3 Simple Steps I Used to Make a Resolution as Someone With a Mental Illness

It’s about that time of year again when everyone is looking for resolve, closure and most of all, looking forward to the year ahead. For most, it’s a fresh start, but for someone like me with C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and depression, it’s a daunting task to commit to something for a whole year. When I know there are challenges I have to overcome on a daily basis to accomplish basic tasks, trying to commit to something such as “going to the gym once a week” can be overwhelming and impossible.

So this year I followed a few basic steps:

1. Choose something general.

To me, this means no time commitment. I know some days it’s hard for me to even get out of bed, so committing to something I may not make it to will only make me feel overwhelmed and inferior. I decided to choose something I can do simply and every chance I get so I feel confident and productive.

2. Make it attainable.

Set yourself up for success. Now I don’t mean don’t challenge yourself, but simply to set an expectation that is realistic for you. For example, I know as someone who doesn’t work out in a gym setting regularly and someone who doesn’t like being indoors, trying to challenge myself to start going to the gym even once a week was unrealistic. I want to achieve whatever goal I set, so I chose something that was realistic for me. If you don’t have any ideas, try asking someone you trust and that understands your mental illness.

And most importantly…

3. Pick something that makes you feel good.

I am currently in therapy working through my challenges and mental illnesses, so I wanted to choose something that would make me feel good and also help my goal to become mentally healthy. So I chose something that over the course of the year is modifiable and works to fit my needs. Something that will challenge me, but not overwhelm me. Something that will overall make me feel good, and better than I have.

If you’d like to follow in my footsteps, my resolution is to be more confident. I decided to choose one word. This word needed to be something I’d like to become or become more of. It also needed to be something general, something more like a quality than say a profession. I can apply this by asking myself before I do something or try something, “Will this make me more confident?” If it does, then I continue, but if it doesn’t I can reassess and try to move toward my goal. It will still challenge me, but it also allows me to be forgiving. To me, that is the most important thing: remember to be forgiving to  yourself if whatever you plan doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped.

If you can follow these few steps, then you can hopefully come up with something that will set you up for a great new year. Just remember no matter what you choose, your year is not dependent on your completion of the resolution. Your year is what you make it and this year is going to be a healthy one.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty image via jacoblund

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Attractive woman with natural blond hair posing without makeup with white cup of hot drink wrapped with blanket at home

6 Self-Care Products That Help Me Relax During the Holidays

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with anxiety during the holidays. There’s so much added stress with last minute gift shopping and family get-togethers – not to mention keeping up with your already packed schedule. With everything going on, don’t forget to take a minute for yourself. Here are some products I use to help me [...]
sandels on sandy beach close up

When You Wonder If Your Anxiety Will Last Forever

As someone who has a diagnosed anxiety disorder, I spend a lot of time thinking about anxiety. I get up every morning and do my best to get through the day. My condition has been improving, so it isn’t as difficult as it used to be; however, I still have my rough days. I still [...]
tom petty

5 Tom Petty Songs That Calm My Anxiety

When legendary musician Tom Petty unexpectedly died, the music community and fans alike were understandably shaken by the tragic loss of someone whose voice was an integral part of our cultural landscape. My own reaction was no less intense. For  many of us struggling with anxiety and depression, music is a piece of our calming [...]
woman and man at home typing on laptop computer

What I Need in My Job Hunt as Someone With Anxiety and Autism

For a long time now, I’ve struggled with anxiety and I’ve had autism my entire life of course. In school, I had extra help so I could get through school and graduate. Now that I’m an adult, I need a job. In my adult life, I will help with things most people could easily do [...]