Making New Year’s Resolutions about mental health

2017 was not the best year. One of the few good things that’s happened this year is that — after years of convincing myself not to — I finally made a commitment to see a therapist.

After some discussions with my therapist, I decided to avoid making concrete New Years resolutions I can’t keep. No, I’m not going to cut cheese from my diet. I’m most likely not going to make full use of that gym membership I’ve been eyeing.

And that’s OK. Struggling for perfection is stifling and utterly exhausting.

Instead I decided to focus on mental health resolutions I can actually keep. I’m hoping they will make 2018 a happier and less stressful year.

Resolution #1: Being OK With Crying

In 2017 I came to terms with the fact that I’m a lot more empathetic than the average person. I cry— a lot. I cried during the Hunger Games trailer. I usually lie and exclaim, “I just have something in my contacts.”

But really I’m crying a little bit. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the all the beauty and sadness in this world, and that’s all right.

Resolution #2: Building Boundaries

2018 will be about building boundaries. I want to be able to say no without dwelling upon it for hours after, wondering if that response was acceptable. When the emotional energy of a person or situation is impacting me negatively, I want to be able to change the subject or walk away without thinking I’ve abandoned someone.

These habits of mine have painted me as a loyal and understanding person. At the same time they have contributed to debilitating emotional fatigue.

Resolution #3: Savoring My ‘Me Time’

It’s OK to have me time…and cheese time!

In 2018 I will savor the moments I keep for myself. I will take more baths; spend my solitary nights guilt-free. I will try to live more shamelessly.

I should really cut cheese out of my diet, but I’ll do that when I’m ready. I accept my sensitivity, and will try to make it serve me as much as it has served others.

Here’s to a fruitful 2018!

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