This Friday, May 19th, PEERS is participating in Alameda County’s annual We Move for Health 10x10 wellness event! Check it out here!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month – a time for increased civic engagement and advocacy for those with mental health experiences. Yet, Mental Health Awareness Month also offers the opportunity for personal reflection and development.
Many of us associate health and wellness resolutions with the beginning of the New Year. Whether it’s resolving to be more thankful and open-minded, or committing to a fresh exercise routine, January is the time of year that most people focus on inaugurating behavioral changes in their lives.
By the time February rolls around, however, more than 80% of these resolutions have fallen by the wayside. This means that May – which falls just before the halfway point of the year – is the perfect time for committing to a new personal habit or goal!
Why not attach your new wellness habit to a mission for better mental health? Combining objectives is an excellent way to make new practices part of your daily routine.
Other ways to make new habits stick include:
- Starting slowly. For example, start with journaling for 10 minutes a day, instead of beginning with 30 minutes or an hour. Work your way up slowly to the desired duration.
- Committing to a trial period. Two weeks or a month are much easier to commit to than, say, the rest of your life. Try out your new habit for a limited amount of time to ease the pressure on yourself for achieving instant perfection.
- Prioritizing the new habit. Perhaps practice the new habit first thing in the morning or right after you get home from work or school. Don’t wait until the end of the day to focus on the new habit.
Here are some suggestions for new wellness habits:
- Go for a lunch-time walk! Sitting for hours on end is extremely detrimental to health and wellbeing. Going for a brief walk is an excellent way to improve fitness and boost mood, as demonstrated by countless scientific studies.
- Avoid using electronics before bed. L.E.D. screen emit unnatural amounts of blue light, which in turn delays nighttime melatonin production, leading to later and less restful sleep.
- Meditate before starting a new task. Mindfulness and deep-breathing decrease stress hormones in the blood stream, quiet the mind, and improve overall outlook. Even 10 minutes can make a measurable difference.