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Healthy Habits for the New Year

by | Jan 14, 2022

Healthy Habits for the New Year

A new year can be a kind of reset – a chance to turn the page and start a new chapter. When a new year begins, we often feel a sense of opportunity for a fresh start. Many of us think of setting goals or intentions for the months ahead.  

We live in a society that is very focused on productivity as well as physical health and weight loss. Most of us have started new diets, joined gyms and taken supplements, all in look good and improve our physical health. Of course we want to feel healthy in our bodies, but it is also important to think of emotional and mental health. 

If we aren’t mentally healthy, our life is negatively impacted in multiple areas. 

In the age of Covid, when many of us are dealing with health and financial struggles, stress can really take a toll on our mental health.  
Following are some good mental health habits to practice in 2021 and beyond: 


Set an Intention 

Instead of making traditional resolutions, I invite you to set an intention for the new year. This can be a work or a phrase that inspires you and helps keep you on track. For example, an intention of Health or being Active vs. a strict diet and exercise regime. It can also be something like Kindness, Compassion, Mindfulness, Curiosity, Adventure, or Focus. You might identify an intention and then make it a point to reflect on it, and journal about it, once a month. Be curious about what you learn and avoid any self-criticism.    


Practice Gratitude 

Gratitude is like a magic bullet when it comes to mental health. Often, when we are feeling negative emotions, we focus on the negative and overlook all the good things that are present in our life. Take realistic look at your life each day and feel grateful for the people, events, things and experiences in your life that bring you joy, peace and happiness. And be sure to share your gratitude with others! 


Value Yourself 

The only thing worse than dealing with grief, sadness, and stress, is doing so while devaluing your own feelings, needs and worth. Treat yourself as kindly as you do your friends and loved ones. See the good in yourself and practice self-care and self-compassion every day. 


Let Go 

Most of us cling to the idea that we can control every single facet of our lives. It’s just not possible. This desire to control brings a sense of anxiety and frustration. And it is exhausting. Make this year the year you finally let go of needing to control what you can’t.  


Connect with Positive People 

Negative people are a challenge for our mental health. You may need to limit time with those who bring you down in order to make more room for people who will support you. Learn to set boundaries with difficult people and seek out supportive connections. 


Along with these habits, you may want to consider speaking regularly with a therapist who can help you navigate any issues you may be dealing with and provide coping techniques. 

If you’d like some support and tools to help, please get in touch with me. Let’s discuss how I can help you make 2021 a year of growth and healing.  



10 Secrets of People Who Keep Their New Year’s Resolutions – UAB Medicine News – UAB Medicine

In addition to shopping for gifts and making holiday party plans, the end of the year is also a time when many of us begin thinking about New Year’s resolutions.


The emotion that’s standing in the way of your healthy change: Ambivalence ( 


Additional Sources: 


 Quotes & Inspiration

Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.” Sean Covey

“Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.” Julia Child

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” John C. Maxwell

 “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” Brene Brown

“Self-care is never a selfish act. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” Parker Palmer

Every day is a new opportunity to begin again.” Dalai Lama.


Linda Stiles

LSCSW, LCSW, CFSW, Certified Imago Therapist

I am dedicated to creating an environment where clients feel safe to share and be both supported and challenged in their journey toward self-healing and growth. I specialize in helping people find peace, joy and balance in their relationship with themselves and with others.

Learn more about me