Mental health is just as important as physical health. After all, it is your overall psychological state that affects your perspective on life, how you feel about yourself, and your relationships with others. Especially if you struggle with a mental illness, professional support is recommended to help you improve your mental health. However, there are still many changes you can make on your own to feel better.
In this post, I share small steps you can take to improve your mental health in 2020. I haven’t always taken the best care of my mental health, but I have made it a priority this past year. I have noticed a huge improvement in my outlook on life, and I feel so much happier now that I’ve been taking better care of myself.
I felt inspired to write this list to help you feel better and live a healthier life. I hope it’s useful for you!
Here are 65 ways to improve your mental wellness in 2020:
1. Wake up early every day.
Waking up early will improve both your physical and mental health. You will have more time to enjoy your morning and prepare for the day. As a result, your stress levels will decrease.
Read more about the benefits of waking up early.
2. Treat every day as a new opportunity.
Instead of dreading the day ahead, view every new day as an opportunity to boost your happiness and success. When you change your outlook to be more positive, you will notice improvements in your life.
3. Try to regulate your sleep schedule.
Adequate sleep is crucial for good mental health. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day so you ensure you’re able to get enough sleep.
4. Start every morning with a positive affirmation.
An affirmation is a positive statement you repeat to yourself in order to combat negative thoughts and self-criticism. You can use affirmations to essentially reprogram your subconscious mind and view life through a more optimistic lens.
Try these 50 positive affirmations.
5. Focus on improving your mindset.
Mindset is (almost) everything. Even if your situation is less than ideal, you can become happier by shifting your mindset to a positive frame of thinking. If you can’t change anything about your situation, focus on your mindset instead.
6. Take steps to nurture your self-esteem.
If you suffer from low self-esteem, 2020 is the year to improve it! You will feel more confident and able to achieve your goals.
7. Make all lifestyle changes out of self-love.
I’m all for self-improvement, but I believe that lifestyle changes should be made out of self-love instead of hatred for yourself. You should want to live your best life because you love yourself.
Learn how to balance self-love and personal growth.
8. Stop overthinking everything.
Overthinking will kill your productivity, and it can cause you to spiral into depression and anxiety. In 2020, try to think less and do more. If you catch yourself ruminating, shift your focus to something else.
9. Quit being a perfectionist.
Perfectionism will make you feel like you’re not good enough, even if you’re doing your best. Allow yourself to be human and make mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up over mistakes, learn from them and move on.
10. Love your flaws. (They make you unique!)
If you can’t change one of your flaws, learn to accept and love it. Focus on your positive qualities instead of lamenting over your flaws. It’s all about mindset!
11. Practice gratitude more often.
You will live a happier and more fulfilling life if you practice gratitude regularly.
12. Complain less, and appreciate more.
Gossip and complaining will attract negative energy into your life. Instead, learn to appreciate and admire. Positive thoughts will boost your mood and raise your vibration.
13. Let yourself slow down and relax when you need a break.
When you’re feeling burned out, it’s time to take a break. It’s not humanly possible to be productive 24/7. Listen to your mind and body so you know when you need to relax. You can get back to work once you’re feeling refreshed.
14. Try to be proactive and stay on top of your responsibilities.
If you take care of things on your to-do list before they become problematic, you will be less stressed overall. You will get overwhelmed if you let your to-do’s pile up without addressing them or checking them off your list.
15. Before bed, write your to-do list and plan your outfit for the next day.
Mornings can be overwhelming, so take some things off your plate the night before. You will wake up feeling more relaxed.
16. Create a mental health crisis kit to prepare for emergencies.
If you suffer from panic attacks, you might never know when the next one will be. A crisis kit contains items that will help you in the event of a mental health emergency. It could contain backup medications (if you are prescribed any), essential oils to calm you down, a bottle of water, a coloring book, or anything that will comfort you in the moment.
17. Educate yourself about your symptoms so you are more aware of them.
It’s important to be informed about the symptoms you struggle with so you can prepare to deal with them and reduce the impact they have on your life. If you fully understand what you’re dealing with, you will also be able to explain it better to other people.
18. Know that your feelings are valid.
Your feelings are valid because you feel them. Even though you might experience feelings differently than someone else, that doesn’t make yours any less important. Don’t allow others to invalidate your feelings.
19. Organize your sleep space and your workspace.
Treat your bedroom and workspace as sacred places. Keep them clean and organized so your mind can be clear when you spend time in those spaces.
20. Keep your home clean and clutter-free.
De-cluttering your house will reduce stress and make it feel more like a home. You deserve a welcoming place to come back to after school or work.
