their mental health, life will become… easier, let’s say. Or that we have “solved” the problem because we have recognized that something is not as it should be. And while we should give people flowers for choosing themselves and prioritizing mental health, I wouldn’t want anyone to think that’s all they have to do. There will be obstacles along the way, as there are in so many things we do in life. Mental health is a lifelong journey and accepting that there will be ups and downs helps in the long run.

Find techniques that work for YOU.

This point is very important to me because it is one of my core beliefs around mental health. In the culture we’ve created, things become popular when they work for a large number of people, which can create unrealistic expectations. I can’t tell you how many times I have been frustrated with a “life hack” or “mental health tip” that seemed to work for me. many people – but not me! It has taken me a long time to come to understand that I don’t need to find things that “work”; I need to find what works for me. Once I changed that lens, I was able to focus more on myself, which made my mental health more manageable.

Not everything is relevant to you – and that’s okay.

This is similar to what I just wrote, but I’d like to delve deeper because it’s an important point to make. Not everything we learn about mental health will be relevant to us. There are so many different tips and tricks, countless diagnoses and ways to assess mental health and well-being, and various ways to address all of these challenges. While you want to focus on your own mental health, looking at the bigger picture is extremely valuable for everyone. Mental health affects everyone and the more we connect the dots, the more we can see how it helps shape the world around us.

Now it’s your turn! What mental health tips would you like to share as we begin another new year? Let me know in the comments below!

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