7 New Year's Resolutions for Someone With a Mental Illness

1. When I am feeling anxious or going through a depressive episode, instead of keeping it to myself I will tell my partner/close friend/family member so we can navigate the episode together. There is a reason why they are part of my support system, and it is that they are there to support me. I shouldn’t shut them out, even if they can’t “fix” the problem.

2. I will not let my nagging, insecure thoughts control me and every aspect of my life. No one is pulling wool over my eyes and trying to deceive me into thinking one thing when they really feel another way about me. More times than not, these insecure thoughts are wrapped up in a damaging, negative blanket that only makes me feel worse.

3. I will learn how to love myself and make myself a priority. This may be the most difficult resolution on this list, but I am determined to be successful at this one. For many years I have struggled to love myself, and I always put others before myself and my needs. It is important to me that I focus on myself and my health so I can be a more present parter, friend and family member.

4. Self-care is something I will aim to practice regularly. I don’t just mean pouring myself a cup of tea and reading a good book. I mean: taking a nap when I am tired, getting out of bed and showering, eating and taking care of myself even when it’s hard to move an inch.

5. I will take my medications as prescribed and will not stop taking them even if I’m “feeling better” and “no longer need to take them.” Unless my doctor approves this measure, and I am under their care while doing so, I will continue to take my medication.

6. I will make a point to try to keep all of my appointments, mental health-related or not.

7. That being said, I will not overextend myself. Saying “no” to something is perfectly OK and acceptable if I don’t want or can’t do it. I am only one person and can only do so much in one day – even on a good day.

None of these are overnight processes; and there will be times where I will mess up. What matters to me is that I have my support system and they are aware I am making the best attempts I can possibly make given whatever life throws at me.

This post was originally published on Medium.

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