21. Decorate your home in a way that calms your mind.
The way you design and decorate your home will impact your vibration. Fill your home with good vibes and you will attract more positivity into your life.
22. Start a journal for self-reflection.
If you’re stressed out and you don’t have a creative outlet to help you unwind, consider starting a journal. It will help you reflect upon your thoughts and feelings. It will also create a record that will help you measure your progress and identify triggers for certain emotions.
Check out 10 journal prompts for self-reflection.
Check out 125 journal prompts for personal growth.
23. Spend time in nature.
Being inside for too long can make your depression worse. If you need a change of pace, even just a short walk around your neighborhood can make a difference in how you feel about your life and the world around you.
24. Travel more often. It could be an hour or two away, or on the other side of the world.
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, and I think it improves my mental health A LOT. Traveling will make you feel less stuck. You will feel free and open-minded as you explore new places.
25. Limit your screen time.
Technology and social media are great, but they can have a negative impact on your mental health if you overdo the screen time. Take a break and hang out with a friend, play a board game, or enjoy an outdoor activity.
26. Don’t compare yourself to others on social media.
Instagram and other social media platforms have made it easy for us to compare ourselves to others. Too many people live vicariously through other people’s little square photos on Instagram instead of improving their own lives. Don’t allow yourself to get lost in the digital world. (Most of what you see is fake, anyway.)
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27. Change up your routine every once in a while.
If you have been doing the same exact thing every day for months or years, try doing something different to spice things up. Schedule a class, go on a trip, or try something completely new. Changing your routine will make you more excited for life.
28. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness means being intensely focused on the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. If you catch yourself ruminating a lot, mindfulness will ground you in the present.
29. Read some personal development books.
I don’t have any suggestions at the moment because I need to catch up on my reading! I only promote things on this blog that I’ve actually tried and used. I will come back and update this post when I find some personal development books I like. 🙂
30. Listen to mental health podcasts you can relate to.
Find some podcasts that talk about issues similar to what you’re experiencing. Although it’s no substitute for therapy, podcasts will at least give you different perspectives on what’s happening.
31. Create a playlist with motivational and uplifting songs.
I love music. It always makes me happy! Fill a playlist with songs you love and listen to it when you’re feeling down. It will lift your mood and provide a distraction from your negative feelings.
32. Find a creative hobby that makes you feel fulfilled.
Creativity is one of the best remedies for stress. If you don’t have a hobby that you can use as a creative outlet, find one! It will add balance to your life and improve your mental health.
33. Actively seek your purpose in life.
If you feel like you’re stuck and you don’t know where you’re going in life—first of all, it’s completely OK. You don’t need to have everything figured out at this present moment. That being said, you should try to figure out what your purpose in life is. Start by learning what you’re most passionate about. Then, let passion guide your self-discovery.
34. Start a passion project.
A passion project is an activity you do in your spare time to create something, learn a new skill, improve yourself, or gain some sort of benefit. As the name implies, a passion project should relate to something you’re passionate about. When you have an exciting project to work on in your spare time, you will have something to look forward to every day.
35. Learn a new skill.
Learning will help improve your confidence and self-esteem. So, get on Skillshare and learn something new!
36. Get an adult coloring book to use when you feel anxious.
Adult coloring books can relieve feelings of stress and anxiety. They will increase your mindfulness and ground you in the present moment.
37. Build a good support system of people who understand your struggles.
A good support system can consist of friends and family, but it doesn’t have to. If the people you’re close to simply don’t understand your struggles, consider group therapy. Group therapy can help you meet people who are going through the same things as you. You will feel less alone.
38. Create healthy boundaries in your relationships.
Healthy boundaries will help you make sure your needs are met in your relationships. They will also prevent people from consciously or subconsciously taking advantage of you.
39. Say “no” when overwhelmed, and say “yes” when stagnant.
Most importantly, do what you think is best for you.
40. Remove toxic or negative people from your life.
Improving your life is difficult when the people around you are trying to bring you down. First, identify toxic forces in your life. Then, limit contact with them or cut them out of your life completely. It can be difficult, especially if the toxic person is in your family. But it’s important to realize that your life will be better off without that person around all the time. Take action accordingly.
41. Don’t let other people’s opinions dictate your feelings.
No matter what you do, there will always be someone making negative comments about it. That’s why you have to live life for YOU and not worry so much about what other people think. Instead, focus on how you feel about yourself.
42. Stop trying to please everyone.
You will never make everyone happy at the same time. So, you have to do the things that make YOU happy.
43. Make decisions to improve your happiness and quality of life.
Especially if you have a big life decision to make soon, your friends and family might have strong opinions about it. It’s OK to take their opinions into consideration because they are important people in your life. However, you have to make the decision that is right for you—the one that is going to make you the happiest and improve your quality of life. Any other decision is the wrong one.
44. Find ways to make the most of your “me time,” or the time when you’re by yourself.
Even if you’re an extrovert, you can still benefit from alone time. Cherish your “me time” and become friends with yourself.
Here are 35 fun things to do alone.
45. Learn how to deal with negative feelings in productive ways.
If you have unhealthy coping mechanisms, you should try to improve the way you deal with your feelings when you’re sad, angry, or hurt.
46. When you feel anxious, try to shift your focus to something productive.
Anxiety can be uncontrollable. It comes and goes as it pleases. When you feel anxious, try to find a productive distraction from your feelings. You could fold laundry, work on a creative project, or go for a walk.
47. Focus less on problems and more on solutions. Let go of what you can’t control.
If you can’t change it, accept it. If you can change it, work on improving it. If you have a problem-focused mindset, change it to a solution-focused one. You will have a more positive outlook on life.
48. Find healthy ways to manage your stress.
Everyone gets stressed out sometimes. It’s important that we deal with our stress in productive ways instead of being self-destructive. Positive stress management methods will improve your lifestyle.
Here are 25 healthy ways to deal with stress.
49. Allow yourself to express your emotions instead of bottling them up.
It’s completely OK to cry it out. Bottling your emotions up will only lead to increased stress and anxiety. Instead, acknowledge your emotions and allow yourself to feel them.
50. Encourage positive self-talk.
If you have an inner critic who won’t shut up, try turning negative self-talk into positive self-talk. You will feel more motivated and your self-esteem will improve.
51. Create a self-care routine that fits you.
In a busy schedule, it’s important for you to make time for yourself so you can relax and recharge.
Learn how to build your own self-care routine.
52. Treat yourself a little every once in a while.
Each month, budget out a little money for a treat. It could be a scoop of ice cream, a pair of shoes, a day trip, or anything that gets you excited. Reward yourself for all your hard work!
53. Wear clothes that make you feel good.
If you like dressing up, dress up. If you’d rather be comfortable, wear comfortable clothes. Put on clothes that make you feel good about yourself!
54. Know when it’s time to take a mental health day.
When you feel exhausted all the time and you start making careless mistakes at work, it’s time to take a break. Plan a mental health day for yourself so you can recharge your mind and body.
Learn how to plan the perfect mental health day.
55. Make a night routine that will help you de-stress after a long day.
Include activities that will help you relax and unwind at night, but also get organized and prepare for the next day.
56. Learn to love your body just the way it is.
Having a positive body image will improve your self-esteem.
57. Take better care of your body.
When you care for your body, your mind will also feel healthier. Eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly benefit both the body and the mind.
58. Limit alcohol and recreational drugs.
Substances like alcohol and drugs tend to increase stress. Cut down on consumption if you want to improve your health and wellness.
59. Practice mindful eating.
The way you eat affects the way you feel. You should fuel your body with the nutrients it needs, but also indulge every once in a while. Eating should be enjoyable.
60. Find a physical activity you enjoy and do it often.
Regular exercise can relieve stress, help you sleep better, and improve your body image. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring! Find an activity that makes you excited. It could be dancing, swimming, rock climbing, lifting weights, or anything that gets your heart pumping. Then, make it a regular part of your schedule.
Need motivation? Here are 20 ways to find the motivation to exercise.
61. Celebrate little wins or achievements.
Be your own biggest cheerleader. Every achievement is worth celebrating. You should support yourself in the same way you would support a close friend or family member.
62. Forgive yourself for mistakes.
No one is perfect, and it’s completely OK to make mistakes. Remember that!
63. When you make a mistake, try to find a lesson in it.
There is a lesson in every mistake. If you find it, you can prevent yourself from making the mistake again. The only way to grow is to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.
64. Let go of the past and live in the present.
If you catch yourself worrying about the past or the future, try to focus your attention on the present moment instead. The present moment is precious, so don’t let it go to waste.
65. Seek help if you feel like you need it.
Don’t be afraid to consult your support system or a mental health professional if you need help. While we can take steps to improve our mental health, we can’t always do it alone. And sometimes, it helps to have someone by your side to guide you through the problems you’re facing. I’ve been in and out of therapy for years, and I have always gotten something beneficial out of it.
I know it can be scary, but you should consider therapy, especially if you feel like you’re out of options.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post was helpful. I want you to have an amazing year in 2020!
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